439 results for author: info@sister-cities.org


The Role of Exchanges in Countering Disinformation

The internet has changed the way people consume and communicate information. Living in the digital age has had a number of positive effects on society, allowing people to have access to services and information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, the internet may also be used as a weapon to mislead and manipulate. Exchanges, people-to-people programs and citizen diplomacy play a significant role in America's whole-of-government approach to countering disinformation and media manipulation.  In fact, exchanges provide the sustained societal engagement that not only fosters resilience in individuals and communities, but also positively influences ...

Wunderbar Together: A Waterloo-Porta Westfalica Connection Formed in Heritage and Music, Sustained in Exchange

With its official biennial visits, summer student exchanges, scholarships, and a 5,000-strong “Portafest,” Waterloo’s ever-growing portfolio of programs with its sister city of Porta Westfalica, Germany has netted it “Illinois Sister City of the Year” awards in 2008 and 2017. Given the diversity of its programs now sustaining US-German ties for 38 years, it is surprising to think back to the Sister Cities of Porta Loo’s origins simply in shared heritage and music diplomacy.

Citizen Diplomats Work to Strengthen Mutual Understanding and Engage Local Communities on Global Matters

Citizen diplomats working to strengthen mutual understanding, create personal connections across borders, and engage local communities on global matters.  This is work that is familiar and fundamental to those in both the Sister Cities International and the Global Ties U.S. networks.  It was a natural fit then, for these two communities to come together in a recent exchange through the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). In July, 16 mayors and city leaders from around the world gathered to explore the role that cities play in diplomacy, foreign policy, and global engagement. This IVLP exchange, implemented by ...

SCI and Thriving Earth Exchange Help Communities Form Partnerships to Advance Priorities on Climate, Natural Hazards and Natural Resources

Cities all over the world are facing increased impacts from climate-related, natural hazards and natural resources issues. As your community works with Sister Cities International (SCI) in sanitation, water, health and natural disasters-related issues, consider whether partnering with a scientist might augment your community’s resilience and sustainability.  SCI and Thriving Earth Exchange have a burgeoning partnership to help both US and international communities find scientists to help communities advance community priorities in climate, natural hazards and natural resources. There are three ways your city can get involved: Learn ...

Wunderbar Together: A Norfolk-Wilhelmshaven Exchange Transcending Generations

Jennifer Priest of the Norfolk Sister City Association and her family have personally been impacted by the lasting German-American ties formed through this program. “My daughter participated in the 2001-02 exchange. We are still close with those German ‘kids’ who are now 30-somethings with their own families. They still come to us for holidays. Because of the age of our program, we have had second generation participants.”

Hurricane Dorian, Just Another Unavoidable Disaster? Can Community Members Make a Difference?

Photo: Creative Commons, "NASAHurricaneEarl" by gd4jc is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0    “Here all roads now lead directly to the ocean.” This is not a local catch-phrase to attract tourists, but a firsthand account, by Ginger Moxey, my Bahamian friend and Sister Cities International colleague, of the damage wreaked by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas over the past week. With every extreme weather event, from forest fires to floods, from hurricanes to heat waves, we are reminded of the growing impact the weather and climate change are having on day-to-day life. Rising and warming seas lead to stronger storms and heavier floodi...

A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, REFLECTION AND RE-ENVISIONING OUR WORLD

A Call to Compassion, Peace and Community Dedicated to Our Children and Our Children’s Children   WHEREAS, Mass shooting rates continue to rise in countries all around the world, killing innocent people and eroding any collective sense of safety and shared humanity, WHEREAS, In the United States alone there have been 2,180 mass shootings, killing over 2,400 people and wounding 9,125, since Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, WHEREAS, Recent attacks stretching from Texas to Afghanistan, from rifling within stores and bars to car bombings near police stations, our senses of safety has been undermined, fueling fear on a ...

A Call for Compassion, Peace and Community

On behalf of our Sister Cities International network, all of our members and partners, we would like to extend our most sincere condolences to the communities, families, and individuals in Gilroy, CA, Dayton, OH, and El Paso, TX who have been affected by the violent acts perpetrated over the past few days. We laud the work of the first responders and medical professionals who have done everything in their power to heal the wounds of these attacks. These tragedies cannot, and should not, be overlooked. In this trying time for our country, we turn to what unites us, and what makes us stronger together. All three communities have come together to ...

SCI Expresses Its Condolences to the Family and Friends of Former Organization Executive Thomas W. Gittins

The Sister Cities International team would like to express its condolences to the family and friends of Tom Gittins, who passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on July 6, 2019. Tom's dedication in promoting SCI's core values of understanding, mutual respect, and cooperation has left an ever-lasting imprint on SCI. We are extremely grateful for Tom's many years of service to our organization, and for his commitment and devotion to promoting citizen diplomacy. He will be truly missed. Tom Gittins was President of Gittins & Associates, Inc., a consulting services firm specializing in international programs and projects, special project ...

Congratulations to the 2019 Young Artists and Authors Showcase Winners

We want to extend a huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2019 Young Artists and Authors Showcase. For decades, Sister Cities International has leveraged the power that art has to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries through the Young Artists and Authors Showcase. The Showcase has given youth worldwide the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original artwork and literature. This year's theme was "Global Citizens: Resilient Communities" which highlights the importance of citizen diplomacy and the innovative ways that an individual or community can prepare for adversity or ...