Re-engaging with the International Community

“We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. … We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”– President Joe Biden, Jan. 20, 2021

The newly inaugurated President, Joe Biden, is quickly taking steps to reverse key Trump administration policies, which will once again strengthen ties between the United States and the rest of the international community. Among these, reversing the decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) amidst the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, rejoining the Paris climate accords, rescinding the so-called “Muslim ban” that banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US, and repealing the global “gag rule” on abortion in US foreign aid.

Just hours after his inauguration at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Biden issued a string of directives and executive actions reversing a number of his predecessor Donald Trump’s policies. Biden’s orders focused on the pandemic response, reversing the previous administration’s environmental agenda, reversing their immigration policies, bolstering the economic recovery, and restoring federal efforts to promote diversity.

On Monday, President Biden also reinstated travel restrictions to combat coronavirus infections, via a presidential proclamation. The restrictions, which were in place for most of 2020, apply to non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, much of Europe, and now South Africa. Biden has also sought to require international travelers to quarantine upon arrival in the US.

This week’s Current Event resources allow you to explore and promote meaningful discussion with your students about US engagement with the international community and its implications for the future.


Essential Questions:

    • What is the Biden administration’s approach to international cooperation and diplomacy? How does that differ from the Trump administration’s approach?
    • Which policies are changing and how? 
    • How will Biden administration policies affect our engagement with the international community?
    • What does the change of direction signify in terms of the position of the United States within the international community?


Biden’s fast start with executive orders, Washington Post

Biden’s Foreign Policy Reset — Bigger Than Five

Biden Looks TO Begin Climate Policy with Executive Orders, NBC News

Biden implements COVID-19 travel restrictions on first full day in office, CBS: the National


Audio & Podcasts:


How Europeans see Biden’s America (25 min)

Recent Articles:


Recent Editorials:

Political Cartoons:


Resources for using Political Cartoons in the Classroom: 


Primary Sources:


Visual Resources:


Lesson Plans:


Lesson Plans regarding Media & News Literacy (general):

Media Literacy Resources – Newseum

News & Media Literacy Lessons – Common Sense

Media Misinformation, Viral Deception, and “Fake News” – University of Wyoming

Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News – New York Times Lessons