Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 11, 2014

The eyes of the world will be on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil starting this week, and to kick off the events, today Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will participate in a Google+ Hangout entitled “Girls and Women’s Empowerment: How Sports Can Promote Gender Equality.”

This morning’s Hangout at 11:00 a.m. EDT is hosted by the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative and will be broadcast from The +SocialGood series, June 9-13, is exploring how global issues, sports, and social good intersect and help achieve the Millennium Challenge goals. Questions can be submitted in advance via Facebook and Twitter using #WorldGoals and #SocialGood. Questions can also be directed to Assistant Secretary Ryan’s Twitter account @ECA_AS or @GirlUp.

The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative aims to inspire more women and girls to become involved in sports and experience the benefits of participation, such as improved health, increased self-esteem, and greater academic and professional success. The cornerstone of the Initiative is the U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program, which connects emerging women leaders from around the world with U.S. women executives in sports-related fields to build leadership and management skills and long-lasting relationships that enable the emerging leaders to reach underserved women and girls in their home communities.

Additionally, in the lead-up to the World Cup, this week the State Department launched a new webpage to showcase soccer sports diplomacy. The new site features video and photos of Department of State Sports Envoys, such as Julie Foudy, Tony Sanneh, and Cobi Jones, as well as stories of how sports-themed exchange programs have impacted people and communities around the world.

For further information, please contact