Juneau Extends a Friendly Hand Over the Bering Sea

Members of the Vladivostok Sister Cities Committee
The long-dormant relationship between Juneau, the capital city of Alaska, and its sister city in Eastern Russia, Vladivostok, was rejuvenated early last month when American Consul General Michael Keays delivered a book to the sister city committee there. The book, written by Alaskan author David Ramseur, describes the blossoming of citizen diplomacy efforts across the Bering Sea during the late 1980s and early 90s, set against the backdrop of the collapse of the Soviet Union and normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia. Families ...

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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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Dortmund Comes to Buffalo in April for 40th Anniversary Tour

Buffalo New York
The Oberbürgermeister der Stadt (or Lord Mayor) of Dortmund, Germany, will lead a delegation of 20 government, education, and business leaders to Buffalo, New York, to help celebrate the two sister cities’ 40th anniversary next month. The delegates will attend the ground breaking ceremony on April 15 for a future park on the shore of Lake Erie, to be named Dortmund Park as a testament to the two cities’ historic partnership. Lord Mayor Ullrich Sierau and the others will then spend the rest of the day meeting with their American counterparts and building upon their ...

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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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Birmingham Ushers in the Year of the Dog

Birmingham and Chao Yang District Lunar New Year Celebration
Record crowds flocked to an auditorium in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, last month to celebrate the Lunar New Year, in an event featuring performances by dancers of all ages, and even a Beijing Opera singer. The city’s 12th Annual Chinese New Year Festival drew more than 4,000 people, not including performers from Birmingham’s sister city Chao Yang District (in the Chinese capital city of Beijing) and Chinese-Americans and others from the Birmingham area. The festival is just one of the many international events sponsored or founded by the Birmingham Sister ...

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Philippine High School Students to Spend Summer in Virginia City

Norfolk Virginia at Sunset
The deadline is fast approaching for high school students from Cagayan de Oro, in the Philippines, to apply to visit Norfolk, Virginia, as part of a new summer exchange program between the two sister cities later this year. The Philippine students will stay with Norfolk High School students and their families during the first half of July, and are expected to visit local monuments, museums, parks, souvenir shops, and the city’s naval base. They will also visit the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. The new program was organized by Cheryl McGarrigle, chair of ...

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The City of Auburn Goes to the Olympics

A delegation from the City of Auburn, Washington will touch down in South Korea this week to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. They come at the invitation of host city PyeongChang, who counts Auburn as its only American sister city. Seven delegates, including Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and others involved with the sister city program, will join delegations from PyeongChang’s sister cities in Japan, China, and Mongolia for the opening ceremony. The cities of Auburn and PyeongChang entered into talks to become sister cities nearly a decade ago. ...

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Virtual Classroom Links Schools in Highland Park and Puerto Vallarta and Modena through Poetry

A virtual classroom project launched this month, connecting Elm Place Middle School in Highland Park, Illinois, to Los Volcanes School in Highland Park’s sister city Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico. The joint effort of the Highland Park Sister Cities Foundation (HPSCF) and the Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities Committee connects the classes of Elm Place teacher Lori Wyatt and Los Volcanes teacher Raul Gibran through the study of poetry. Using a virtual platform called Edmodo, students will explore the values we share with people in other countries. The project also enables ...

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Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein Presents Citizen Diplomacy Award to Council Bluffs Sister Cities Association

Citizen Diplomacy Award 2018
1/24/2018 WASHINGTON, DC (January 24, 2018) – Sister Cities International congratulates one of its members, the Council Bluffs Sister Cities Association, on receiving the Bureau of Public Affair’s annual Citizen Diplomacy award. Steve Goldstein, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, will present the award at a ceremony to be held at 4pm on Monday, January 29, 2018, at the U.S. Department of State. The Citizen Diplomacy Award was created in recognition of American citizens and organizations engaged in international work that furthers U.S. foreign ...

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Legislators Bring the World to Annapolis

Legislators and officials in Annapolis welcomed delegations from Maryland’s 20 sister state relationships late last month to showcase their programs’ achievements over the past year at the annual Sister States Legislative Reception. The event also fosters greater cultural awareness in the Maryland community through special food, drinks, and items characteristic of each of Maryland’s sister states (in 17 countries total) set up at tables in an exhibit hall. This year’s reception, which was held January 30, also featured cultural performances by Chinese Taiji ...

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