The Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development (“GLC”) proposes a Legislative Fellows Program to the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: ”Building Grassroots Advocacy in Minority Communities”-an exchange program for Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and USA. The overall goal is to provide a professional development opportunity for up-and-coming and mid-level professionals to gain knowledge of U.S. practices in engaging citizens and community leaders in collaboration to inform changes in legislation that make a difference in minority communities (incl. Roma, disabled, immigrant populations) and strengthen democracy. Foreign participants will be exposed to diverse community organizing methods to engage citizens as active participants in solving problems in their own communities. They will also gain hands-on experience at both public and civil society institutions in the U.S. and a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture and people. They will examine the relationship between civil society and government and learn methods to fight public corruption and develop accountability. Through internship placements at national, state and local organizations across the U.S. they will gain knowledge and experience as well as adaptable approaches that they can implement after their return.