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BECAUSE THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION IS UNDERSTANDING

Get connected to a powerful local resource for international relations, global education and cultural competency. Whether you’re traveling to sister cities or participating in community programs, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of different cultures that can help foster a more peaceful, prosperous world. Learn more.

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MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

Our global education programs are designed to support lifelong learning and cultural competence. We’re not just making people smarter. We’re making the world better.

Sister Cities Presents Global Impact Awards

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (October 21, 2021) – Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 20th Mayor’s International Dinner & Global Awards will be held Nov. 11, 2021 at the River Ranch Stockyards. Tickets can be purchased here.

Mayor Mattie Parker and Dinner Chairs, Dr. Rachael and Carlo Capua are hosting an evening of international cuisine and entertainment as Sister Cities celebrates its first sister city, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Global Awards will also be presented to individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to citizen diplomacy, global understanding, world political stability and international commerce in the following categories.

Jerry Boonyaratanakornkit and Rich Petronis – GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD. This is a new award created to recognize a trail-blazing business based on their vision to achieve their goals and to promote Fort Worth globally, developing international partnerships and establishing global connections to provide understanding of other cultures.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth – GLOBAL CITIZENS AWARD. This award recognizes organizations that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth creating a positive view of the U.S. through educational, humanitarian or cultural initiatives. Last year’s awardee was the Links, Inc.

The Kimbell Art Museum – GLOBAL NEXUS AWARD. Awarded last year to Cook Children’s Health Care System, this award recognizes businesses that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth to the world creating commerce and a healthier community for all.

Miguel Harth-Bedoya – GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD. This award is based on an individual’s role in promoting Fort Worth globally, developing international partnerships, and establishing connections, particularly in the areas of business, culture, education, immigration, and tourism. Past honorees include: 2015 Recipient: U. S. Congresswoman Kay Granger 2017 Recipient: Bob Jameson 2019 Recipient: Ross Perot, Jr.

2021-10-25 08:52

Sister Cities Presents Global Impact Awards

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (October 21, 2021) – Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 20th Mayor’s International Dinner & Global Awards will be held Nov. 11, 2021 at the River Ranch Stockyards. Tickets can be purchased here.

Mayor Mattie Parker and Dinner Chairs, Dr. Rachael and Carlo Capua are hosting an evening of international cuisine and entertainment as Sister Cities celebrates its first sister city, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Global Awards will also be presented to individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to citizen diplomacy, global understanding, world political stability and international commerce in the following categories.

Jerry Boonyaratanakornkit and Rich Petronis – GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD. This is a new award created to recognize a trail-blazing business based on their vision to achieve their goals and to promote Fort Worth globally, developing international partnerships and establishing global connections to provide understanding of other cultures.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth – GLOBAL CITIZENS AWARD. This award recognizes organizations that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth creating a positive view of the U.S. through educational, humanitarian or cultural initiatives. Last year’s awardee was the Links, Inc.

The Kimbell Art Museum – GLOBAL NEXUS AWARD. Awarded last year to Cook Children’s Health Care System, this award recognizes businesses that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth to the world creating commerce and a healthier community for all.

Miguel Harth-Bedoya – GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD. This award is based on an individual’s role in promoting Fort Worth globally, developing international partnerships, and establishing connections, particularly in the areas of business, culture, education, immigration, and tourism. Past honorees include: 2015 Recipient: U. S. Congresswoman Kay Granger 2017 Recipient: Bob Jameson 2019 Recipient: Ross Perot, Jr.

36th Annual Meeting a Big Success

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (Sept. 20, 2021) – Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 36th Annual Meeting was held earlier this month at the Hilton Hotel, attended by over 200 community leaders and members.

A major announcement was made regarding the creation of the Connect Globally Endowment for International Relations which was established by a generous gift from Connie Beck and Frank Tilley in memory of their parents James and Janeyl Beck and Gordon and Mable Tilley. The endowment was created to ensure that the valuable work done by Fort Worth Sister Cities International is sustained well into the future. For information about the endowment click here.

Fort Worth Sister Cities also honored several individuals and organizations for their work in the community and promotion of Fort Worth around the world.

The Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership was awarded to Cindy Johnson. Johnson helped lead Sister Cities’ Long Range Planning effort by creating an exciting vision of the future. She helped create a new vision for Fort Worth Sister Cities International to become a hub for international relations in the City of Fort Worth.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare was awarded the Eisenhower Award for Organizational Involvement. During the pandemic, MedStar donated an ambulance to Fort Worth’s sister city of Toluca, Mexico. Not only was it used to help during the pandemic, but it is now being used to assist victims of domestic violence.

