College Promise Campaign Executive Vice President Addresses the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Forum in Cali, Colombia

Rosye Cloud and Daniel Benitez, Fellow, Cali City Hall.

The College Promise Campaign took the stage last week at the UNESCO “International Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education – Every Learner Matters,” organized in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education of Colombia and the Town Hall of Cali.

The Forum, designed to assist countries in increasing educational and inclusion outcomes, brought experts in education and government officials from around the world to share innovative ideas, policies and programs to advance inclusion and equity in education, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which calls “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

Rosye Cloud, Executive Vice President of the College Promise Campaign, who was part of four experts' panel from Latin America and the US, “Strengthening Educational Pathways for Inclusion and Equity,” addressed the evolution of the “free” college movement in the United States, in addition to rapidly changing demands of employers as artificial intelligence (AI) transforms the workforce. The momentum has increased over the years, largely due to strong support from governors seeking to bolster American economic competitiveness and prosperity.

During the panel, and in speaking about College Promise Campaign's work since its launch, Cloud stated that “what began as a small idea, is getting ready to celebrate over 315 local programs and 25 statewide programs.” “This movement respects the unique value every student brings to our society. They are key to sustaining an innovation economy, ” Cloud added.

“The College Promise Campaign recognizes the importance of global cooperation and the benefits from leaders working together to advance equity and inclusion in higher education. The success of this movement in America is built on the bold collaboration of entities that have historically worked in silos. Many of the countries attending this forum have been implementing free public higher education for many years. We want to learn from each of you, and appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with UNESCO in advancing global education, inclusion and equality.”

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Sascha Foertsch