On September 20, Ambassador John D. Feeley hosted a reception for over 40 civil society members to promote social inclusion in Panama. Representatives from diverse organizations including disability, Afro-Panamanian, LGBTI, and environmental, and health groups, exchanged ideas, discussed challenges, and shared best practices on capacity building and fundraising with each other. The event marked one of the rare occasions in which civil society members in Panama are convened in one place. Ambassador Feeley took the opportunity to reiterate President Obama’s message that strong and vibrant civil societies are essential for countries to succeed and urged the participants to continue to be a voice for Panamanian society’s most vulnerable members. He also reaffirmed the U.S. government’s commitment to serve as a reliable ally to civil society through funding, training, and other resources.