Sister Cities International Welcomes New Board of Directors and Elects New Executive Leadership

2018 Board of Directors
Following a membership-wide election, 11 individuals were elected to Sister Cities International’s Board of Directors. The elections took place during Sister Cities International’s Annual Business Meeting at its 2018 Annual Conference in Aurora, Colorado on August 3, 2018. Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio, Texas assumed his position as Board Chairman after serving two years as Vice Chair, and Carol Robertson Lopez of Santa Fe, New Mexico was elected as Vice Chair by the Board of Directors. Lawrence Uebner of Omaha, Nebraska was re-elected as Treasurer. Clare Petrich of ...

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“I am everyone’s mayor” Bergen’s Lord Mayor visits Seattle

Mayor Mjøs Persen and Marit Sagen Grung at Kerry Park with view of Space Needle Photo: Lori Ann Reinhall
Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall, president, Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association Lord Mayor Marte Mjøs Persen is a woman with a very busy schedule. Besides sitting at the helm of Norway's second largest city, she is also the mother of four. Her now grown-up son was followed by triplets, still in their preschool years, as she juggles the demands of home and office. With her busy travel schedule in Norway and Europe, a trip across the Atlantic is not easy to fit in. But when the opportunity to represent Bergen at the opening of the new Seattle Nordic Museum came up last ...

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Highland Park, IL Celebrates Another Successful Art Exchange with Sister City Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

This past July, Highland Park, Illinois hosted a delegation from its sister city Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Among those in the delegation were two artists, Abdallahy and Santiago Polvos. The pieces created by Abdallahy require 4D glasses to be worn when viewing in order to be fully appreciated and they are deeply rooted in ancient Mexican culture. Polvos is a well-known artist in Puerto Vallarta and his work is known for his unique use of light and images depicting Mexican subjects and themes. The artists exhibited at The Art Center (TAC) in Highland Park and at the Mexican ...

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Cities Leading the Way: 2018 Annual Conference

Roger-Mark De Souza with Attendees
from Roger-Mark De Souza Dear Fellow Citizen Diplomats, I have just returned to D.C. from Aurora for our 2018 Annual Conference, "Cities Leading the Way." We had more than 500 attendees, including the students who attended our Youth Leadership Summit. For those of you who came, I cannot thank you enough for sharing with me the experience of my first Annual Conference. I hope you all learned a lot and, most of all, had fun with your Sister City counterparts from around the world. I invite attendees to take our post-conference survey to share your feedback. We want to ...

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Dixon, IL Initiates New Work Exchange With Sister City Herzberg, Germany

Officer Kathrin Sure of the Herzberg/Elster, Germany Police Department spent three months in Dixon, Illinois earlier this year. The two cities began their Sister City relationship in 1999 when Herzberg Mayor Michael Oecknigk reached out to his contacts in the United States. Annually, the two cities send delegations to each other during which members reside in home stays. They will celebrate their 20th sister-city anniversary this upcoming year. Mayor Oecknigk first suggested this professional exchange to Officer Sure and to the city of Dixon in 2017.  They spent a year ...

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Congratulations to the 2018 Young Artists and Authors Showcase Winners

Building the Bridge Between Nations by McKay Osborne, 2018 YAAS winner
We want to extend a huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2018 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 the "Art of Diplomacy," which highlights the importance of citizen diplomacy and the innovative ...

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Photojournalist Meets New Generation of Norwegian Americans in Seattle

Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall These days the debate on immigration is hot, both in the United States and in Norway. In both parts of the world, spiraling numbers of migrants and refugees are seeking better lives, with challenges along the way. Currently there is talk of an immigration crisis at the U.S. border, with families separated and ongoing talk of a wall, and in Europe there are continual discussions of quotas and how immigrants can be better assimilated into society. Yet the topic of immigration is nothing new, and for Norwegian Americans, it has a long ...

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Union Pacific Corporation Receives the 2018 Sister Cities International Citizen Diplomacy Corporate Responsibility Award

Union Pacific Corporation Logo
Union Pacific Corporation has been nominated to receive the 2018 Sister Cities International Citizen Diplomacy Corporate Responsibility Award on behalf of the Board of Directors and Sister Cities International (SCI) Network Senior Leadership and Management Team. Each year, the SCI Senior Leadership and Management Team juries corporate partners nominated by field leaders from our city membership. Union Pacific Corporation was recommended by the Omaha Sister City Organization in acknowledgement of their longstanding partnership throughout the greater Nebraska Sister ...

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Xi’an Delegates Participate in Kansas City’s Dragon Boat Festival

A four member delegation from Kansas City's Sister City; Xi'an, China; participated in the 14th annual Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival on June 9, 2018. The delegation was led by Hanyun Dai, Advisor of the Xi'an Municipal Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office. The other delegates included two award-winning performers of Chinese traditional musical instruments, Nan Ma and Ting Li, and horse-dancing trainer Bing Wang. Besides dragon boat races, Kansas City's dragon boat festival has stage performances and cultural demonstrations. The hour-long music ...

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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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