Our World Interviews- Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Mark Twain said that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…. He just as easily could have applied that to meeting people from other countries in your home. An evening meal shared with  friends, and  visitors from another country, all of whom are curious and eager to share their ideas, engenders a legacy that may last for generations.  One dinner can lead to new friendships, new interests in different regions and different topics, and a new respect for the challenges people face in different parts of the globe.

The International Visitors Leadership Program, administered by the U.S Department of State provides opportunities for people in the United States to host visitors for a meal, a conversation and a chance to develop a greater understanding of one another.

You never know, one day you may be dining with  eight Americans and seven visitors from another country in your home,  and four years later your son is dining with one of the visitors in his country!  And three years after that, you are all still exchanging e-mails and photographs.:-)

The following excerpt is from the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD) one of the many local diplomacy councils that provides these opportunities.  One of these councils probably exists in your town! Look here to find out more http://eca.state.gov/ivlp

You can also see what the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy is doing on their website.  They have both a thriving visitors program, and  a lecture series on international cultural topics!     http://utahdiplomacy.org/

(translation and narration by Culture and Cuisine)

At the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD), we fully recognize and appreciate the importance of public diplomacy – our guiding principle of citizen diplomacy is the perfect complement to public diplomacy. Lors du Conseil de l’Utah pour la diplomatie citoyenne (UCCD), nous reconnaissons et nous apprécions l’importance de la diplomatie publique - notre principe fondamental de la diplomatie citoyenne est le complément parfait à la diplomatie publique.
Since 1967, UCCD has been dedicated to promoting global understanding and respect between the people of Utah and other nations through our international and professional cultural exchanges. Depuis 1967, l’UCCD se consacre à promouvoir la compréhension et le respect entre le peuple de l’Utah et d’autres nations à travers nos échanges culturels et professionnels internationaux.
The ability for people of different nations to meet and discuss ideas amongst each other is invaluable. Donner aux gens (giving people) de différentes nations la possibilité de se rencontrer et de débattre entre eux est pour nous d’une importance cruciale.
Being able to meet individuals from different nations allows for conversation with an exchange of opinions and insights. Être en mesure de rencontrer des personnes de différentes nations permet d’avoir des conversations avec des échanges d’opinions et de points de vue.
This exchange of information allows the unique opportunity to learn from one another and to invoke change in the community as a result. Cet échange d’information offre une occasion unique d’apprendre les uns des autres et a pour résultat d’amener du changement (bringing about change) dans la communauté.
Our International Visitors Leadership Program administered by the U.S. Department of State is unprecedented in its ability to shape public opinion and connect leaders from around the world. Notre programme International Visitors Leadership, géré par le Département d’État américain, est sans précédent dans sa capacité à façonner l’opinion publique et à connecter les dirigeants du monde entier.
UCCD is honored to host international leaders from around the world and we are proud to make a difference as citizen diplomats “one handshake at a time.” l’UCCD a l’honneur d’accueillir des leaders internationaux venant du monde entier et nous sommes fiers de faire toute la différence en tant que diplomates citoyens de « poignée de main en poignée de main ».

shared with permission and gratitude