I had been somewhat defined a little bit in 2003 by the fact that I hadn’t completed the biography [The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke] that I had been working on for many years. I lost touch with it, and being outside the country, being in Italy that semester was really important for me to get back to who I was, and so I thank the Fulbright Program. That was just an incredible experience for me.”

– Dr. Jeffrey C. Stewart

Overview

On February 25, 2021, the Fulbright Program hosted a virtual event celebrating the accomplishments of Fulbright alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winner, Dr. Jeffrey C. Stewart, and exploring the themes of his acclaimed biography, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke. Dr. Stewart presented a brief overview of Locke’s biography before engaging in conversation with Fulbright alumna Dr. Joanne Braxton, a prominent scholar of African American Literature and Culture.

The event began with a short lecture by Dr. Stewart introducing the cultural and historical foundations of Alain Locke’s life through photographs, book excerpts, and fragments of Locke’s personal correspondence. Dr. Stewart also explained the ways in which Locke’s race and sexuality played key roles in his academic experiences and philosophies. Following the presentation, Dr. Stewart and Dr. Joanne Braxton discussed Locke’s time as a Rhodes Scholar, his philosophy of cosmopolitanism, and the idea of “the new negro.”

The discussion drew a clear connection between Locke’s experiences and ideas to the present, with implications for art, culture, religion, and the current realities of international exchange experiences for students and scholars of color.

Meet the Panelists

Dr. Jeffrey C. Stewart, (2003 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Italy) – Jeffrey C. Stewart, PhD, is the author of The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, by Oxford University Press, 2018. It is one of the few books of history that has won the 2018 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, along with five other national awards in history, biography, and gay nonfiction. Stewart attended graduate school at Yale University, where he received a M.A., M. Phil. and Ph.D. in American Studies. He now serves as Professor of Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, after numerous fellowships, lectureships, and professorships at Harvard University, Yale University, UCLA, Tufts University, Howard University, George Mason University, and the University of Rome III, where he was Fulbright Lecturer in American Studies in 2003.

Dr. Joanne Braxton, (2001 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Germany) – Joanne Braxton, PhD, is Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor of the Humanities Emerita at William & Mary (W&M) and a distinguished scholar of African American Literature and Culture. She is a former Fulbright Professor (Germany, Italy, France and Spain, 2001) and the proud mother of a Fulbright daughter, Mycah (Japan, 2018). More recently, Dr. Braxton has served as David B. Larson Fellow in Spirituality and Health at the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center and is currently director of “Tree of Life: Black Faith Matters in a Time of Dual Pandemics,” a project sponsored by the Center for African-American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University and funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. In 2021, Dr. Braxton will deliver the 27th Annual Shallenberger Lecture “On the Outrage of Black Mothers: Healing the Past in the Present” at the invitation of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Ethics Committee and the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Venezuela Fulbright Day event flyer with three grantee photos

Venezuela celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program and its unique legacy of fostering mutual understanding on April 12. Notable Venezuelan Fulbrighters – Michele Lee, María Isabel Pena, and María Teresa Romero – shared their work of more than 20 years of global impact.

The panelists connected with the audience, sharing their personal and professional experiences as Fulbrighters, the steps to build a career before joining Fulbright and using the experience thereafter. In addition, the panelists emphasized the importance of connecting with alumni for building networks and creating strong project implementation in Venezuela. At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to share their questions and ideas and to be part of a “virtual toast” to their roles as agents of change with their respective Fulbright signs containing an inspirational word.

Alumni of the Fulbright Program in Guinea

On March 31, the Fulbright Program team in Guinea joined the worldwide celebration of Fulbright’s 75th anniversary.

Guinea’s Fulbright Day highlighted the cultural importance of exchange programs by dabbling in dance and venturing through the joyous memories of studying abroad and savoring dishes both familiar and unknown. 

  • 8 a.m. EST (12 p.m. GMT): American Center TV with Fulbright Alumni: As guests of the U.S. Embassy Conakry’s American Center TV Program, Fulbright Alumni discussed the nuts and bolts of the Fulbright application process, plus the favorite and challenging experiences from their programs. Watch the recording here.
  • 10 a.m. EST (2 p.m. GMT): Fulbright Dances: Fulbright Alumni and representatives of the major ethnic groups of Guinea showed off their dancing talents while highlighting their own culture. Watch the Instagram Reel here.
  • 12 p.m. EST (4 p.m. GMT): Fulbright Goes to the Kitchen: A Culinary Exchange: Fulbright Alumni, alongside local female entrepreneur Yaya Barry, explored the vastness of Guinean cuisine. This unique opportunity echoed the joy and memories of sharing about food and culture between Fulbright Alumni and Americans. Watch the recording here.

