The Sister Cities program, initiated through the efforts of President Dwight D Eisenhower in the mid-1950’s, represents a ray of hope, On the one hand, the need for international communication on a human scale is stifled by protocols, politics and power at the same time technology offers the tools to create global communication and exchange among real people. At the same, women from around the world are finding their voices – the “sister” in Sister Cities may be an unanticipated consequences – or simply a prescient happenstance of the naming process.
Since the beginning, Minneapolis has embraced the idea of establishing roots with like-minded cities around the globe. Today the city enjoys Sister City relationships with ten cities.
In line with the mission of Sister Cities International Minneapolis-based initiatives “ promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time.” As one blogger observes “It was, and remains, a quintessential public diplomacy program.
Minneapolis is one of over 650 US communities that partner with more than 2000 sister cities in 135 countries. Members of the network work largely in the areas of humanitarian assistance, economic and sustainable development, education and technical assistance.
Those who want to learn more and to support the work of the Sisters Cities program, locally and internationally, should check out the special event sponsored by Meet Minneapolis, an active player in the Minneapolis Sister City program. It’s Sunday, July 15, 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Nicollet Island Pavilion.
The free and open family-friendly event in the air conditioned Pavilion offers entertainment, displays, free ice cream and a chance to get acquainted with those who participate in and plan the ciity’s Sister City program.
We all have much to learn and many opportunity to learn from colleagues in the Sister Cities program.