Over the past several years, the Internet and social media have dramatically transformed the ways we communicate with each other, keep in touch, and make our voices heard. Policy makers have also recognized that their constituents are organizing, speaking out, and listening online. More than 300 members of Congress have Facebook pages, President Obama reads blogs every day, and on the Hill, staffers who are informing the development of the public policies that impact all of us are avid users and consumers of these media and tools.
Social media have become important tools for NAFSA as well, and we’ve seen you respond by commenting on the NAFSA blog, retweeting our Tweets, joining us on Facebook, and using the Knowledge Communities. When it comes to public policy, it is our collective voice that makes us strong, and we are extremely proud of the commitment of our grassroots advocates. That’s why we are so excited about today’s launch of a new interactive Web site dedicated to NAFSA’s grassroots advocacy.
Connecting Our World will make it easier than ever for you to support grassroots advocacy initiatives, share your passion for international education with others, and participate in ongoing conversations about the advocacy topics in international education that matter most to you. Connecting Our World is designed to build on the success of your grassroots efforts and, with your help, attract an even broader global community of advocates to NAFSA’s efforts to support international education. All are welcome, whether or not you live or vote in the United States.
As the new destination for all aspects of our grassroots advocacy efforts, Connecting Our World replaces what you currently know as ACT (the Advocacy-Centered Team). As of today, “ACT” has become “Connecting Our World.” All current ACT members are now members of Connecting Our World, and NAFSA’s Take Action Center is located on the new site, so there’s no need for current ACT members to do anything except to begin using the new Web site to advocate for international education, and encourage friends, colleagues, family members, and students to join the movement.
If you haven’t yet joined ACT, now is the perfect time to join Connecting Our World. We urge all of you to join us in helping to create a better world through international education. Visit www.connectingourworld.org today to participate in ongoing advocacy campaigns, bring the issues to life by sharing a story online, connect directly to policy topics on the NAFSA blog, and interact with one another through NAFSA social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. See you online!
DeDe Long is NAFSA’s vice president for public policy and practice and chair of the Public Policy Committee of NAFSA’s Board of Directors. She is the director of study abroad and international exchange at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Marlene M. Johnson is Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.