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  • Amy Alice Chastain

Letter from the Executive Director

This time last year, we had just begun welcoming in-person visitors back to our community.

How far we have come! We have already made lasting memories and connections with individuals from every hemisphere of our globe: doctors, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs, attorneys, city managers, educators, policy-makers, environmentalists, conservationists, curators, bakers, historians, librarians, and the list goes on! Leaders engaged in every aspect of society from far-reaching culture and language backgrounds are joining us in eastern Iowa to engage with their peers, to interact with community members, students, and volunteers. Have you met them?

In June and July alone, we are welcoming 13 groups spanning the globe from Latin America to Sub-Saharan Africa, from Europe to Asia. We need you. We pride ourselves as an organization in making global exchange personal, accessible, and inclusive. We welcome volunteers to accompany our visiting leaders throughout every aspect of their programs in our communities: professional meetings with peers, cultural activities, and meals in homes or parks. When time allows, we welcome the community to engage with them in more casual settings like our recent Sip & Socialize at local plant-themed cocktail lounge, The Green House. You are how we connect the world and the heartland!

Our ask is this: greet, guide, host, and give as much as you are able this summer. It takes a great deal of both behind-the-scenes as well as person-to-person interaction to realize the goals of citizen diplomacy. In the coming days, we will be moving our office to create space and opportunities for our community to support our capacity to bring international visitors to eastern Iowa. Are you interested in seeing what goes into each program from start to finish? There will be weekly opportunities that will allow you to assemble program books, assist with volunteer and program tracking, talk with area professionals about meeting our groups, write thank you cards and emails, represent Global Ties Iowa at area events or organizations, or serve on a Global Ties Iowa committee.

Will you join us?

Will you invite your friends, families, colleagues, employers, neighbors to greet, guide, host, and give for a more peaceful and prosperous world? Consider sending every new email to someone in your network and asking them to do the same.

We have many volunteer opportunities on the horizon with the following groups:

Regional Project: Engaging Youth through the Performing Arts June 13-17

Kosovo: Institutional Response to Domestic Violence June 14-17

Tajikistan: Disability Rights June 20-23

Multi-Regional Project: Edward R Murrow Journalism Program June 21-25

Mandela Washington Fellows June 21-July 27

Multi-Regional Project: Promoting Social Change through Music July 1-6

Iraq: Protecting Cultural Heritage through Innovation July 1-6

Kazakhstan: Preventing Domestic & Gender-Based Violence July 5-9

India: Food Innovation & Sustainability July 18-21

Regional Project: Ending Gender-Based Violence July 22-26

Regional Project: Interfaith Dialogue July 26-Aug 1

Honored to be connecting the world and the heartland with you,

Amy Alice Chastain


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