Thank you to those who attended our Virtual Town Hall on February 18! More than 150 people across the globe joined us to learn more about the steps we are taking to move forward on a re-envisioned path for international exchange. We provided an update on the state of our operations, shared the new strategic vision that will guide our focus over the next three years, and presented ways that you can get involved with our work right now.
However, first, we looked to the lessons of 2020 to strengthen our focus as we move into a new strategic direction. The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruptions to our industry, calling on all of us to meet the moment with empathy and flexibility. This has been most true for the young professionals whose programs with us have been disrupted or for recent alumni navigating their re-entry during COVID-19. Max Honzik, Virtual Internship Program Participant, Ingrid Ambriz-Mata, CBYX alumna and Malia Simon, Cultural Vistas Fellowship alumna, joined us to share their stories of resiliency.
“Though virtual, my internship helped me in understanding that transatlantic relationships are more than politics or economic ties between countries,” said Ingrid. “Transatlantic relationships are personal. They are personal to historically oppressed communities… to communities of color, and these personal ties to binational affairs are reasons why it’s so important to diversify transatlantic relationships and provide opportunities to people of all backgrounds.”
Cultural Vistas has an important responsibility to mobilize our network and international exchange programs to be a force for positive change. In order to develop a strategic plan that builds on our legacy, strengths and opportunities to impact both individuals and society at large, we assembled a strategy group from across our global community as well as outside of it.
Hear from Cultural Vistas Board Member Sharon Chae Haver on how Cultural Vistas will bridge divides between and within nations. Alumni Council Co-Chair Mariana Martinez shared how Cultural Vistas can address global challenges more equitably. Reginald Charlot of NYC & Company spoke on how Cultural Vistas can build a learning culture that fosters resilience, adaptability and innovation. Finally, Dan Ewert VP of Program Development gave his perspective on developing intercultural opportunities with a clear impact on society.
Our staff, board of directors, and newly expanded Alumni Council are dedicated to making this vision a reality but we need your engagement. Join us as a partner in exchange, tell your story of how your experience changed your perspective or contributed towards your community, or support the work through our annual fundraiser – all 2021 events will remain online and we look forward to a creative celebration of this global community in October so stay tuned!
Watch the recording and download our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan to learn more about how Cultural Vistas plans to move forward.
Watch the Recording