Advocacy

Add your voice in support of cultural exchange!

Advocacy

As members of the Greenheart Exchange community, many of us work with, interact with, and probably are, or were, participants in cultural exchange. On an almost daily basis we are able to see the impact of this program on the participants, host employers, and the host communities. It’s now time to ask yourself, have you shared these stories or experiences with others?

By sharing your positive stories and expressing your support for exchanges, you are acting as an advocate!

For over 50 years, the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has brought international college students and young professionals to the United States to learn about American culture and meet real Americans. These exchange programs continue to enhance America’s diplomatic success and national security by improving the perception of the United States in the eyes of future leaders from more than 90 countries.

The programs also add significantly to the U.S. economy. They support seasonal businesses in tourist, vacation, and resort communities. They bring future business leaders to intern and train with American companies, creating new international partnerships.

Most importantly, J-1 programs have allowed us to build our global Greenheart Exchange community and contribute towards a more connected and peaceful world.

Act Now

Many sources, including the Washington Post, tell us that senior White House officials are planning to eliminate five valuable J-1 programs: Summer Work Travel, Intern, Trainee, Camp Counselor, and Au Pair. This proposal, part of the Buy American, Hire American (BAHA) Executive Order would have a devastating effect on the cultural exchange community.

Now, more than ever, the J-1 Summer Work Travel, Intern, and Trainee programs need your voice. We want to inform and empower you, our community, and we hope that you can help us fight for these vital cultural exchange programs. Join the fight to save J-1 programs today!

SaveJ1

Speak Out

U.S. citizens, call your members of Congress in Washington, D.C. and urge them to contact the White House to stop the elimination of these programs.Contact information for these offices can be found here:

Find out if they are holding a town hall or forum in your area using Town Hall Project and speak to them in person, or schedule a meeting at their district offices.

Call the Administration and the Department of State to voice your opposition.

  • White House Comment Line (202) 456-1111
  • White House, Office of Public Liaison (202) 456-6493
  • State Department Operations Center (202) 647-1512

International alumni and partners, contact the U.S. embassy in your country as well as your country’s embassy in the U.S. and ask them to contact the White House in support of J-1 programs.

Contact information can be found here:

When reaching out:

  • Tell them why exchanges matter to you and how they impact your life or your community.
  • Urge them not to include J-1 exchange programs in the Buy American, Hire American executive order.
  • Encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to do the same.

Share your stories with Greenheart Exchange

Fill out this form to share your experience with a J-1 exchange program and you may be featured in one of our blog posts!Please see the Resources section for additional advocacy materials.

#SaveJ1

Social media is another important advocacy tool! Although it might seem small, public campaigns like this can lead to big change.

Use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share photos and/or messages of support for J-1 exchange programs with the hashtag, #SaveJ1. Don’t forget to make the post public and be sure to tag Greenheart Exchange!

Step 1: Post a photo of yourself from your J1 exchange in the USA on Facebook or Instagram.

Ideal photos include those that show you with American friends, photos of you at your job in the USA, or photos of you in iconic or famous locations in the USA.

Step 2: Caption the photo with the name of your exchange program, the location where the photo was taken, the year it was taken (the year you did your program), and your home country.

Lastly, make sure to end your post with the campaign hashtag: #SaveJ1

Example: J1 Summer Work & Travel. Glacier National Park, Montana. 2005. Proud J1 from Bulgaria! #SaveJ1

Step 3: Tag friends from your exchange experience that you connected with on Instagram or
Facebook.

Step 4: Post!

Some other suggested hashtags that you can use are:
#SaveJ1
#SaveOurSummer
#J1Visa
#SaveAuPair
#SWT
#ExchangesMatter
#ExchangeOurWorld

Insta-Example

Stay informed

We will be working to share updates with our community regarding the threat to J-1 programs and our advocacy progress. We encourage you to take the following steps to ensure that you are fully aware of #SaveJ1 efforts.Join Americans for Cultural Exchange – a broad coalition in support of international exchange programs – and urge your representatives to take action.

Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @ExchangesMatter and on Instagram at @americansforexchange.

Sign up to receive action alerts from the Alliance for International Exchange — a membership organization representing the cultural exchange industry, and the leaders in this fight to save J-1 exchange programs.

Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @AllianceExchnge.

The Alliance is also holding a letter writing campaign to members of Congress, asking them to defend exchanges against potential elimination.

  • Use this link to write to your members of congress in less than 5 minutes.
  • For an Intern and Trainee specific campaign, sign on here

Resources