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Our field trip to the American Resource Center (the ARC) was enlightening. The center is hidden behind the National Library in Helsinki and serves as “an arc” for all the latest and most accurate information about the U.S. government and its policies, American values, history, culture and character. Everyone who works for the ARC, also works for the US Embassy. If you are looking for the ARC, go to Kaisaniemi, since they will soon be moving to a new, better location.

At the center we were met by David McGuire from the US Embassy who took over as Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki in July 2010.  He has been with the Department of State since 2000 and his previous assignments include Managua, Nicaragua; Madrid, Spain; and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Mr. McGuire holds a BA in English from Providence College and a Masters in Literature from the University of Tennessee.

Our lecturer delved into the Civil Rights Movement from a modern perspective. It was interesting to see how a struggle that took place decades ago still has a ripple effect on today. Mr. McGuire tied the discussion to the L.A Riots and the brutal beating of Rodney King which happened in 1992 when he was a student himself. He also illustrated many key concepts like the American Dream, oppression and segregation by showing us film clips from Tony Scott’s American History X (1998) and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). It was also clear that Barack Obama is the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement, representing everything they bravely fought and died for.

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One Response to “The ARC”

  1. David Mc Says:

    Thank you guys so much for visiting us at the ARC. It was really a pleasure to meet with you and discuss a movement that had such an amazing impact on my country. As you mention it is not just something that occurred in the past, but something that is very much a part of our present as well. Stay in touch and I hope we have a chance to continue the conversation…. -Dave

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