Milena Razack received the prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award. Razack began by home hosting many students, as well as holding events in her home as part of the planning team for the International Leadership Academies in 2020 and in 2021. Parents of youth ambassadors often get involved in programs by home hosting.

“In an increasingly divided world, Sister Cities brings individuals, cultures and countries together for the benefit of all,” said Becky Renfro Borbolla, Board Chairman. “We are grateful for these committed volunteers and organizations who know what it means to be good citizen diplomats.”

See the photos from the 36th Annual Meeting.

2021-09-20 03:49

36th Annual Meeting a Big Success

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (Sept. 20, 2021) – Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 36th Annual Meeting was held earlier this month at the Hilton Hotel, attended by over 200 community leaders and members.

A major announcement was made regarding the creation of the Connect Globally Endowment for International Relations which was established by a generous gift from Connie Beck and Frank Tilley in memory of their parents James and Janeyl Beck and Gordon and Mable Tilley. The endowment was created to ensure that the valuable work done by Fort Worth Sister Cities International is sustained well into the future. For information about the endowment click here.

Fort Worth Sister Cities also honored several individuals and organizations for their work in the community and promotion of Fort Worth around the world.

The Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership was awarded to Cindy Johnson. Johnson helped lead Sister Cities’ Long Range Planning effort by creating an exciting vision of the future. She helped create a new vision for Fort Worth Sister Cities International to become a hub for international relations in the City of Fort Worth.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare was awarded the Eisenhower Award for Organizational Involvement. During the pandemic, MedStar donated an ambulance to Fort Worth’s sister city of Toluca, Mexico. Not only was it used to help during the pandemic, but it is now being used to assist victims of domestic violence.

Milena Razack received the prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award. Razack began by home hosting many students, as well as holding events in her home as part of the planning team for the International Leadership Academies in 2020 and in 2021. Parents of youth ambassadors often get involved in programs by home hosting.

“In an increasingly divided world, Sister Cities brings individuals, cultures and countries together for the benefit of all,” said Becky Renfro Borbolla, Board Chairman. “We are grateful for these committed volunteers and organizations who know what it means to be good citizen diplomats.”

See the photos from the 36th Annual Meeting.

Citizen Diplomacy Through Art

Fort Worth, TX- Local student wins national photography award

Fort Worth Sister Cities International brings international attention to Fort Worth with its nine sister cities in China, Eswatini, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Mexico since 1985.

This month local Fort Worth student Marissa Heckmann from I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA was announced as the third-place finalist in the photography category of the 2021 Young Artists and Authors Showcase held by Sister Cities International.

The YAAS has given youth from around the globe the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original artwork and literature. The 2021 showcase encouraged youth to submit entries inspired by the theme “United in Hope.” Young artists and authors shared their vision of unity and highlighted the importance of hope and perseverance in both local and global communities to navigate these difficult times.

“Since its inception, youth have been submitting their inspiring artwork to the Young Artists and Authors Showcase. Every year, we are increasingly in awe of the youth’s work. This year’s entries are especially creative and expressive, exemplifying the theme in ways we never would have imagined. We’re excited to share the next generation’s work with the world on our website” said Leroy Allala, Sister Cities International President and CEO.

In past years, Sister Cities International has sent the artwork on tour to several cities across the U.S. However, due to the pandemic, this year it will not be possible to do so. This year’s winners and finalists will have their work showcased on the Sister Cities International website, making it accessible for many to appreciate the artwork. Additionally, the artwork was displayed in an art gallery during the Youth Leadership Summit Public Forum on August 12, 2021.

“In an increasingly divided world, Sister Cities brings individuals, cultures and countries together for the benefit of all,” said Becky Renfro Borbolla, Board Chairman. “While international travel is limited, that doesn’t mean global relationship building can’t continue. We are so proud of Marissa’s creativity and her desire to make our world a better place.”

2021-08-26 11:50

Citizen Diplomacy Through Art

Fort Worth, TX- Local student wins national photography award

Fort Worth Sister Cities International brings international attention to Fort Worth with its nine sister cities in China, Eswatini, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Mexico since 1985.

This month local Fort Worth student Marissa Heckmann from I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA was announced as the third-place finalist in the photography category of the 2021 Young Artists and Authors Showcase held by Sister Cities International.

