Message from President & CEO
Thank YOU for reaching out to international peers during our virtual year in 2021 and our return to in-person programming in 2022.
You made it possible for virtual exchange programs to be a source of learning and connectivity. This Impact Report shows that it’s no small feat to build trust and advance peace and prosperity – over Zoom. But friendships are blossoming, lives are being changed, and lifelong connections are being made. You engaged with your fellow global citizens even through the worst two years of the pandemic.
As we found new avenues to connect with our world neighbors, you were right there with us. Citizen Diplomats, like you, care deeply about educating youth, counter-extremism, and keeping Philadelphia connected to the world. Inclusion matters in public diplomacy and because of your support, our programs build the social trust that is foundational to peace and prosperity, both locally and globally. Thank you for your continued support and friendship. (To download a copy of our full 2021 – 2022 Impact Report, click here.)
President and CEO Citizen Diplomacy International
IVLP 2021 Profile
IN-PERSON PROGRAMMING RETURNS WITH PROGRAM ON COMMUNITY POLICING
If you asked us what an ideal exchange looks like, we would say “one that touches Philadelphians from every walk of life – government representatives, business leaders, students, and the public.” That is exactly what our first in-person exchange since covid shutdowns was able to achieve. A delegation of 15 German police officers and nonprofit representatives visited Philadelphia and the surrounding region in October to discuss solutions and best practices in community policing. To read more, click here.
Sister Cities 2021 Profile
DIPLOMACY AND DIALOGUE WITH EINTRACHT MUSEUM FOCUSING ON JEWISH HERITAGE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Matthias Thoma is CEO of the Eintracht Museum in Frankfurt, one of our Sister Cities. His research is focused on educating the world about the history of Jewish heritage and the cultural significance of the German soccer league club. Matthias first engaged with Philadelphia in May 2021, through a virtual IVLP program called ‘Countering Holocaust Distortion and Denial’. From that experience, Matthias’ conversation with Citizen Diplomacy International opened a door for him to work with the Philadelphia Holocaust and Remembrance Foundation. To learn how that came about, check out this blog post.
Citizen Diplomat Academy Year 1: March 2021-April 2022
A FREE, VIRTUAL, INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Because of Covid-19, most school exchange programs have been put on hold since March 2020. Resulting in a loss in cross-cultural learning and international exposure. Starting in July 2020, Citizen Diplomacy aimed to tackle this challenge. We developed the Citizen Diplomat Academy, a virtual and completely free international exchange program for high school students. Bridging the gap in international education and starting a more equitable model for international exchange regardless of economic means. Students learn to apply the core skills of diplomacy, cross-cultural dialogue, STEM entrepreneurship, and social innovation. High school is such an important time for students. One introduction to an international friend at this point in their social development can influence the trajectory of their lives in a positive, lasting way. To read about how this program changed student Ryan Tucker’s perspective on the world, click here.
IMPACT REPORTS ARE NOT JUST ABOUT LOOKING BACK, BUT ALSO LOOKING FORWARD
Collaboration is key to meeting our mission and remaining a vital agent in Philadelphia’s international ecosystem. We will continue to stay nimble, pivoting every 3 months as Covid-19 variants postpone exchanges and short-term opportunities arise. Global curiosity drives Citizen Diplomats to partner with the world and Citizen Diplomacy is here and ready for the next chapter.
A Return to In-Person Exchanges: In 2022, we expect in-person to return in person equal to 100% pre-pandemic levels. There will be more single country exchanges, Covid-19 protocols, and longer stays in Philadelphia.
Expansion of Citizen Diplomat Academy: We will continue to fill the gap in international education for high school students, offering a virtual option and begin planning school-to-school in-person exchanges for 2023.
Permanent Virtual Exchanges: Countries may open and close borders because of Covid-19, but Citizen Diplomacy will ensure Philadelphia is connected globally.
Thank You to Our Partners & Donors