|LOUISVILLE, KY, August 10, 2020 — The World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana (WAC), a hub for international exchange, dialogue and learning, have taken over the management of Sister Cities of Louisville (SCL) programs. SCL, established in 1981, made the decision to dissolve as a 501c3 nonprofit organization and approached WAC to take over its programs. In collaboration with Louisville Metro’s Office for Globalization, WAC will continue to promote and expand opportunities for exchange and education between Louisville and its nine sister cities around the world.
“Sister Cities is the original people-to-people relationship formalized by the mutual commitment of respective Mayors to foster global friendship, cultural appreciation and economic development through exchange of people and ideas,” said Xiao Yin Zhao, WAC’s Executive Director. “WAC shares the same goals and mission. Having facilitated international exchanges between thousands of leaders from over 100 countries in our 35-year history, along with robust speaker programs and expanding global education opportunities for students, WAC is well-positioned to grow Sister Cities programs and develop new paths of engagement and learning.”
Since the first Sister City relationship with Montpellier, France, was established, the Sister City relationships have facilitated countless exchanges among students, artists, and leaders across many sectors of government and education in Louisville and our nine Sister Cities. These cities are: Adapazari, Turkey; Jiujiang, China; La Plata, Argentina; Leeds, England; Mainz, Germany; Perm, Russia; Quito, Ecuador; and Tamale, Ghana. All cities were established and maintained by individuals who passionately believed in forging deeper connections between Louisville and its sister cities.
Eight of Louisville’s Sister Cities’ symbols are recognized across the path to the Irish Hill Greenway on the corner of Lexington Avenue and Grinstead Drive.
“World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana is a leader in educating our community on current political and policy trends in the world and connecting students, teachers, businesspeople, community leaders and many others to global leaders, experts, organizations and research outside our community. The Council is the perfect partner to continue the Sister Cities mission and cultivate Louisville’s global relationships,” said Sabeen Nasim, director of the Office for Globalization.
WAC is an active member of two national networks promoting international exchange (Global Ties, U.S.) and dialogue on global issues (World Affairs Councils of America). By taking on Sister Cities programs, it will now become an active member of the Sister Cities International, the international network of sister cities.
About World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana
Since 1986, the World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana have delivered opportunities for the Kentuckiana region to connect with global leaders and engage with peers on international issues. Each year, WAC connects an average of 200 leaders from around the world with 50-plus organizations in the region, convenes over 20 speaker programs with national and international experts, and prepares over 30 high school students to be global citizens. Through this unique lineup of programs, the World Affairs Council is the regional hub for international exchange, dialogue, and learning.