The YAAS has given youth from around the globe the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original artwork and literature. The 2021 showcase encouraged youth to submit entries inspired by the theme “United in Hope.” Young artists and authors shared their vision of unity and highlighted the importance of hope and perseverance in both local and global communities to navigate these difficult times.

“Since its inception, youth have been submitting their inspiring artwork to the Young Artists and Authors Showcase. Every year, we are increasingly in awe of the youth’s work. This year’s entries are especially creative and expressive, exemplifying the theme in ways we never would have imagined. We’re excited to share the next generation’s work with the world on our website” said Leroy Allala, Sister Cities International President and CEO.

In past years, Sister Cities International has sent the artwork on tour to several cities across the U.S. However, due to the pandemic, this year it will not be possible to do so. This year’s winners and finalists will have their work showcased on the Sister Cities International website, making it accessible for many to appreciate the artwork. Additionally, the artwork was displayed in an art gallery during the Youth Leadership Summit Public Forum on August 12, 2021.

“In an increasingly divided world, Sister Cities brings individuals, cultures and countries together for the benefit of all,” said Becky Renfro Borbolla, Board Chairman. “While international travel is limited, that doesn’t mean global relationship building can’t continue. We are so proud of Marissa’s creativity and her desire to make our world a better place.”

Fort Worth Wins Sister Cities International’s 2020 Innovation in Arts & Culture Award

Fort Worth, Texas has won the Sister Cities International 2020 Innovation in Arts & Culture Award for a city with a population greater than 300,000 for the production of the 35 Things in 35 Days social media campaign. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

Fort Worth Sister Cities International was established on June 26, 1985, making the year of 2020 the organization’s 35th anniversary. Because meeting in person was not an option, 35 Things in 35 Days was born with the goal of educating the community about the cultures of Fort Worth’s sister cities and celebrate the organization’s 35th anniversary through fun and informative videos. Starting 35 days prior to June 26, 2020, a new video was debuted each day live on Facebook featuring one of Fort Worth’s sister cities.

This project was a unique way to connect with supporters not just in Fort Worth, but all over the world. Volunteers and colleagues in Fort Worth and all nine of Fort Worth’s sister cities participated. Participants were able to stay involved by contributing their time and talents to the organization from home. They were energized when invited to participate and developed creative ways to engage with others from cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, tai chi classes, asparagus picking in France and more.

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; and youth and education. All award winners were honored during Sister Cities International’s 2021 Annual Conference held virtually July 15-16.

Click here to watch the presentation of Fort Worth’s award by Sister Cities International President and CEO Leroy Allala.

Click here to watch the videos from 35 Things in 35 Days.

2021-07-27 05:11

Fort Worth Wins Sister Cities International’s 2020 Innovation in Arts & Culture Award

Fort Worth, Texas has won the Sister Cities International 2020 Innovation in Arts & Culture Award for a city with a population greater than 300,000 for the production of the 35 Things in 35 Days social media campaign. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

Fort Worth Sister Cities International was established on June 26, 1985, making the year of 2020 the organization’s 35th anniversary. Because meeting in person was not an option, 35 Things in 35 Days was born with the goal of educating the community about the cultures of Fort Worth’s sister cities and celebrate the organization’s 35th anniversary through fun and informative videos. Starting 35 days prior to June 26, 2020, a new video was debuted each day live on Facebook featuring one of Fort Worth’s sister cities.

This project was a unique way to connect with supporters not just in Fort Worth, but all over the world. Volunteers and colleagues in Fort Worth and all nine of Fort Worth’s sister cities participated. Participants were able to stay involved by contributing their time and talents to the organization from home. They were energized when invited to participate and developed creative ways to engage with others from cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, tai chi classes, asparagus picking in France and more.

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; and youth and education. All award winners were honored during Sister Cities International’s 2021 Annual Conference held virtually July 15-16.

Click here to watch the presentation of Fort Worth’s award by Sister Cities International President and CEO Leroy Allala.

Click here to watch the videos from 35 Things in 35 Days.

Leadership Academy Maintains Momentum Through Virtual Format

Since 1989, the International Leadership Academy has brought young people from Fort Worth’s nine sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, Fort Worth Sister Cities is once again taking the Academy virtual as we celebrate this dynamic summer leadership program’s 32nd anniversary.

Students from Fort Worth and Southlake were selected to participate in the Virtual International Leadership Academy with other students from Eswatini, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, and Mexico. This year’s theme, “Global Connections for Inner Peace” will encourage students to explore aspects of mental wellness and how other cultures interpret, manage, and integrate it into their overall health. They will also examine the importance of human connection, especially as it relates to the pandemic.

