Asheville, North Carolina Wins Sister Cities International’s Award for Best Overall Program

WASHINGTON, DC –Asheville, North Carolina has won the Sister Cities International 2019 Award for Best Overall Program for a city with a population of 50,001-100,000. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

In 2018, ASCI produced their most outstanding year in the organization’s history. They hosted delegations, government representatives, and guests from four of their sister cities and developed events, activities, educational meetings and community engagement surrounding those visits. Two Reaffirmation Agreements were signed with their Mayor at a city hosted luncheon. A large humanitarian project involving several international organizations was completed in January with the delivery of 110 wheelchairs to their two Mexican sister cities, San Cristobal and Valladolid.

The arts, history and culture of their sister cities were shared in an expanded 7 month series of “World Wide Wednesdays” programs. They partnered with the Asheville Symphony and Asheville Area Arts Council on two different community events celebrating their cities in Scotland and Nigeria. The student group from Karpenisi had an incredible week of interactions and educational sharing. New partnerships were formed with the University of North Carolina-Asheville, Western Carolina University, Asheville Buncombe Technical College, and Mountain Area Health and Education Center/MAHEC. Several successful fundraising events featuring the foods and culture of their sister cities were held throughout our community, including planning for their 2nd Annual Global Glitz – Celebrating Diversity.

“We all stand to learn from these superstar Sister City programs as they impact their communities across a broad range of sectors that include business entrepreneurship, youth leadership, and arts and culture,” said Roger-Mark De Souza, Sister Cities International’s President & CEO. “These individuals and local organizations inspire us to be better citizens as their work exemplifies President Eisenhower’s vision of engaged international citizen diplomats. They create beneficial connections and lasting relationships which will help their communities today and for years to come.”

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; youth and education; and professional and technical exchange categories. We also honor a Volunteer of the Year and our Youth Leadership who demonstrate exceptional efforts to advance peace through citizen diplomacy. This year we will honor all our award winners during SCI’s 2019 Annual Conference from July 17-19 in Houston, Texas.

The conference will bring together hundreds of the most influential citizen diplomats and global leaders in diplomacy, foreign affairs, policy, business, and innovation to discuss, share examples, and network. This year’s theme, Cities Mean Business, will focus on smart and resilient cities, leadership development, and entrepreneurship as key building blocks of President Eisenhower’s vision of creating a more peaceful world through citizen engagement and international cooperation between cities.

Founded as a Presidential Initiative by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in more than 140 countries on six continents. The sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote the organizations’ mission of creating world peace and understanding through programs and projects focusing on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development.


About Asheville Sister Cities:

Contact: Karon Korp ([email protected])