Sister Cities on Diplomatic Mission to Russia

Fort Worth, Texas – Delegation visits Russia to find connections

Fourteen delegates are currently visiting Russia May 27-June 8 on a twelve-day diplomatic mission to Russia to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation consists of representatives from business, education, and finance sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Moscow, Kolomna, St. Petersburg and Maryino.

Special meetings are set with Consul General Tom Leary from the St. Petersburg Consulate and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Delegates plan to discuss current issues in Russia and how US and Russian citizens can connect on a diplomatic level.

“We are exploring a new part of the world and learning about Russia,” said Michael Hyatt, Director Emeritus of Fort Worth Sister Cities International (FWSCI). “Pursuing new relationships like these is needed now more than ever. There is tremendous potential to grow a global movement of citizens committed to deepening ties in the face of forces pulling us apart.”

The delegation will be led by Michael Hyatt, Director Emeritus; Tim Quigley, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities International (SCI); and Mae Ferguson, President/CEO. Other delegates include FWSCI board members Rae Hyatt, Ronda and Walter Stucker, and Melissa Thompson; SCI board members Mimi Barker and Carol Robertson Lopez; as well as Allen and Teresa Dunaway, Barbara and Rick Walker, and Jon Wilcox.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to Hungary and France. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Danielle McCown at 817/632-7100 or

Nîmes, France to be Fort Worth’s Ninth Sister City

Fort Worth, TX – City Council votes unanimously to accept French invitation

After a two-year search and selection process, Fort Worth will add its ninth sister city, Nîmes, France. The last sister city added was Guiyang, China signed in 2011.

A resolution to accept the invitation from Nîmes Mayor Jean-Paul Fournier to partner was unanimously, “and with enthusiasm” as stated by Mayor Betsy Price, approved by the City Council on behalf of the citizens of Fort Worth at last night’s Council meeting,

Sister Cities recommended Nîmes as a partner to build a mutually beneficial relationship through international education, exchange and commerce.

“Our goal is to promote Fort Worth globally and enrich our local community. We find that important now more than ever,” said Johnny Campbell, board chairman and President of Sundance Square.

“The two cities are well suited for each other because Nîmes, like Fort Worth, is experiencing significant demographic and financial growth,” said Pat Miller, Chair of the Long Range Planning committee of Sister Cities and leader of the delegation that traveled to France last year to research the possibility of partnering.

A delegation, led by Nîmes Mayor Fournier, several Deputy Mayors and the Presidents of the Chamber of Commerce and University of Nîmes, visited Fort Worth in January to discuss programs that would be of interest to both cities.

An official signing trip to France will be planned for this fall or Spring 2019. Anyone interested in learning more about Nîmes or joining the delegation to Nîmes can visit or contact

Japanese Mayor Leading Delegation to Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas – Celebrating 30 years of partnership

Fort Worth Sister Cities International will welcome a delegation of people from Nagaoka, Japan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sister Cities partnership between Fort Worth and Nagaoka on October 27, 2017.

Led by the Mayor of Nagaoka, Tatsunobu Isoda, the delegation plans to visit with Fort Worth City Council members and Mayor Betsy Price, tour Sundance Square and the Cultural District, attend the Japanese Fall Festival in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, and participate in an educators panel discussion at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

On October 28, a 30th anniversary celebration dinner will be held in Mayor Isoda’s honor at Billy Bob’s Texas. Tickets to the celebration include dinner and a ticket to the Trace Adkins concert that evening. To buy tickets go to:

“We are excited to welcome our guests and show them what Fort Worth has to offer, as well as to celebrate thirty years of friendship which is something to be valued and is more important today than ever before,” said Jane Bass, Chair of the Nagaoka 30th Anniversary committee.

A delegation from Fort Worth plans to visit Nagaoka in 2018 to continue the 30th anniversary celebrations.

For more information or to make your reservation, please contact Danielle at 817-632-7106 or

German Mayor Leading Delegation of 53 to Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas – Celebrating 30 years of partnership

Fort Worth Sister Cities International will welcome a delegation of 53 people from Trier, Germany to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sister Cities partnership between Fort Worth and Trier on September 30, 2017.