By attending this program, students will gain essential leadership and communication skills through cross-cultural activities such as art, music, and language studies. Participants will attend classes that are designed to challenge stereotypes, highlight cultures, promote diplomatic dialogue, develop leadership skills, and solve global problems. Activities will be virtual, using Zoom and Facebook, with both synchronous and asynchronous activities.

“The students will be challenged to improve and refine their leadership skills and learn how diverse cultures can support common goals. It’s a tremendous opportunity for personal growth,” said Nancy Marchant, Leadership Academy Coordinator.

The students begin meeting on July 10 and will conclude the program on July 31.

2021-06-29 10:44

Leadership Academy Maintains Momentum Through Virtual Format

Since 1989, the International Leadership Academy has brought young people from Fort Worth’s nine sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, Fort Worth Sister Cities is once again taking the Academy virtual as we celebrate this dynamic summer leadership program’s 32nd anniversary.

Students from Fort Worth and Southlake were selected to participate in the Virtual International Leadership Academy with other students from Eswatini, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, and Mexico. This year’s theme, “Global Connections for Inner Peace” will encourage students to explore aspects of mental wellness and how other cultures interpret, manage, and integrate it into their overall health. They will also examine the importance of human connection, especially as it relates to the pandemic.

By attending this program, students will gain essential leadership and communication skills through cross-cultural activities such as art, music, and language studies. Participants will attend classes that are designed to challenge stereotypes, highlight cultures, promote diplomatic dialogue, develop leadership skills, and solve global problems. Activities will be virtual, using Zoom and Facebook, with both synchronous and asynchronous activities.

“The students will be challenged to improve and refine their leadership skills and learn how diverse cultures can support common goals. It’s a tremendous opportunity for personal growth,” said Nancy Marchant, Leadership Academy Coordinator.

The students begin meeting on July 10 and will conclude the program on July 31.

Sister Cities Youth Board Elected for 2021-22 School Year

On April 25, the Fort Worth Youth International youth board met to elect new officers for the 2021-2022 school year. Stay tuned to hear about their new and innovative plans to engage the Fort Worth youth community.

We also thanked and celebrated the outgoing board for their accomplishments during the 2020-2021 school year. Led by President Will Lourcey, the youth board held a dialogue on the evolution of language, volunteered at the Reggio Emilia, Italy 35th anniversary celebration at Coyote Drive-In, learned about holidays all around the world, and hosted an alumni panel.

Thank you to our outgoing board and congratulations to the new board!

Officers

  • President – Reshma Niraula, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Vice President – Rob Lourcey, Paschal High School
  • Secretary – Katherine Gallardo, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences
  • Public Relations – Seth Mayhue, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Community Outreach – Leah Peterson, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA
  • Fundraising – Caroline Nartz, Timber Creek High School
  • Fundraising Deputy – Valdemar Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Cultural Orientation – Gianna Razack, Trinity Valley School

At Large Members

  • Evan Bazikov, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Chelsey Etta, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Kennis Georges, Birdville High School
  • Garin Kelley, Paschal High School
  • Girah Lundy-Joseph, McArthur High School
  • Noah Reyes, Crowley High School
  • Haleema Williams, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences

2021-05-10 04:39

Sister Cities Youth Board Elected for 2021-22 School Year

On April 25, the Fort Worth Youth International youth board met to elect new officers for the 2021-2022 school year. Stay tuned to hear about their new and innovative plans to engage the Fort Worth youth community.

We also thanked and celebrated the outgoing board for their accomplishments during the 2020-2021 school year. Led by President Will Lourcey, the youth board held a dialogue on the evolution of language, volunteered at the Reggio Emilia, Italy 35th anniversary celebration at Coyote Drive-In, learned about holidays all around the world, and hosted an alumni panel.

Thank you to our outgoing board and congratulations to the new board!

Officers

  • President – Reshma Niraula, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Vice President – Rob Lourcey, Paschal High School
  • Secretary – Katherine Gallardo, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences
  • Public Relations – Seth Mayhue, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Community Outreach – Leah Peterson, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA
  • Fundraising – Caroline Nartz, Timber Creek High School
  • Fundraising Deputy – Valdemar Gomez, Nolan Catholic High School
  • Cultural Orientation – Gianna Razack, Trinity Valley School

At Large Members

  • Evan Bazikov, All Saints Episcopal School
  • Chelsey Etta, Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Kennis Georges, Birdville High School
  • Garin Kelley, Paschal High School
  • Girah Lundy-Joseph, McArthur High School
  • Noah Reyes, Crowley High School
  • Haleema Williams, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences

Young Artists and Authors Chosen to Represent Fort Worth

For decades, Sister Cities International has leveraged the power that art has to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries through the Young Artists and Authors Showcase, or YAAS. The Showcase has given youth worldwide the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original art and literature.

