10 Mar 2009 Project 21 Chairman Meets with Irish Delegation
By David Almasi:
On March 4, Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie met with a delegation of young Irish politicians and civil servants touring the United States.
The group was in the United States as part of a program administered by the Irish Institute of the Boston College Center for Irish Programs. The mission of the Institute is to bring “officials and policymakers from Ireland and Northern Ireland for professional development programs in areas such as government, non-profit, business, and education.” The ultimate goal is “to facilitate rewarding personal, corporate, and professional educational exchanges with the goal of promoting a more lasting peace on the island of Ireland.”
This particular group was made up of people affiliated with the Ulster Unionist and Sinn Fein political parties, the Dublin City Council, the Irish Traveler Movement and the Northern Ireland Electoral Commission, among others.
While in America, the delegation met with state and federal lawmakers, diplomat and professors and opinion leaders affiliated with think tanks and activist groups. Prior to their visit with Mychal at the National Center headquarters on Capitol Hill, the delegation had met with the vice president of the National Organization for Women. They also met with the Family Research Council and Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
The spirited discussion ranged from topics of personal responsibility to the historical progression toward equality in the United States to the feasibility and wisdom of the policies of the Obama Administration. While the overwhelming majority of the delegation tended to embrace liberal politics, Mychal’s comments were well-received and appeared to have an impact on the delegation.
At the conclusion of the discussion, one member of the visiting Irishmen commented about Mychal: “I’m a liberal, but this guy is alright!”