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Advocacy Day 2010As manager of NAFSA's Grassroots Outreach, I was pleased to welcome nearly 100 international education advocates representing 33 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, who participated in NAFSA's 2010 Advocacy Day March 16-17, 2010.

On March 16, participants were briefed on the fundamentals of advocacy and international educations issues from NAFSA staff and Advocacy Day veterans. They also gained insight into the workings of a congressional office from Sunalei Stewart, Senior Counsel in Senator Bingaman's (D-NM) office.

During meetings with more than 130 congressional offices on March 17, participants discussed timely issues facing international education such as the Simon Study Abroad bill, visa and immigration reform and restoring freedom for Americans to travel to Cuba. The Congressional offices were supportive of the issues raised and we expect additional cosponsors on the Simon Study Abroad Act and the bill to restore freedom of travel to Cuba in the coming weeks.

If you have photos to share from Advocacy Day, be sure to tag them with “nafsaAD” on Flickr so that they will show up on the event web page: www.nafsa.org/advocacyday. I look forward to seeing your photos and welcome your feedback and stories from Advocacy Day in the comments section.