Led by the Mayor of Trier, Wolfram Leibe, the delegation plans to visit with Fort Worth City Council members and City Manager David Cooke, tour Sundance Square, and take part in a Reaffirmation Ceremony with Mayor Price. At mid-day on October 2, the famous Stadtgarde Augusta Trevororum, the official marching band of Trier, will perform in Sundance Square. This group travels on all official visits with the mayor and it is an honor to have them perform in Fort Worth.

This exchange comes after a delegation from Fort Worth visited Trier in 2016 to leverage Fort Worth’s long-standing friendship with Trier and capitalize on the opportunity to grow a new platform in the business sphere of influence.

“Our visit to Trier was just the beginning of continued growth.  The business counterpart meetings created value and experience to think and grow small business internationally,” said Johnny Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Fort Worth Sister Cities. “We are excited to welcome our guests and show them what Fort Worth has to offer, as well as to celebrate thirty years of friendship which is something to be valued and is more important today than ever before.”

Click here for more information about the visit and how you can participate

Rotary Leads Humanitarian Mission to Mbabane

Fort Worth, TX First Partnership with Rotary Club for 2017 Swaziland Mission

Fort Worth Sister Cities International, in partnership with the International Service Committee of the Rotary Club, is planning a mission to Mbabane, Swaziland. An adult delegation of 25 will travel to Fort Worth’s seventh sister city from Sept. 1 – 10, 2017. Participants will deliver 265 wheelchairs and 5 bicycles directly to those in need and teach the recipients how to maintain the chairs to provide income for them and sustain the project.

Additionally, Fort Worth Sister Cities is partnering with Dream Outside the Box founder Kam Phillips to provide “Dream Delivered” boxes to the Swazi children. These boxes, brimming with fun and educational activities and pamphlets, are designed to introduce children to diverse careers, such as forensic science, journalism, and archaeology.

“Our Swaziland trip is taking the Rotary Wheelchair program to the next level. We are not only distributing donated wheelchairs to those in need, we are establishing a wheelchair and bicycle repair shop business that Mbabane citizens will operate long after we are gone,” said David Campbell, Rotary President. “The training and equipment we will provide makes this project more sustainable, creating a legacy of trade skills that will ensure the repair of wheelchairs and bicycles we bring and provide jobs for years to come.”

Some participants are also staying an additional two nights at the Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge to experience a South African safari. With lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and rhinos, the group will see the “Big Five” up close and personal.

For more information about future Sister Cities exchanges, call Danielle at 817/632-7100 for more information.

Fort Worth Youth Ambassadors Visit Japan & Prepare for Reciprocal Exchange

FORT WORTH, TX Sister Cities provides unique opportunity for Fort Worth youth

Since 1990, The Harashin Co. of Nagaoka, Japan has funded scholarships for eight Fort Worth students and two teachers to travel there for an educational and cultural enrichment experience. In return, the families of these Fort Worth students host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes.

This program and all the scholarships have been funded by the Hara family and Harashin Co. Ltd. of Nagaoka. For 26 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated.

Fort Worth Harashin scholars include: Henry Chao, Charlie Estes, Valeria Gutierrez, Zoe Nichols-Payne, Jamil Okada, Matthew Ontiveros, Janrose Samson, Shay Smith, and delegation leaders Liliana Hinojosa and Mikako Daniel.

“Exchange programs are a key element in the overall programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities and this unique opportunity for students is no exception,” said Johnny Campbell, Chairman of Fort Worth Sister Cities International. The students depart July 26 for a week-long exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth August 8-16.

On August 14, Fort Worth and Nagaoka Harashin scholars will visit Globe Life Park for Japan America Friendship Night with the Texas Rangers. The students and delegation leaders will have the opportunity to take part in a pre-game flag ceremony on the field.

All student applicants (9th-11th grades) participate in a vigorous selection process including teacher recommendations, essays and personal interviews. The Harashin Scholars are required to attend monthly cultural orientations to further enrich their international experience and prepare them for the exchange.

Exchanges with each of Fort Worth’s eight sister cities provide youth the opportunity to spend 9-15 days with an international host family and experience their history, culture and customs. These students become citizen diplomats through this program.  It gives them a better understanding of other cultures providing them an international education only these programs can offer.

