Melanie C. Brooks
Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness—and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Twain’s wisdom about the American condition remains pertinent today as the United States, along with countries across the globe, face the challenges of rising religious and political polarizations, racial discrimination, and unrelenting gridlock on social and economic issues. Arguably, the unyielding entrenchment of these divisions continue despite advances in global connectivity, widening democratization, and increased access to education and its ensuant higher literacy rates.
As an academic and former Fulbright Senior Scholar to Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (2015), my work as an Associate Editor for the Fulbright Chronicles provides me the opportunity to push back against global unrest and acrimony through an international and open-source journal that gathers together the collective wisdom gained from the Fulbright alumni community. Unquestionably, each Fulbright experience is unique, and every Fulbright experience impactful and transformative. My participation in Fulbright Chronicles originates in a deep desire to build bridges between cultures through mutual respect and cross-cultural understanding. In this way, Fulbright Chronicles not only extends the impact of the Fulbright Program, but also reminds readers that social change is a shared proposition.
I am honoured to be part of this journey and to do my part in building a journal centred on creating and sustaining a peaceful and interconnected world through international cultural exchange.