Fall 2014 Newsletter
Building Peace: More international partnerships mean more local business opportunities
What one country does affects another — and another and another. The United States is not immune. Relationships with global neighbors can mean the difference between poverty and prosperity, disease and good health, war and peace. They can also mean greater success for local businesses. Read more.
Citizen Diplomacy at Work: Montana couple makes citizen diplomacy a way of life
If there’s one thing Lynn Baker and Sandra Erickson have learned in life, it’s that people from vastly different cultures and countries still want the same things we do: a safe home, enough to eat, education, healthy children and a meaningful job.
It’s a realization that began unfolding when Baker worked for a time in South Africa and fully distilled when he and Erickson began volunteering with World Services of La Crosse.
Baker, a lawyer, and Erickson, who has a doctorate in international business with a focus on cultural intelligence, began as home hosts with World Services in 2003. Since then, Erickson has become chair of the Advisory Commission on International Relationships for the city of Great Falls and together they have made citizen diplomacy a way of life.
On average, they lead one exchange in Great Falls each year through the Open World Leadership Program, a congressionally sponsored effort to give professionals and government leaders from Eastern Europe and Central Asia firsthand exposure to the American system of participatory democracy and free enterprise.
They also travel on exchanges themselves and are sought-after speakers in many countries.
“The Open World program at World Services is one of the most valuable programs I’ve ever been associated with in my life,” said Baker. “When the guests come here, they’re tired, nervous and don’t know what to expect. Sometimes they’ve been told certain things, negative things, about Americans. When they go home, we’ve made friends and we’ve changed their perception of the United States forever.”
Call for Nominations
As part of our continuing efforts to encourage and build awareness of the need for citizen diplomacy, we are seeking nominations for our 2015 World Services’ Citizen Ambassador, Citizen Diplomat and Student Ambassador of the Year awards.
The awards honor three local individuals who exemplify citizen diplomacy, who raise awareness and serve as role models of the power and importance of citizen diplomacy. World Services is looking for people who improve the quality of life for citizens of the world, promote positive international sentiment toward Americans and advance world peace through personal relationships.
To nominate someone, please call 608-781-4194 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a nomination form. Deadline for nominations is Dec. 31.
As the winter holidays approach, many will turn their thoughts to spreading joy, goodwill and peace. It's one of the reasons this is a wonderful time of year. At World Services of La Crosse, it's always a wonderful time of year as we work daily to spread goodwill, to share the best of what the United States has to offer the world and, ultimately, build bridges to peace.
This is the work of World Services. Our mission is peace for all, and we invite you to join us in achieving it. Will you please consider a gift to support us in spreading peace and goodwill throughout the world? For more information on ways to give, please call us at 608-781-4194 or give online at wslax.us.
In the meantime, enjoy the season ahead. And know that we wish you peace.
Point of Protocol
Accredited ambassadors from other countries should be addressed as “Your Excellency” and referred to as “His/Her Excellency.” (Source: Robert Hickey, Deputy Director of the Protocol School of Washington.)