This week's "Photo of the Week" was taken by U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs' employee Beth Payne for the "Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes" exhibition. The photograph shows a group of children playing soccer in the shadow of the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, India. The U.S. Department of State has a strong commitment to engaging young people worldwide and to using people-to-people diplomacy as a means to create opportunities for greater understanding, including using sports as a means of empowerment.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently named NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the State Department's Cultural Ambassador. This week, Abdul-Jabbar kicked off his service in Salvador, Brazil, where he met and played basketball with youths at a community center. While talking to the young people about his experiences in sports, Abdul-Jabber also emphasized the importance of education. Abdul-Jabbar said, "It was very rewarding for me today to talk to the young people about their education because a lot of them didn't understand how important it is. So I was happy to remind them that their education will supplement everything that they try to do as athletes and they seemed to be open to it. They asked really interesting questions and had an open mind it seemed to what I was saying."
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock will participate in a Twitter Q&A at 09:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 31. Assistant Secretary Stock will discuss the role of technology and social media in English language programs, exchanges, and cultural diplomacy initiatives. Submit your questions to @ConnectStateGov and @AnnatState using the hashtag #AskAnn.
Editor's Note: The "Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes" photography contest and exhibition is a joint effort between the Department of State's Office of Art in Embassies and the Department of Defense. Any current or former military, civil, and Foreign Service officer may submit up to 10 compelling photographs from their service abroad. Submissions will be accepted now through February 20, 2012. Rules, guidelines, and entry forms can be found here.