Aspen, Colorado Wins Sister Cities International’s Award for Best Overall Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Aspen, Colorado has won the Sister Cities International 2019 Award for Best Overall Program for a city with a population less than 10,000. 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.

Aspen Sister Cities reached new levels of engagement thanks to the outstanding voluntary commitment by Sister Cities Committee members, various community organizations and businesses, and community volunteers. As part of a medical exchange program with Sister City Bariloche, Argentina, seven medical professionals from Bariloche spent a week in Aspen doing a peer study with the staff of Aspen Valley Hospital and Valley View Hospital.  In turn, six medical professionals from Aspen spent a week in the Bariloche public hospital doing demonstration surgeries, giving lectures, and conducting peer studies/instruction.

As part of a youth exchange with Shimukappu, Japan; seven students in the eighth grade traveled from Aspen to Japan. The students participated in cultural and educational activities in the Shimukappu community and in the schools, while building their Japanese language skills through their homestays, which immersed them in Japanese daily life. Prior to traveling to Japan, the group took Japanese language and culture classes, which were arranged and taught by the Aspen Sister City Coordinator for Shimukappu, Japan.

“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.

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Contact: Griff Smith ([email protected])