Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
On Wednesday morning, after breakfast, we were very lucky to hear
from Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight
Eisenhower, about her view on citizen diplomacy. As the President of
People-to-People International, Eisenhower was proud to be a part of
the first global citizen diplomacy effort in fifty-four years.
We were also fortunate to hear from Harriet Mayor Fulbright, widow
of Senator Fulbright and the President of J. William & Harriet
Fulbright Center, which supports the famous Fulbright international
exchange programs. Both individuals provided us with an insightful
understanding of the peace building efforts made throughout the
U.S.'s past. Our day was also started with the stories
of three youth leaders in the field of citizen diplomacy: all of
which contributed greatly to creating programs that engage people all
over the world in developing personal relationships with people
across the globe and getting involved in service initiatives.
As our day continued, we were able to hear from many people in the working groups of the Summit. I was fortunate enough to be able to contribute to the conversation in the "New Media Technology Tools in Citizen Diplomacy" roundtable in the morning session, and it was a great experience! Rebecca and I were able to introduce relatively new and controversial issues to the panel regarding new electronic technology. Hilda and Stephanie were able to contribute to the "International Women's Issues" workshop, as well. After a very long night of preparation and anxiety, I'm happy to report that all four of us did very well on our presentations for the working groups at the Summit! Afterward, all of us were approached by people from the roundtable who wanted to talk with us and learn more about our research and university. In the afternoon, we also attended other workshops on international voluntary service opportunities and youth service initiatives.
The last event of our day was the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy National Awards Ceremony in which several incredible people were recognized for their hard work, dedication, and extremely honorable programs throughout the world. Although all of them were extraordinary one of the most inspirational of these people was James G. Rolfe. Rolfe is the founder of the Afghanistan Dental Relief Project that has both educated people in the country about dental health and provided the needed dental clinics. His sincerity and his passion for this effort was extremely evident and I was greatly influenced by it.
There were many other honorable guests here tonight. Scott Beale, the founder of Atlas Corps received an award for this program and his enthusiasm was absolutely spectacular! Other individuals recognized include Jenny M. Buccos of ProjectExplorer.org, Judith Jameson of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Robert Redford of the Sundance Institute, Sahar Taman of the Religion and Society Program of the National Peace Foundation, Richard A. Webb of the ProWorld Service Corps, the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and Salman Ahman and Junoon.
The first two days of this summit have been incredible and I am both proud to be here and amazed by all of the wonderful people and initiatives that I have been introduced to. I'm really looking forward to the next two days!