City Leaders and Citizen Diplomats Explore Entrepreneurship, Cultural Understanding, and Smart Cities at “Cities Leading the Way” August 2-4

Ron Nirenberg and Tim Quigley at the 2016 Annual Conference Flag Parade
Aurora, Colorado will be the nexus of worldwide connections as Sister Cities International hosts their 2018 Annual Conference and 2018 Youth Leadership Summit. The conference will bring together more than 300 elected and municipal officials, business leaders, and engaged citizen diplomats and over 100 high school students from across the U.S. and the globe to learn about citizen diplomacy. The theme of the conference is “Cities Leading the Way.” “This landmark gathering will demonstrate how citizen diplomacy forges mutual interests and ties of respect across ...

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2018 Annual Awards: Congratulations to This Year’s Winners

2017 Annual Awards Winners
At Sister Cities International, we know that the work our members do to promote peace through mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation changes the world--one individual, one community at a time. Since 1962, we have recognized a few of our most outstanding members all over the nation for the work they've done in the last year to advance the citizen diplomacy movement through our Annual Awards Program. There are 4 award categories broken out by city population size: best overall, innovation, volunteer of the year, and youth leadership. The innovation category has ...

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Tackling the Heroin Crisis: Sister Cities Seattle and Bergen Working Together

Houses on the Water in Bergen Norwat
When you think of Bergen, Norway; the first thing that comes to mind is its picturesque harbor with its quaint wooden houses. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most photographed scenes in the world. It is no wonder that the postcard-perfect city set on a fjord against the backdrop of seven majestic mountains, served as the inspiration for many of the settings in Disney’s Frozen. A native Seattleite, I have often made the observation that my own city is like “Bergen in larger format, but more modern.” Norway’s second city, like its sister city Seattle, ...

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Maryland Sister State Committees Band Together to Send Medical Supplies to Mexico

Care Convoy and Sister State of Maryland pose in front of their sign and a rental truck with a shipment of medical supplies to Tamaulipas, Mexico
Two 26-foot trucks braved a snowstorm over the mountains from Boise, Idaho all the way down to Brownsville, in Texas early this month to hand off a much-needed shipment of medical supplies and equipment. The supplies, valued at over $350-thousand, then made their way south of the border, bound for the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The donation was a joint effort between two sister state committees in Maryland to help alleviate the lack of healthcare facilities in Tamaulipas, particularly in the aftermath of a recent series of earthquakes that have devastated large swaths ...

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3rd Annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili Links Charities in Wisconsin and Ireland

La Crosse Wisconsin
The La Crosse Bantry Friendship Association works to build a bridge between two charities on opposite sides of the Atlantic next week, with a fundraising night of traditional Irish music and dance. The 3rd Annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili will benefit Sacred Grounds, a group that aids homeless and vulnerable people in the Wisconsin city of La Crosse, and Cork ARC, a support service for those in Bantry, Ireland, with family members needing medical care.A ‘hoolie’ is a gathering or party, and ‘Ceili’ refers to traditional Irish music, dance, and singing, all of which ...

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Ukrainian Firefighters head to Arlington Virginia for Professional Exchange

Arlington, Virginia and Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine have not been sister cities for very long. Ivano-Frankivsk has a long history of being an important and diverse trade center and is the capital of the Ivano-Frankivsk region. The two cities signed their agreement in 2011, and since then have been conducting exchanges mutually beneficial to their communities both professionally and economically. The most recent exchange between the two cities was a professional firefighter exchange. Three Ukrainian firefighters, Chief Volodymyr Chernetskyi, Taras Kochkodan, and Mykola ...

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Stevens Initiative press release

11/06/2017 WASHINGTON, DC, (November 6, 2017) - The Stevens Initiative today announced the award of a 1.5-year grant to Sister Cities International, one of 13 new grants funded through an international competition to use online, collaborative learning to increase cross-cultural understanding and equip young people with the skills needed to thrive in a 21st century economy. Sister Cities International is among the second cohort of virtual exchange programs to be funded by the Stevens Initiative, an international effort to build career and global competence skills for ...

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Baltimore and Rotterdam Are Working Towards “Sustainable Cities” Together

Operation Trash
In 1985, Baltimore, Maryland, and Rotterdam, Netherlands established a sister city relationship on some common ground: Baltimore lost a great deal of their infrastructure in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, and Rotterdam’s city center was destroyed during World War II. These disasters forced them to rebuild their communities from the ground up in the 20th century. Additionally, both cities are geographically and demographically similar, have a deeply rooted maritime history, and are home to a lot of innovators and cultural strongholds. Baltimore and Rotterdam also face ...

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Urbana and Zomba: Improving Quality of Life in Urban Southeast Africa

Contributed by: Councilman Dennis Roberts of Urbana, Illinois Several years after receiving a grant to address urban poverty through water, health, and sanitation projects, Urbana, Illinois continues to help its sister city Zomba, Malawi reach its full potential through projects that improve the lives of Zomba citizens. The relationship between Urbana and Zomba began in 2008. Two years later, Urbana was awarded an African Urban Poverty Alleviation Program (AUPAP) grant to address local health problems in sister city Zomba as well as promote peace and prosperity through ...

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Leipzig Helps Sister City Houston with Charity Concert

Saint Thomas Church
After the winds and torrents of Hurricane Harvey blew through southeastern Texas and beyond, residents of multiple cities have been left with the formidable task of rescuing and rebuilding their communities. Thankfully, countless organizations are making efforts to help these cities in any way they can, from food donations to emergency health kits—even from over 5,300 miles away. Houston’s sister city partners in Leipzig, Germany extended a helping hand by hosting a charity concert where all proceeds went to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Leipzig, ...

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