October 9, 2020

Open World Goes Virtual

CIP and our network offices have continued the critical exchanges brought to us through Open World via Zoom. 
In June, our Phoenix office hosted a virtual reunion for Open World Ukraine participants.  Topics of discussion included best practices to advance human rights around the globe and updates from Open World alumni on their professional development since taking part in the program.

In July, CIP Chicago hosted a Media/Journalism virtual program for a Russian delegation, featuring discussions on "The State of American Media" with Dr. Charles Whitaker, Dean and Professor at Northwestern University and "Diversity in the News and Newsroom" with Brandis Friedman, Host of Chicago Tonight, WTTW Channel 11 (public television).
Our office in Cleveland hosted a Sister Cities virtual exchange with our delegates in education from Volgograd who were scheduled to come to Cleveland this year to take part in the annual Cleveland Sister Cities conference hosted by Global Cleveland.  As the conference went virtual this year, our delegates received an introduction to the Sister Cities relationship prior to joining the conference virtually.  Speakers on our Zoom meeting included Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Hunt and Director of Operations Christopher Woofter, who spoke about adjustments in curriculum and operations to meet the challenge posed by COVID-19.  Other speakers included Congressional Assistant for Congresswoman Kaptur, David Zavac, Cleveland-Volgograd Sister Cities Chairman Ken Kovach, and Global Cleveland President Joe Cimperman.  The group is expected to come to Cleveland in 2021 when it has been deemed safe for the group to travel and for host families to receive guests amid the current COVID-19 safety concerns.

West Virginia University CIP is scheduled to host a Ukrainian program on the theme of "Concerns and Challenges of Being a Female Veteran" on October 15.  Speakers from several departments within WVU and an aide from Senator Capito's office will round out the discussion.

In December, our network office Colleagues International in Kalamazoo, MI will host a virtual reunion for Open World Russia participants.  The professional development of the alumni since the program will be a topic of discussion among other items.

Programs that were originally scheduled to come in 2020 are currently postponed until 2021.  At that time, the safety of traveling and living with host families will be reviewed and new travel dates will be assigned.  Until then, we look forward to continuing our exchanges in a new era of virtual programming!
Posted by Melissa Zwick on October 9, 2020 at 3:25 PM in CIPUSA Permalink
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