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Sparks Curiosity

Citizen Diplomacy is a catalyst for questions and critical thinking about our world. What does the world believe about America? What do we have in common? What would it be like to walk in your shoes? 

Teaches Communication

Dialogue is the heart of diplomacy. Our programs create safe spaces where people to talk to each other with respect. By developing skilled communicators, we also develop empowered peacebuilders.

Inspires Us to See the World Differently

Visitors come to Philadelphia from over 100 countries each year and teach us new viewpoints. Education is a vital tool in peacebuilding efforts and business negotiation, too.

Creates Relationships

Face-to-face, you can't ignore a person's humanity. When turbulent foreign policy puts America’s reputation in doubt, it is people-to-people and city-city relationships that prove to be long-lasting.

Sister Cities High School Exchange to Toruń
Sister Cities High School Exchange to Toruń

Our future depends on inspiring a new generation of Citizen Diplomats. The first step is ensuring that our future leaders are open-minded and act with a nuanced view of the world.

In partnership with the City of Philadelphia, Citizen Diplomats, like you, send our students abroad on exchange programs to ensure our young people have a global view of the future and an appreciation of the international workforce. To understand our world, you must travel.

Our Sister City school exchanges transform the lives of our youth and inspire a global mindset. Let me tell you about one of our students, Christiana from Science Leadership Academy, who traveled to Frankfurt, Germany in Spring 2019.  Here is what she said of her experience:

“My travel has helped me learn that although we live in different places, we share so much in common. What surprised me the most on the trip was that Turkish culture has heavily influenced Germany, just like how Latin American culture has heavily influenced America.  I’ve always been keeping in touch with my international friends and host family. They are my second family.”

This October, Christiana and her fellow students were able to welcome her German friends here in Philadelphia. All of our exchanges are reciprocal, so friendships can develop over the years and each student can experience what it's like to be an ambassador for their country. They also toured Philly’s best colleges while they were here.

We would like to support 100 students per year on Sister City high school exchanges - many seeing the world for the first time. Your gifts help pay for buses to the airport, tickets to cultural sites and scholarships to support to those who need it most. When you invest in students like Christiana, you inspire a global mindset that will make them tomorrow’s international leaders.

These young people need your support to travel. If you make a gift today, you will help our Philly kids see the big wide world out there just waiting for them.

The Gritty Truth of Anti-Corruption in Allentown
The Gritty Truth of Anti-Corruption in Allentown

Recently, we hosted a delegation of Afghani officials, who wanted to see how America holds our elected officials accountable and prevent corruption. In their home, Afghanistan, they are fighting corruption, bribery and graft. In September, the State Department cut $100 million in aid for Afghanistan citing a lack of transparency in handling aid.

We took them to Allentown to talk with the key figures who convicted a sitting Mayor on 47 counts of corruption. The lead prosecutor walked us through the investigation and trials. A tenacious reporter told how free press kept the citizens informed of the truth during the very public trial. The current Mayor shared the legislative backstops and political fallout. Our visitors were given the very best of America - gritty, candid truth.

After the session in Allentown, Muhammad, one of the delegates reflected on the American experience. He was impressed with how honest and open Americans are. We don’t cover up for people in positions of authority. His take away was that in cases of corruption, individuals have great power to uphold our ideals.

When emerging leaders connect through our programs, they form a global network of changemakers who strengthen each other. This is how you are changing the world.

You help leaders like Muhammad tackle the world’s biggest challenges through international exchange.