As Fulbright Portugal wraps up their 60th Anniversary, they also celebrated the Fulbright Program’s 75th Anniversary.

March 19th, 2021, marked Portugal’s Fulbright Day, a special day to celebrate the program’s legacy of fostering mutual understanding. Fulbright Portugal held a series of live events with notable Fulbright alumni and guests.

The full schedule of that day is below, and recordings of the events are available at the following links:

Click here to view the Fulbright Portugal webinar on “Gender Equality in Science and Higher Education.”

Click here to watch the recording of the Fulbright Portugal-U.S. Celebration Get Together.

The first group of U.S. Fulbrighters to Portugal at the Fulbright Commission, 1961
The first group of U.S. Fulbrighters to Portugal at the Fulbright Commission, 1961

15:30-16:50 GMT
Fulbright Portugal Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainability Webinar:
“Gender Equality in Science and Higher Education”

Welcome and opening remarks:
Otília Macedo Reis, Fulbright Portugal Executive Director
Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education
Kristin Kane, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Lisbon

Speakers:
Helena Pereira, Fulbright alumna and Head of “Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)”;
Cláudia Cavadas, Vice-Rector of the University of Coimbra;
Julie Taylor, Director of Academic Relations for Fulbright at the Institute of International Education (IIE);
Maria de Lourdes Machado-Taylor, Researcher of CIPES – HE Policy Research Center

Moderator: Leilani Stacy, Fulbright alumna (U.S. Student AY2018/2019)

19:00-20:00 GMT
Fulbright Portugal – U.S. Community Anniversary Celebration
Alumni, partners and friends of the Fulbright Program will gather for a live Celebration Get Together and shared performances, prose and poetry reading, video/film streaming, storytelling and more!

Rwanda counts more than 200 outstanding Fulbright alumni. Early records show that the first Rwandan to go to the United States under the Fulbright Foreign Student Program scholarship went to study engineering in 1964. The theme for Rwanda’s Fulbright Day was “Celebrating 75 Years of Nurturing and Connecting Change-Makers in Rwanda and the United States.”

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Drew Conroy saying farewell to his colleagues at the University of Rwanda.
Fulbright U.S. Scholar Drew Conroy saying farewell to his colleagues at the University of Rwanda.

On March 17, U.S. Embassy Kigali hosted a virtual celebration to reconnect and inspire the next generation of Rwandan Fulbrighters. U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman gave remarks during the formal program, which was followed by a panel discussion featuring recent Fulbright participants to showcase the program for aspiring applicants. The event had a good turnout and participation, blending alumni voices with prospective applicants ahead of the local Fulbright Foreign Student application deadline.

After Rwanda’s Fulbright Day, the press team distributed a press release and posted videos of both the anniversary celebration as well as the prospective applicant panel discussion that followed. Cultural affairs specialist Jado Hakorimana has been able to point prospective applicants to the later video, and several have written back to say the content was helpful. 

The Commission for Cultural, Educational and Scientific Exchange between Spain and the United States of America was established in Spain in 1958 by executive agreement between the two countries. Since then, it has been known as the Fulbright Commission for the scholarships it administers. The agreement was renewed in 1994, expanding the objectives of the original Commission and underlining its independence.

A screenshot from the Spanish Wine Tasting organized by the Fulbright Commission in Spain.

On March 27, the Fulbright Commission in Spain joined the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program by organizing a virtual tasting of Spanish wines led by a U.S.-based Spanish wine educator. Over 70 people attended.

“Our wine educator took us on a trip to different wine-producing parts of Spain, striking a balance between traditional and native grape varieties as well as lesser-known, up-and-coming ones,” noted the Spanish Fulbright Commission after the event. “We enjoyed the trip while tasting the wines!”

The webinar is now available to view here. If you’d like to purchase a mixed case of the wines sampled at the tasting, you can do so at a discounted rate here. And for some tasty tapas recipes to enjoy with the wine, click here to view a cookbook sourced from the tasting participants.

For any further comments or questions about the wines or the event, please write to [email protected]