Sister Cities Partnering with FWISD for Dual Language Camp

Fort Worth, Texas — Local elementary students receiving dual language enrichment

Fort Worth Sister Cities International will welcome 10 university students and two educators from Toluca, Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education this week for the Dual Language Immersion Camp for elementary students in partnership with the Fort Worth ISD (FWISD). The Toluca students will act as international facilitators for the three-week camp June 11-28.

This year’s theme is Art: An Expression of Language and will provide summer enrichment for FWISD students in dual language studies to increase language and literacy across the content areas.

All Toluca facilitators and educators are being home hosted by local families in order to give these visitors a glimpse into American life and to give the hosting families exposure to the culture of Toluca, as well.

While here the group will also explore local cultural attractions and experience true Texas hospitality. Visits include the Stockyards, AT&T Stadium, the Kimbell Art Museum, Concert in the Gardens, Sundance Square Plaza and more.

The closing ceremony will take place on June 28 at Burton Hill Elementary School.

US/Russian Relations From An Insider’s Perspective

Fort Worth, TX – Timely topic for Sister Cities forum

Join Fort Worth Sister Cities International to hear about Russia Today from an Insider’s Perspective, October 11, noon at Texas Christian University’s Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased at www.fwsistercities.org/event/us-russia.

The event will include an analysis of US and Russia relations by Sharon Tennison, President and Founder of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI).

CCI’s mission is to conduct a series of Citizen-to-Citizen initiatives and exchanges, buttressed by official media PR and social media networks across America and across Russia. They wish to bring the two peoples together, including those in leadership to listen and learn and hammer out ways to cooperate rather than plot war against the other.

“After hearing Tennison speak on this subject earlier this year, we decided to host her in Fort Worth to hear about what it’s really like on the ground in Russia today and how we can help with more peaceful relations,” said Mae Ferguson, President/CEO of Fort Worth Sister Cities.

Tennison has written a book on the subject, entitled The Power of Impossible Ideas: Ordinary Citizens’ Extraordinary Efforts to Avert International Crises and travels back and forth frequently between the two countries.

A small group of Fort Worth participants may travel to Russia in the Spring 2018.

For more information about joining the mission to Russia and to make your reservation for the luncheon, please contact Danielle at 817/632-7106 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

Fort Worth Elects Global Leaders

Fort Worth, TX – Sundance Square’s Johnny Campbell Leads Sister Cities

Newly elected officers at Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 32nd Annual Meeting, are Secretary, Casey Dyer Oliver, Texas A&M University; Treasurer, Frank Tilley, SeatonHill; Development Chair, Julie Johncox, JP Solutions; Government Relations Chair, Michael Crain, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty; and Exchanges & Outreach Chair, Dr. Sheryl Harris, Tarrant County College.

New board members include: PJ Budler, the Cattle Market; Mark Davidovich, JP Morgan; Vishal Gandhi, Hillwood; Ratna Goenardi, Sugar Biscuit Cakery; Andrew Johnsen, BNSF Railway Company; Cindy Milrany, Freese & Nichols; Andy Roseliep, Bank of America; Andy Taft, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.; and Libby Watson.

The Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership was awarded to Greg Irwin.  The Fort Worth Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas and Women’s Policy Forum were awarded the Eisenhower Award for Organizational Involvement and Sherri Whiting was awarded the prestigious Volunteer of the Year award.

Tim Quigley, Chairman of the national office of Sister Cities International in Washington, D.C., spoke to the Members Circle about the importance of sister city relationships and the close connection with Department of State priorities. “When public policy fails, citizen diplomacy is our connective tissue,” Quigley told the crowd.

Board members returning for a 2nd term include: Veronica Chavez Law, Michael Parker, and Lu Pham. City chairs include: Ratna Goenardi, Bandung; Greg Jackson, Budapest; Nommo Donald, Mbabane; Libby Watson, Nagaoka; Tom Law, Jr., Reggio Emilia; Anette Soto, Toluca; and Hannah Behrens, Trier. 

Fort Worth Sister Cities celebrated raising $300,000 for its annual Members Circle campaign with the help of Campaign Chair, Bob Jameson, and is setting a launch for the 2018 campaign for January 2, 2018. 

The Members Circle is a thriving network of individuals, organizations, corporations, and community leaders committed to expanding global relationships for peace and prosperity at home and abroad. For information on joining the Members Circle, contact Danielle at 817-632-7106 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

Mayor’s International Dinner Big Success 2017

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities Recognizes Global Award Recipients 

Mayor Betsy Price and Dinner Chairs, Becky & Henry Borbolla, lead the crowd of nearly 400 through an evening of international cuisine and entertainment as Sister Cities recognized and honored individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to citizen diplomacy, global understanding, world political stability, and international commerce.

