Citizen Diplomats are.. Community Connectors

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Modelling Diversity and Multiculturalism

The Philadelphia chapter of 100 Black Men hosted 10 community leaders and activists from Africa to examine the impact of multiculturalism on political life in the U.S. They discussed the history of the Civil Rights Movement, its role in fostering tolerance, and the organization’s model of family and individual mentoring programs and after-school and weekend activities. Said English teacher Jean-Jacques from Gabon, “Shame on me if I go back to my country and do not try to replicate some of what I have learned and seen here in Philadelphia! Thank you for the opportunity to discover new possibilities. I am inspired and have regained hope.”

Investigating Innovations Abroad

Ricardo Calderon, Philadelphia’s director of youth engagement, travelled to our Sister City Frankfurt, Germany to participate in a professional development fellowship. Ricardo met with the Frankfurt Youth and Social Welfare Office and the Department of Integration and Education. He visited Gymnasium Riedberg, one of the high schools partnered for Sister City High School exchanges with Philadelphia. To see how our Sister City has redeveloped its own industrial areas,
Ricardo also visited Atelier Naxoshalle, a former factory building converted to house cultural events and artist studios.

Sustaining Sister City Relationships

In June, 20 South Korean delegates from Philadelphia’s Sister City, Incheon, visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell — sites key to the formation of the United States. A tour of the National Constitution Center provided background and added color to the history behind creating the U.S. Constitution. Later in the afternoon, they visited Reading Terminal Market and the Convention Center to explore the local arts and produce and re-emphasized their ongoing relationship to the Sister City by visiting the sculpture that Incheon donated to Philadelphia.

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