15 results for tag: citizen diplomacy

The Millennia-Long History of German Sister Cities

The earliest known city partnership in Europe was established in 836 between Paderborn, Germany and Le Mans, France. This partnership initially took the form of an “eternal brotherhood” between the dioceses of the two Catholic bishops. An official city partnership agreement was finally signed in 1967. Other pioneering German partnerships included Kiel, Germany and Sonderburg, Denmark in 1925 and Wiesbaden, Germany and Klagenfurt, Austria in 1930. However, the modern concept of “sister cities” as we know them was not launched until after WWII. To foster citizen diplomacy and sow the seeds of peaceful post-war coexistence, formal sister ...

Find a German Sister City Partnership Near You!

Germany has the fourth most US sister cities in the world, with approximately 100 partnerships across 31 states (including marked Friendship Cities and Emeritus Cities). Looking to strengthen the transatlantic relationship through person-to-person connections, or know students who may benefit from US-German programs? Use this interactive map to find a US city with a German partner near you and then click on the German flag icon to find a link to the partnership's website. A full list of US-German sister city partnerships can also be found here. An overview of Sister Cities' partnership with Wunderbar Together and further ways to get involved ...

Wunderbar Together: A Waterloo-Porta Westfalica Connection Formed in Heritage and Music, Sustained in Exchange

With its official biennial visits, summer student exchanges, scholarships, and a 5,000-strong “Portafest,” Waterloo’s ever-growing portfolio of programs with its sister city of Porta Westfalica, Germany has netted it “Illinois Sister City of the Year” awards in 2008 and 2017. Given the diversity of its programs now sustaining US-German ties for 38 years, it is surprising to think back to the Sister Cities of Porta Loo’s origins simply in shared heritage and music diplomacy.

Wunderbar Together: A Norfolk-Wilhelmshaven Exchange Transcending Generations

Jennifer Priest of the Norfolk Sister City Association and her family have personally been impacted by the lasting German-American ties formed through this program. “My daughter participated in the 2001-02 exchange. We are still close with those German ‘kids’ who are now 30-somethings with their own families. They still come to us for holidays. Because of the age of our program, we have had second generation participants.”

Hurricane Dorian, Just Another Unavoidable Disaster? Can Community Members Make a Difference?

Photo: Creative Commons, "NASAHurricaneEarl" by gd4jc is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0    “Here all roads now lead directly to the ocean.” This is not a local catch-phrase to attract tourists, but a firsthand account, by Ginger Moxey, my Bahamian friend and Sister Cities International colleague, of the damage wreaked by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas over the past week. With every extreme weather event, from forest fires to floods, from hurricanes to heat waves, we are reminded of the growing impact the weather and climate change are having on day-to-day life. Rising and warming seas lead to stronger storms and heavier floodi...