Awards were presented to: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company – THE GLOBAL NEXUS AWARD Catholic Charities of Fort Worth –  THE GLOBAL CITIZENS AWARD Bob Jameson – GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company received the Global Nexus Award as good representatives of Fort Worth to the world, creating commerce and a healthier community for all.

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth was given the Global Citizens Award for their strong representation of Fort Worth by creating a positive view of the U.S. through educational and humanitarian initiatives.

Bob Jameson received the Global Impact Award for his long-time service to the Fort Worth community and development of international partnerships through global business, culture, and tourism.

The event was made possible by the Fort Worth Sister Cities 2017 Members Circle, a network of individuals, organizations, corporations and community leaders committed to expanding global relationships for peace and prosperity at home and abroad.  Funding and in-kind support from the City of Fort Worth plays a key role in its mission, but most work is made possible through public support through the Members Circle.

The dinner was held June 1 to celebrate 32 years of service by Sister Cities to the City of Fort Worth.  Entertainment was provided by the Taiko Drummers, Mariachi Real de Alvarez, Andrea Tullis from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, KJRI Dancers from the Consul General of Indonesia’s office, Swahili Carmel Choir from Christ Chapel Bible Church, and representatives from each of Fort Worth’s eight sister cities.

Sister Cities Youth Group Partners with Catholic Charities

Fort Worth, TX – Partnering on an Easter Egg Hunt for refugee families 

This week, the Fort Worth Sister Cities International Youth Group is partnering with Catholic Charities for their annual community service project.

The students will work on the Catholic Charities Need YPO Annual Event, Spring Fling.

Need YPO, the young professionals arm of Catholic Charities, is hosting an Easter egg hunt for refugee clients and their families.

“This event gives volunteers a chance to meet and play with some of the refugee families Catholic Charities has helped resettle,” said Jennifer DeHaro, service chair for Need YPO. “It shows support for our refugee populations in Fort Worth and gives a unique multicultural experience to those native to this city.”

Sister Cities youth will provide and manage carnival games, including several international varieties, at the event. The students also raised money to purchase emergency preparedness supplies to distribute such as flashlights, first aid kits, and batteries for the refugee families.

“We hope to make an impact on these refugee families because they have been through so much and deserve to relax and have a good time,” Fort Worth Youth International community outreach officer, Nate Wallace said. “The Youth Board is looking forward to this project and is ready to throw the best Easter egg hunt around for these amazing and inspiring families.”

Students ranging from 6th to 12th grade make up Fort Worth Youth International, the youth group of Fort Worth Sister Cities.

“Participating in the youth group has been one of the highlights of high school because it is incredibly meaningful,” Alexandra Galloway said. “Being in the Youth Group has given me eye-opening opportunities to give back to the Fort Worth community in ways I had never considered before such as working with refugees.”

The Easter Egg hunt will be at the La Dera Palms Apartments on April 20 at 5:30 p.m.

Mayor’s International Dinner & Global Awards Announced for 2017

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities honors global award winners & donors

Mayor Betsy Price and Dinner Chairs Becky & Henry Borbolla will lead the annual Mayor’s International Dinner on June 1 at the Omni Hotel as Sister Cities honors individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to citizen diplomacy, global understanding, world political stability, and international commerce.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics will be awarded the Global Nexus Award recognizing businesses that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth to the world creating commerce and a healthier community for all.

Catholic Charities Fort Worth will receive the Global Citizens Award which is given to organizations that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth to the world creating a positive view of the U.S. through educational, humanitarian, or cultural initiatives.

“Much of our work encompasses our call to ‘welcome the stranger,’ and we are honored that this award not only reflects our passion to serve the vulnerable and marginalized, but also that it gives a platform and a voice to those who have become our neighbors here in Fort Worth,” said Heather Reynolds, President & CEO of Catholic Charities Fort Worth. “We are committed to work within the laws of our land and in conjunction with our city to continue to show what global citizenship can be when we partner together- a mutually beneficial experience.”

Bob Jameson, President and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau will be honored with the Global Impact Award. This honor is given to individuals who have made significant efforts to promote Fort Worth globally and establish international partnerships. 

The dinner is made possible by the Members Circle which is comprised of individuals, businesses, and organizations who support the mission of Sister Cities with a financial contribution. For more information about the Members Circle, please visit weblink.donorperfect.com/memberscircle. If you would like to attend the dinner or get involved with the Members Circle, please contact Katie Wharry at 817-632-7101 or katie@fwsistercities.org.

Expert to Discuss U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

FORT WORTH, TX – Sister Cities and Fort Worth Chamber team up on global security discussion

Fort Worth Sister Cities International and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce invite you to join Ret. Colonel Grant Newsham, senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, for a talk on the crucial U.S.-Japan security alliance and the challenges the new administration may face in the region.  Time will also be given for discussion surrounding this issue following Newsham’s presentation.

Newsham will address the changing relationship with Japan militarily in the western pacific region and its impact, as well as what the U.S. can do moving forward with its international partners.

