Vitaly Chernetsky
Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Georgian leaders visit Lawrence for discussions on improving civic education

Thu, 09/05/2019

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies will host a delegation of Georgian civic educators this month in Lawrence. The Open World Leadership Center, a congressional agency, sent the five professionals, who will be accompanied by a bicultural facilitator and interpreter during their visit Sept. 6-14.

Prior to their arrival, participants completed orientation in Washington, D.C. Delegates had policy meetings with members of Congress, including meeting with staff from the office of U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-3).

In Lawrence, delegates will collaborate on best practices for improving civic education. Delegates will meet Kansas State Rep. Brandon Woodard (KS-30), with additional staff from Davids' office and with local leaders in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Additional activities include meeting with Mark Skoglund, executive director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission; Lisa Larsen, mayor of Lawrence; Ron Keefover, president of the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, and Barbara Ballard, the first African American to serve on the House Leadership team for the Democratic Caucus chair. The delegation will stay in the homes of local residents who serve as hospitality hosts.

More than 27,000 current and future leaders from post-Soviet era countries have participated in the Open World program. Open World offers one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs to promote mutually beneficial options for depolarized engagement between future national leaders.

About the KU Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

The Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) has been a national leader for the study of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since 1965. The center is a degree-granting program and serves as a resource for K-12 teachers, post-secondary educators, business, media, government and military. CREES graduates have become leaders in a wide range of fields, ranging from higher education and government service to work in NGOs and the private sector.

Open World’s 20th Year

Founded in 1999 by Congress, the Open World Leadership Center maintains a vast network of more than 28,000 alumni in strategic countries including Russia, Ukraine, and others in the Balkans, Caucuses, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Open World supports legislative diplomacy efforts for members of Congress by conducting exchanges that establish lasting professional relationships between emerging leaders and their U.S. counterparts. Program participants are provided with extensive exposure to American politics, accountable governance and citizen diplomacy, while being hosted by American families. To learn more about Open World, please visit


























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