2018 End of Year Letter


November 26, 2018 Dear Friends and Colleagues, At our recent conference in St. Petersburg, Russia we brought Russian and American college students together for discourse and practice on the topic of perception building and trust. We found ourselves filled with hope. These students do not think of themselves as “others” but perceive of themselves as a generation influenced by their worlds. They hold differing biases yet are unified in their understanding that “the enemy” is not another country and certainly not its citizens. An enemy, the students mused, is a condition. Among the conditions they included as enemies were environmental degradation, mass migration, cyber disfunction, and an accelerating nuclear arms race that in its largesse poses new and unknown risks to the planet. From this position, we understand that citizen diplomacy’s role in bringing influencers together to build bridges is more vital than ever. Our Russian-American program has been a large focus of our work this year. Our redesigned website now carries regular updates of our work and the activities of our Track Two participants. And, we have expanded our networks to add new participants, University partners and a younger generation. Our Russian-American, International Abrahamic Network and North Pacific Rim projects came together as One Network for the first time in April. We meet again in December to further the imperative to grow the field of non-governmental diplomacy and our network of citizen diplomats. Among the many topics raised during our April conference and echoed in St. Petersburg in September was the theme of trust. In 2019 we will build on the insights gained in our 2018 conferences to create ways to build trust and hope across areas of conflict. Please join us by supporting our work in 2019. With warm wishes for the Holiday Season, Dulce, Carol, Mariah and Ginger

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