For Immediate Release
December 17, 2004
From Secretary Powell's Remarks on Receiving the 2004 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, The State Department, 12/15/2004
Our founders believed that a free and open society, bold in ambitions but tempered by a decent respect for the opinions of mankind, would best promote understanding at home and around the world.
President Bush's leadership has brought Afghanistan and Iraq back into the Fulbright Program, our premier exchange program.
Americans and many others are sacrificing to help Iraq reclaim its place in the community of nations.
Over the past four years we've also expanded programs to bring graduate students from abroad to teach their native languages on U.S. campuses.
We're reaching out to disadvantaged young people from countries with significant Muslim populations who wish to learn English, but who lack the means.
Micro-scholarships now enable more than 3,600 students in 39 countries to study English and learn about American society.
CultureConnect pairs renowned Americans in sports and the arts with younger people abroad to build understanding.
The Fulbright program doesn't necessarily eliminate differences. But the Fulbright bond helps make communications and understanding easier.
Better understanding among people is not a magic potion. Not all conflicts are caused by misunderstanding. Some are based on interests that genuinely conflict.
But we must take full advantage of what President Lincoln called the better angels of human nature. And that's what the Fulbright Program is all about.