CSCI Receives 2017 Best Overall Program Award from Sister Cities International

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Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) has won the Sister Cities International (SCI) 2017 Best Overall Program Award for a city with a population over 500,001. The SCI Best Overall Program Award recognizes sister city programs that demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in 2016 in advancing the goals and mission of the sister cities movement.

CSCI is the largest sister cities organization in the country with 28 international sister cities agreements. In order to successfully maintain each of these relationships, CSCI works to create innovative and engaging programming for each of its cities. “Chicago has always placed great importance on building impactful international relationships through our Sister City program,” said Leroy Allala, CSCI Executive Director. “We’re proud of what this award means for our work, our 28 sister cities and our more than 600 global volunteers working together to help our cities drive the march toward the future.”

In an effort to ensure that its programming continues to have great impact into the future, CSCI worked to refresh its key programming areas in 2016. CSCI engaged a strategy company, stakeholders, and CSCI leadership to develop a strategic plan with four key programming areas in order to increase the impact of their outcomes: Cultural Arts and Tourism, Global Education, Government Relations, and International Business.

CSCI participated in and hosted various activities that helped to achieve its goal of “bringing the world to Chicago and Chicago to the world,” including sister city anniversary celebrations; the Bank of America Chicago Marathon; Chicago Gourmet; an Immigration Workforce Development Forum; and the CSCI Medical Initiative where selected physicians from Chicago’s sister cities attended the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium in Chicago to learn new skills to bring back to their home cities.

In addition, CSCI continued to work with its parent organization, World Business Chicago, in order to drive inclusive economic growth and job creation that and promotes Chicago as a leading global city. CSCI was also awarded a grant to fund the creation of the STEAMuseum, a project that brings together students in Chicago and students in its sister city Casablanca, Morocco to create digital museum exhibits for a virtual global museum.

CSCI is also proud to announce that it has received SCI’s Innovation Award for Youth and Education for a city with a population over 500,001 for its Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Summit.

SCI’s Annual Awards are awarded in several categories including Best Overall, Innovation (Arts and Culture, Economic Development, Humanitarian Assistance, and Youth and Education), and Volunteer of the Year. Award winners will be honored at the Lou Wozar Diplomatic Awards Dinner on Saturday, July 15 during SCI’s 61st Annual Conference in Virginia Beach, VA.

SCI’s 61st Annual Conference events, which include a Youth Leadership Summit and a U.S.-Russia Mayors’ Summit, will take place in Virginia Beach, VA from July 12-16, 2017. The events will bring together hundreds of the most influential global leaders in diplomacy, foreign affairs, policy, business, and innovation. Elected and municipal officials, business leaders, youth delegates, and citizen diplomats will discuss this year’s theme “Global Communities for World Peace,” building on President Eisenhower’s initial vision of creating a more peaceful world by building global relationships through communities.