Celebrating Citizen Diplomats at our Annual Meeting

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It was a delight to celebrate 66 years of diplomacy at last week’s Annual Meeting in our new home at Pipeline Philadelphia. Launching our 2019 IMPACT REPORT, we shared compelling stories, showcasing how Citizen Diplomats are making the world a better place and paving the way for the next generation of Citizen Diplomats.

People – like you – make Citizen Diplomacy happen. I cannot thank all of you enough for for showing up and continuously demonstrating integrity, kindness and commitment to welcoming international visitors from across the globe. Cheers to YOU!

Here are some KEY MOMENTS from the evening..

2019 Citizen Diplomat of the Year Robert A. Swift reported on his remarkable work in the Philippines. A renowned human rights lawyer, Swift has worked on cases involving human rights abuses by former president of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos since the late 1980s. Swift was the lead counsel for victims who were recently awarded $13.75 milion by a United States court after three decades of work. Since March, Swift’s team has been travelling around the Philippines to distribute checks worth $1,500 each to at least 6,500 victims. This is how Citizen Diplomats from Philadelphia are spreading democracy and justice around the world.

Our future leaders, Abigail Brown and Seth Gross shared stories about their Sister Cities High School Exchanges. Their inspiring stories made us all so proud of our Philadelphia youth.

Abigail discovered a love for travel and new cultures and shard the most touching moment of her experience, “After traveling to Toruń, I got to host my student here in Philadelphia. I was sitting in my room and we were talking about our lives and all these personal things we are thinking about. I can’t believe how close I became to another person so quickly.”

Seth shared his story about losing his grandmother, the most influential person of his life, while on his culinary exchange in Florence. Before his trip, Seth’s grandmother practiced cooking different dishes with him and pushed Seth to go on this one-of-a-kind experience. He raved, “I just can’t believe how different everything was.”

You can watch Seth in this short video making a difficult style of ravioli with a raw egg yolk in the middle. Teacher Ben Wilson described it as, “the first moment of the trip, where I really got to see our students maturing in real-time. Seth saw a challenge and immediately jumped at it!”

You can see more photos from the 2020 Annual Meeting on Facebook – and please feel free to share them and tag your friends!

Thank you for supporting change makers. Citizen Diplomacy is thankful for you!

Take care,

Siobhán

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