The World Affairs Council of Seattle is partnering with World Learning, a DC-based international exchange organization, to send Seattle leaders in sports and peacebuilding to continue a powerful exchange program that began in Seattle earlier this year.
The program is sponsored by the Office of Citizen Exchanges, U.S. Department of State.
Seattle, WA -- Representatives from the City of Seattle, Seattle Storm, Seattle United as well as community-focused grassroots organizations will travel to Israel at the end of this month as part of a bilateral exchange program focused on countering racism and empowering youth leaders through sports. The first part of the exchange took place in February of this year. Fifteen Israeli citizen diplomats working in sports leadership, education, coaching and youth development came to Seattle to participate in workshops and one-on-one discussions with the goal of building tolerance and inclusivity through sports. Members of the Seattle Parks & Recreation, sports teams like the Storm and Seattle United, and organizations countering violence such as Kids4Peace and Soccer Without Borders led discussions about their strategies to promote connection, dialogue, and relationships using the power of sports as a platform.
On March 30, nine Seattle community members will bring the conversation back to Israel to meet with the same group of leaders in their home country. The trip will include visits to community centers, conversations with local government, and connecting with combined Arab/Jewish sports teams to learn about ongoing peace-building efforts. The Seattle delegation is comprised of representatives from the Center for Leadership in Athletics at the University of Washington, Cultures Connecting, Seattle United, Soccer Without Borders, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Up2Us Sports, Alternatives to Violence Project, and the Seattle Storm. The group will be accompanied by Rachel Paris-Lambert, Director of the International Visitor Program at the World Affairs Council and the organizer of this two-way exchange program.
“Sports diplomacy is a powerful avenue for people to build connections and see their common humanity,” said Paris-Lambert. “The Council is thrilled to be a part of this opportunity to see this group continue collaborating on two continents over a shared passion for sports and creating meaningful opportunities to build more capable and empowered youth leaders. The local Seattle delegation is joining a global conversation on diversity, mutual respect, and youth empowerment.”
Each year the World Affairs Council’s International Visitor Program brings more than seven hundred visitors to engage with their Seattle counterparts on a range of issues, including education, international trade, gender-based violence, and technology. Connections made on these visits have a lasting impact on the international visitors and the greater Seattle community alike. To learn more about how you can be a part of the Council’s citizen diplomacy work, please contact Rachel Paris-Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org.