The Citizen Diplomacy Summit: Building Cultural Bridges

citizen diplomacy

The summit encourages participants to talk about what they have in common.

Cary, NC — The Sister Cities Association of Cary is hosting its 6th annual Citizen Diplomacy Summit on Thursday, September 11, 2014, at the Cary Theater, located Downtown.

SCAC: The Best Kept Secret in Cary

I had the privilege of speaking with Barbara Shepard, a member of the Sister Cities since 2009 and its current President. She informed me that the association sometimes calls themselves “Cary’s Best Kept Secret”–and now I know why.

The Sister Cities Association of Cary, or SCAC, has been around since the late 1980s. They act both globally and locally to foster relationships, cultural exchanges, and educational and economic development between “sister cities” in other countries and between cultural groups right here in our community. Visit the SCAC website to learn more about the association and about their relationships with cities in France, Ireland, Taiwan, and Canada.

The 6th Annual Citizen Diplomacy Summit

The Citizen Diplomacy Summit invites Cary residents from all cultural groups and backgrounds to participate in an interactive panel discussion and to enjoy food and fellowship with others. This year’s summit, themed “Building Cultural Bridges in the Age of Social Media,” will explore the relationship between technology and the fostering of intercultural relationships.

The summit is meant to foster dialogue about Cary’s cultural diversity and about the ways in which the community can become more involved in intercultural interactions through the use of social media.

This year’s discussion will begin with a networking reception featuring food and drink, followed by a 9/11 tribute. Later, a screening of the two winning videos from this past summer’s video competition for young people aged 18-25 will be shown. The competition asked young adults to show what “building cultural bridges” meant to them. Barbara informed me that the videos are not just interesting; additionally, they feature two very different viewpoints on the subject.

After the screening, the discussion will commence with conversation fostered by several very special guest speakers, including the Program Director of the International Visitor Leadership Program at National Focus, the Founder of LOL Marketing, and a 2014 NC State graduate who advocates for international and youth exchanges.

Event Details

The Citizen Diplomacy Summit
Building Cultural Bridges in the Age of Social Media

Thursday, September 11th, 7:00 p.m.
The Cary Theater
122 East Chatham Street
Downtown Cary

To purchase tickets for the dinner and discussion, visit this website or stop by the Cary Arts Center box office. $ 10.00 general admission

3 replies
  1. Doc Thorne
    Doc Thorne says:

    What a great nonprofit Sister Cities is. I’m looking forward to the Diplomacy event and hope that others will join us tomorrow night. Joanie has worked very hard on making it both entertaining and informative and I’m sure anyone who joins us will come away with a better understanding of who Sister Cities is and the tireless effort SCAC puts forth ‘Building Cultural Bridges’.

  2. Joanie
    Joanie says:

    Thanks for the article. A few corrections. The Sister Cities Association of Cary acronym is SCAC. Thursday’s citizen diplomacy event begins with a networking reception featuring food and drink as well as a cash bar.

    Following the reception, there will be a 9/11 tribute, and then the screening of the student films and interactive panel discussion on digital diplomacy. All of the information, including information about our panelists and presenters can be found at the website. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Cary Art Center box office or online here:

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