Fort Worth Sister Cities International held the local showcase to choose student pieces to be submitted to the worldwide competition.

We want to give a special thanks to our Young Artists and Authors Chair LA Moncrief and her committee for recruiting judges, securing prize money and creating a judging criteria.

We also want to thank our amazing and talented judges Afton Battle, Rachel DeLira, Hilde Horchler, Sheran Keyton, Hillary Shepheard, and Dawn Taft.

Congratulations to all the artists and authors who were selected and entered into the international competition.

Artists

Authors

Photographers

Musicians

2021-05-06 02:53

Young Artists and Authors Chosen to Represent Fort Worth

For decades, Sister Cities International has leveraged the power that art has to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries through the Young Artists and Authors Showcase, or YAAS. The Showcase has given youth worldwide the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original art and literature.

Fort Worth Sister Cities International held the local showcase to choose student pieces to be submitted to the worldwide competition.

We want to give a special thanks to our Young Artists and Authors Chair LA Moncrief and her committee for recruiting judges, securing prize money and creating a judging criteria.

We also want to thank our amazing and talented judges Afton Battle, Rachel DeLira, Hilde Horchler, Sheran Keyton, Hillary Shepheard, and Dawn Taft.

Congratulations to all the artists and authors who were selected and entered into the international competition.

Artists

Authors

Photographers

Musicians

May 2021 Update

If you’re like many people right now, you’re craving personal connections, which is human nature. We were created that way. Relationships are important for our emotional well-being. They create stability, teach us how to be a good friend, and provide us with someone to count on and trust in times of need.

Fort Worth Sister Cities International, while having to curtail international in-person relationship-building this past year, has mastered the art of virtual relationships through a variety of adult and youth programs. This has been the silver lining to the pandemic for us – it gave us the opportunity to be creative and look for other ways to fulfil our mission. If you want to know how we did that, take a look at our year in review below.

We’re very proud of our accomplishments during the pandemic, but are equally excited to be planning in-person international exchanges and experiential educational programs. While our first adult trip will not occur until February 2022 to Toluca, Mexico to see the monarch butterflies, we are setting all the wheels in motion now to, like the butterflies, emerge from our cocoons and take off! Other trips are being planned to Reggio Emilia, Italy in spring 2022 and Nimes, France in fall 2022. Youth trips will again take place during the spring break and summer. Stay tuned for notifications of these trips and come join us as we renew friendships and create new ones around the world.

Volunteer Appreciation

April is National Volunteer Month and we’ll be honoring and celebrating our volunteers all month. We can never say enough about our volunteers because — they are our life-blood!

Sister Cities has a small staff of four and many people ask us, how do you all do the hundreds of programs and exchanges you do every year involving thousands of people?

We tell them, it’s easy! How? We have amazing volunteers including:

  • Students who make friends around the world for Fort Worth and help refugees here at home;
  • Home and day hosts who open their hearts and homes to international visitors;
  • Educators who, along with their enormous workloads, take the time to encourage their students to participate in this unique opportunity called Sister Cities;
  • Donors to the Members Circle of Giving who open up their wallets and support our mission;
  • Committee members who plan events, secure donations, help market activities, recruit others to help and are always there when we need them;
  • City officials who host guests visiting Fort Worth and travel as official representatives to other countries; and
  • Our board of directors who guide us through sometimes difficult decisions, plan for the future and are committed to making a difference here at home and in the rest of the world;

That’s how we do it and we are so thankful for each and every one of you!

The Staff of Fort Worth Sister Cities International

Mae, Joe, Beth and Danielle

Happy New Year from Fort Worth Sister Cities

HALLELUJAH!  IT’S 2021!

While we are all ready to leave 2020 behind, we shouldn’t forget some of the positive things that have happened like:

  • The outpouring of kindness from so many people to those who were suffering
  • Time with our families (some maybe too much)!
  • Driveway concerts
  • Getting bread or cookies from friends
  • Living room discos
  • The ability to gather with our international friends so easily even if it was via Zoom

We’ve all done some prioritizing this past year and are grateful for the little things we may have taken for granted. Therefore, join us in celebrating this New Year as we look forward to hopefully seeing you here in Fort Worth and around the world.

HAPPY 2021!