The partnership will be formalized with a signing of a memorandum of understanding in a ceremony at the University of New Haven, Monday, Sept. 18.
The partnership takes advantage of the University's diverse faculty and student body hailing from 43 states and 45 countries to promote humanitarian, cultural, educational and economic programs with the seven sister cities: Changsha-Hunan, China; Afula-Gilboa, Israel; Amalfi, Italy; Avignon, France; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Hue, Vietnam; Leon, Nicaragua; and Tetlanohcan, Mexico.
Our collaboration with New Haven Sister Cities will provide excellent opportunities for our students and faculty by creating meaningful and direct interaction with residents in these cities. This partnership will also offer the University an opportunity to work with other area colleges to further cultural understanding and world peace.
– University of New Haven President Steven H. Kaplan
The award-winning New Haven Sister Cities chapter is recognized as the best in Connecticut and one of the best in New England. The chapter responds to crises in the sister cities, such as the recent mud slides in Freetown, and helps celebrate milestone events such as Bastille Day in Avignon.
"The University of New Haven has globally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs," Toni N. Harp, New Haven Mayor and honorary chairman of the Sister Cities Board of Directors said. "The University's involvement with New Haven Sister Cities will help us achieve an on-going interaction of artistic, cultural and educational exchanges that will be a remarkable testament to the power of town-gown initiatives."
These activities, Harp said, "advance the interconnectivity of the world today particularly for our students and future leaders of this grand experiment in democracy called The United States of America."
Shaundolyn Slaughter, president of New Haven Sister Cities, Inc. said the partnership will advance the group's mission "in novel and exciting ways including increased interpersonal, and cultural exchanges using technology, travel, and artistic pursuits that celebrate our diversity and reinforce the role that America has achieved for over 60 years through meaningful citizen exchange programs."
About New Haven Sister Cities, Inc.
New Haven Sister Cities, founded in 1982, is part of a 60-year old nation-wide program
begun by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It promotes an awareness of the cultures,
customs, and historical heritages of its sister cities by cultivating citizen diplomacy.
It is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. It is part of a global network
of more than 2,300 partnerships in 150 countries. Sister Cities International promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.