“Mr. Newsham’s talk is particularly relevant, given President Trump’s recent meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and their reaffirmation of mutual commitment towards political, military, and economic support for each other,” said Dr. Michael Roemer, Director of Global Initiatives at Trinity Valley School and the Nagaoka, Japan Chair for Fort Worth Sister Cities.

Newsham’s research focuses on Asia/Pacific defense and political and economic matters. He was the first U.S. Marine Liaison Officer to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. He previously served at Marine Forces Pacific Headquarters in Honolulu and has served twice as the U.S. Marine Attaché, U.S. Embassy Tokyo.

“Fort Worth is fortunate to have a guest of Colonel Newsham’s caliber to inform the community about current U.S./Japan relations,” said Melonye Whitson, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Economic Development. “Educating Fort Worth residents and businesses about the value of multi-cultural relationships prepares them for a global world economy.”

The luncheon will be held February 28 in the Fort Worth Camelia Room. Tickets can be purchased until February 24 at https://www.fwsistercities.org/event/us-japan-security-alliance/ or by calling the Sister Cities’ office at 817/632-7100.

New Services Provided by Fort Worth Sister Cities

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities Trains Visitors Center Staff on International Protocol 

As part of its strategic plan, Fort Worth Sister Cities International is establishing a wide-range of protocol training courses for businesses and individuals in the community.

The Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Visitors Center’s staff recently took part in training focused on how to welcome international visitors to Fort Worth creating an exceptional experience for them.  The class was held earlier this week at the Norris Conference Center in downtown Fort Worth.

“To provide the best experience that we can and to help boost international visitation, we want to be well-prepared,” said Bob Jameson, President/CEO of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. “International visitors represent 5% of total visitors to the city and because they spend more than domestic tourists, they represent 16% of total spending,” said Jameson.  In Texas alone tourism generates $1.9 billion annually.

Led by Mae Ferguson, President/CEO and Protocol Officer of Fort Worth Sister Cities International, the training session provided the CVB staff tools on how they can be better prepared to welcome all guests to Fort Worth creating that unique experience.

“International travelers can have a more meaningful and memorable stay in Fort Worth if we are all better prepared to host them in a respectful and welcoming way.  With training to understand different cultures, we can be better prepared,” said Ferguson.

Similar classes are scheduled for the DFW International Airport and Bell Helicopter. For information on future training classes, contact Katie Wharry at katie@fwsistercities.org.

Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia Visits Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities holds discussion on current issues

consul-generalThe Fort Worth community is invited to a presentation sponsored by Fort Worth Sister Cities International and Tarrant County College on Indonesia Today, November 10, 6:00 p.m. at Tarrant County College, Trinity River East Campus. The event is open to the public.

The event will include an analysis of current events and politics in Indonesia from the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia, the Honorable Henk Edward Saroinsong.

“Maintaining a strong relationship between Fort Worth and our sister city, Bandung, Indonesia, is very important. We want to educate our community with learned speakers, like the Consul General, in order to gain a better understanding of what is happening in other parts of the world. With U.S. politics being a hot topic, it’s important to hear about current events in other countries,” said Johnny Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities.

Prior to his assignment as Consul General, Saroinsong served as a Senior Foreign Service Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Indonesia. He started his diplomatic career in 1986 as the Head of Section for Northern and Middle Africa Affairs and Directorate of Africa and Middle East Affairs.

The Amazingly Global Race Winners Announced

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities teams compete in downtown Fort Worth  

dsc_0518If you saw crazy costumes over the weekend in downtown Fort Worth, they were teams in the 3rd Annual Amazingly Global Race chaired by Carolann Morris, Inwood Bank, benefitting Fort Worth Sister Cities International.

Mayor Betsy Price awarded trophies to race teams of four people who walked, ran, or rode to stations representing Fort Worth’s eight sister cities and attempted various feats ending with the awards festivities at the Flying Saucer.

dsc_0508“It’s so good to see how creative people can be in order to support our international efforts. Forming international relationships, fostering new business connections, and promoting tourism and cultural understanding are vital to seizing opportunities and overcoming challenges in this global era,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

Trophies were presented in the following categories:

GRAND CHAMPIONS & TOP FUNDRAISING TEAM – The Wonder Team:  Gloria Staring, Carolann Morris, Paul Acosta, and Steve Ortega

FASTEST TIME & BEST COSTUME – 2 Ballers Team:  Jason Murtaugh, Chad Morgan, Steven Deane, and Jeremy Reinhardt

BEST COSTUME RUNNER UP – The Golden Girls Team: Jerod Butler, Denise Harris, Derek Tillemans, and Andy Yates

TOP FUNDRAISER – Carolann Morris

dsc_0484“The Race is held annually to fund the international youth education programs of Sister Cities that give students leadership and communications skills preparing them for a global society,” said Mae Ferguson, President/CEO of Fort Worth Sister Cities International.