Sister Cities of Cary: Citizen Diplomacy Summit March 15

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo of the Trocadero in Paris by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Cary’s Sister Cities Commission believes you start global dialogue one person at a time. They are putting their beliefs into action by hosting Citizen Diplomacy Summit on March 15.

Citizen Diplomats

The concept behind the summit is that we are all “citizen diplomats”. Everyone is a diplomat for their town, their community, their organization. When you meet new people in other groups, communities, towns or countries, you are representing where you are from, and creating a lasting impression about where you are from.

From Sister Cities:

In an era of increasing globalization, more and more people develop their most lasting impressions through face-to-face, personal encounters, when people visit the United States or when Americans travel abroad. In this context, the “citizen diplomat” is a powerful force in defining the United States to the rest of the world.

With the US at war in several areas around the globe, negative sentiment about the US abounds. Maybe its time we learned how to engage our neighbors better, to discover maybe we aren’t so different afterall?

Numerous polls and studies document that anti-American sentiment around the globe is dangerously high and has grown to unprecedented levels. The U.S. is falling behind in the race for engagement with the world, international competitiveness, and global education excellence. We need to dramatically increase our capacity to reach out to the rest of the world to foster common interests and values.

One Handshake at a Time

Think you don’t or can’t make a difference? this seminar wants to change your mind. The theme is “What A Difference One Person Can Make!” We’ve been told seating is limited, please click here to register in advance.

“Our goal for the summit is to help citizens of Cary and the Triangle understand the importance of being globally engaged,” said Jennifer Jones, President of the Sister Cities Association of Cary.

What to Expect

Panel Discussion with Frank Stasio

Cary Mayor, Harold Weinbrecht, will open the evening, then listen to a distinguished panel of speakers discuss how international relationships at the grassroots level impact U.S. foreign relations.  The discussion will be moderated by Frank Stasio, longtime NPR correspondent and host of WUNC’s The State of Things.

Arab Spring

A special appearance will be made by Sacrificial Poets, Will McInerney and Kane Smego, nationally recognized spoken word poets and youth educators. They will be presenting “Poetic Portraits of a Revolution,” sharing their Egyptian and Tunisian “Arab Spring” experiences.

Browse Displays

Guests are invited to browse expo booths and displays, and socialize with panelists and fellow guests at a reception following the summit. Refreshments will be served.

Thanks go out to the Sister Cities Association of Cary and the Town of Cary for sponsoring this event and to the Cary Chamber of Commerce and the International Affairs Council for their support.

Event Details

2012 Citizen Diplomacy Summit
Thursday, March 15, 2012
5:oo – 9:00 PM
Cost for attendees: Free


Community news on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Cary Visual Art.

1 reply
  1. Lani
    Lani says:

    Prior to moving to Cary, I managed Hostelling International Santa Cruz, a small hostel catering to both domestic and world travelers. Hostelling International’s belief has always been that through travel, we can understand the world better. Not only were guests at the hostel diplomats for their countries, but the staff, volunteers, and citizens of our beach town were diplomats as well. It was an amazing experience and one that I encourage others, of all ages, to take part in. I highly recommend checking our Hostelling International USA’s website at for more information on how hostels can expand the horizons of both traveller and host.

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