Alexander P. Durtka, Jr. Receives the Order of the Rising Sun Award

Sister Cities International would like to congratulate Alexander P. Durtka, Jr. President, Japan-America Society of Wisconsin; President & CEO, International Institute of Wisconsin; Board Member, Wisconsin-Chiba, Inc. for being awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. The Conferment ceremony and dinner in his honor will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019. Al is being recognized for his dedication and passion in promoting friendly relations between Japan and the United States, specifically through the Wisconsin-Chiba sister state relationship. ...

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Sister Cities International: Promoting Peace and Cooperation

Photos by: Bruce Guthrie Imagine an American non-profit, non-partisan organization that reaches out to improve lives in cities, towns and villages around the globe. President Dwight Eisenhower first had that dream in 1956. It has now enhanced mutual respect and understanding through worldwide exchanges for more than seven decades. Roger-Mark De Souza, the new president of Sister Cities International, electrified an audience of public diplomacy professionals and scholars at George Washington University on a rainy Monday in one of the most heartfelt, moving and ...

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Former Foreign Service Officer Explains the Importance of Volunteering in Your Local Sister City Organization

Kate Bentley, former U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer, tells us the value and importance of volunteering in your local sister city organization. As she explains, these volunteers are helping build a foundation to form a relationship that will lead to mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.  These partnerships begin for a variety of reasons and can result in long-term benefits including economic ones. Most interesting is Kate’s response when someone asks her about the importance of sister cities --- “I tell them, you know, let’s put it on a ...

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Sister Cities Boulder-Lhasa: Music, Medicine and Memories

two men play piano with young lady while mother looks on
The motto, "One individual, one community at a time" is a critical piece to the Sister Cities mission. It reminds Sister Cities volunteers and community members striving to connect with the distant peoples of their Sister Cities, that the cooperation ignited by Sister Cities organizations is only as successful as the quality of the relationships the work inspires. This story from Sister Cities Bolder-Lhasa is exceptional in its ambition to help a young girl named Lhungtse suffering from an illness which required brain surgery. But what makes it such a perfect example of a ...

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Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association Makes Wintertime Musical Magic

The tour’s final concert was held at the historic Emigrant Church at Sletta in Radøy, but it did not mark the end of the group’s collaboration, with plans for a new Christmas CD to be released in 2019.
By Lori Ann Reinhall, President, Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association When the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association talks about music, we mean “Music!” with a capital “M” and an exclamation mark! This is exactly what was delivered at our winter holiday production that brought together some of the best musicians from both sides of the Atlantic. From Seattle, Allion Salvador (violin), Rachel Nesvig (violin), Aleida Gehrels (viola), and Zoë Kohen Ley (cello) came together as the Seattle-Bergen String Quartet to collaborate with soprano Reidun Horvei and pianist ...

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An End of Year Message from Roger-Mark De Souza

Sister Cities International's President & CEO, Roger-Mark De Souza, shares a message of thanks to SCI members and supporters for a standout year of advancing citizen diplomacy worldwide.

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Charleston Sister Cities’ Trade Mission to Panama City

crowd standing in front of george washington painting
This week, Charleston Sister Cities International (CSCI) in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Commerce (SCDOC) reported that their recent trade mission to Panama City, Panama was a success. As a result of the Trade Mission visit this past October, business opportunities ranging from biomedical to agricultural were identified and are in various stages of negotiations. Economic development projects between Sister Cities are one of the most exciting ways for cities to connect. In addition to a positive impact on the local economy, these partnerships ...

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SCI Chair Ron Nirenberg Meets with Mrs. Akie Abe of Japan

Mayor of San Antonio and Sister Cities International Board Chair, Ron Nirenberg, with Mrs. Akie Abe, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan
San Antonio Mayor and Chairman of Sister Cities International,  Ron Nirenberg recently met with Mrs. Akie Abe, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan. During their meeting, they discussed the importance of Sister City relationships and importance of supporting the next gen to continue to learn about each country by promoting youth exchanges.  This is the second meeting of Sister Cities International leadership with Mrs Abe who has expressed her interest in supporting the efforts to promote continued cultural and educational ties between the U.S. and Japan. Thank you ...

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City Of Issaquah Wins SCI Award for Innovation in Arts and Culture

Two people standing in front of utility box wrapped with laminate decal displaying a painting
Sister Cities International's mission is the belief that cooperation across borders is more effective when we engage communities “one individual at a time." In this spirit, the City of Issaquah Sister Cities Commission launched a unique cultural project which introduces the works of artists from Issaquah’s Sister Cities to residents by wrapping electrical utility boxes in prints of the paintings. This innovative project enables every resident, whether stuck in traffic or crossing the street, to engage with their Sister Cities locally. Story Submitted by City of ...

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Seattle String Quartet Bergen Bound: A Sister Cities Musical Exchange

The String Quartet with their instruments
Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall, President of Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association A few years ago, Reidun Horvei, a well known classical trained folksinger from Voss in Hordaland, made the long journey from Norway to Seattle to do research for her project Migrasong, an original Norwegian folk musical that would chronicle the emigrant journey from Norway to America. As president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association and a musician who had worked with the Scandinavian immigrant repertory, I was fortunate enough to be invited to meet with Reidun. With so much ...

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