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In May 1927, the pilot and pioneer Charles Lindbergh began a flight that changed forever the way we travel. His 33-hour journey from New York to Paris taught the world that it was possible to fly long distances, establish a blueprint for modern aviation, and opening the door to endless possibilities for future generations.

Honoring those who thought this was possible, Charles Lindbergh called his aircraft ‘Spirit of Saint Louis’ to commemorate the support and assistance of those who believed in him. Today Skyline International for Human Rights wants to thank the University of Saint Louis for laying the foundations of a partnership that will help Skyline International fulfill its missions and goals and reach where anyone thought it was possible.

Defending human rights and freedom of expression seems for many to be today a titanic and pointless endeavor when the world is facing countless threats and issues from climate change to health crises such as the pandemic. Skyline International believes that freedom of expression plays a paramount role in solving many of our sufferings despite these challenges. Freedom of speech helps break the wall of silence and misinformation erected by powerful entities and elites who often try to monopolize ideas and debates to distract and control public opinion.

The ability to speak freely without retribution is necessary to promote a healthy debate about all the issues threatening humanity nowadays and create the conditions of mutual understanding, coordination, and cooperation required to solve any issue or conflict. Thus, freedom of speech empowers people, and in Skyline International, we believe people are the solution rather than the problem.

This is one of the main motives that encourage Skyline International to collaborate with different governments, organizations, institutions, universities, and individuals willing to change. For example, the University of Saint Louis has demonstrated its commitment to human rights and freedom of expression by creating the Observatory of Contemporary Crisis (OCC), directed by Professor Barah Mikail.

Since September 2019, the observatory has been organizing activities and publishing articles about different topics that affect us today: the pandemic and its impact on vulnerable states, European Union’s financial and leadership issues, crises in Latin America and the Middle East, nuclear proliferation, and geopolitical trends, and social, legal and political analyses of the Black Lives Matter movement among other topics.

Skyline International collaborates with the OCC to expand and widen research topics, participate in and organize events and debates, and offer training to students and researchers on issues related to freedom of expression and human rights. This collaboration is just the beginning of a solid and strategic partnership that would only grow in the years to come. This is the spirit of Saint Louis: vision, development, and cooperation; features inspiring us today to take similar steps with the help and support of the University of Saint Louis and the Observatory of Contemporary Crisis.