International Students Attend Leadership Academies

Fort Worth, TX: The Art of Diplomacy, Theme of Academies

High school students from around the world will descend on Fort Worth starting July 10.  Students from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Swaziland, along with Fort Worth students, will be in Fort Worth for the 28th International Leadership Academy. The Academy’s goal is to increase communication and leadership skills through team-building and problem-solving using the art of diplomacy.

Since 1989, the International Leadership Academy (ILA) has brought young people from Fort Worth’s 8 sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, nearly 75 participants will converge at Texas Christian University (TCU) July 15 – 30 to share their cultures and learn about citizen diplomacy and its importance in today’s world.

Participants will live on the TCU campus and share a room with students from another country. They will attend classes that are designed to challenge stereotypes, highlight cultures, promote diplomatic dialogue, develop leadership skills, and solve global problems. Activities will also include visits to area businesses, museums, and other cultural venues specific to Fort Worth, as well as a community service project.

This year marks the 13th year of ILA’s middle school program, the Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA), held July 10—14. College students from Toluca, Mexico and Mbabane, Swaziland will serve as facilitators for Fort Worth students who will discuss the same issues as their high school counterparts, gaining international perspectives.

“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, ILA and JILA Coordinator.

The closing ceremony for ILA takes place July 29, 10:00 a.m. at TCU’s BLUU Ballroom and is free and open to the public. For more info call 817/632-7100.

Sister Cities Partnering With FWISD For 4th Spanish Immersion Camp

Fort Worth, Texas — Local elementary students receiving Spanish enrichment training

Fort Worth Sister Cities International will welcome 10 university students and 2 educators from Toluca, Mexico’s Tec de Monterrey university this week for the 4th Spanish Immersion and Enrichment Camp for elementary students in partnership with the FWISD. The Toluca students will act as international facilitators for the two-week camp ending June 23.

“The FWISD is thrilled to partner with Sister Cities in this way providing our students an opportunity to study Spanish from native speakers. Last year’s camp proved to be very successful with over 125 elementary students participating,” said Elda Rojas Director of the World Language Department for the FWISD.

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 Spanish from native speakers 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.

Toluca, Mexico is Fort Worth’s closest sister city. Signed in 1998, this partnership has resulted in many exciting programs such as: middle and high school-to-school partnerships including a Model UN program; municipal and economic forums; monarch butterfly tourism exchanges; culture, language, and mentoring programs; a medical school intern program; a City of Fort Worth Police Department training program; and a symposium on women’s issues.


Youth Represent Fort Worth in Germany, Hungary, Italy & Mexico

Fort Worth, Texas – Goodwill Ambassadors travel to four Sister Cities 

Twenty-nine students and fourteen leaders are visiting four of Fort Worth’s eight sister cities this month including Trier, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Reggio Emilia, Italy; and Toluca, Mexico.

The youth of Fort Worth benefit from a global education.  In addition to learning leadership skills and participating in cultural exchange, they also receive training to become citizen diplomats representing the U.S., Texas, and Fort Worth which enhances their college and career opportunities

“Today’s global community and marketplace is increasingly interconnected, making cultural understanding and exchange a pivotal aspect of a student’s education. Our student-centered program ensures students develop the skills necessary for them to pursue their own goals and become globally-minded leaders in their communities,” said Johnny Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities.

Educators from the FWISD, private schools, and local universities will lead the delegations including:

Trier, Germany: Tracey Cravens, North Side High School and Nancy Martinez, Sam Houston State University.

Reggio Emilia, Italy: Marvin Vann Griffith, Southwest High School, Heather Kurima, Trimble Tech High School, Jay Kurima, Texas Academy of Biomedical Science and Jose Frayre, Polytechnic High School, as well as Associate Delegation Leader Arian Martinez, Tarrant County College.

Budapest, Hungary: James Gleaton, Tarrant County College and T’Aundra Harlin, Uplift Summit International Prep., as well as Associate Delegation Leader Samuel Whiting, George Washington University.

Toluca, Mexico: Masaki Nakamoto, Paschal High School and Rhonda O’Brien, North Side High School, as well as Associate Delegation Leader Clara Counts, Tarrant County College and Educator Ambassador Jose Romero, Polytechnic High School.

More students will depart for exchanges in the summer.

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 or by calling the Sister Cities’ office at 817/632-7100.