2010 Award Honorees Recognized As Model Citizen Diplomats
October 18, 2010
Contact: Shelton Jones, 225-439-9700
Des Moines, Iowa - Today, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy announced the seven recipients of its 2010 National Awards for Citizen Diplomacy. Honorees are recognized for their extraordinary work to increase American citizen engagement in international affairs and their outstanding contributions in fostering cross-cultural understanding. The 2010 Citizen Diplomat Award Honorees are:
• Scott Beale, founder & CEO of Atlas Service Corps, Inc., an international organization that administers an overseas exchange of skilled nonprofit professionals.
• Jenny M. Buccos, director, producer and founder of ProjectExplorer.org, a non-profit that produces free education-based, online global travel series designed for families and classrooms.
• Judith Jamison, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a New York-based organization that brings the spirit of dance to people worldwide.
• Robert Redford, Oscar-winning actor, environmental activist, film director and founder of The Sundance Institute.
• James Rolfe, D.D.S., founder of Afghanistan Dental Relief Project, Inc. which provides dental treatment facilities in underserved areas of Afghanistan.
• Sahar Taman, consultant and former director, Religion and Society Program of the National Peace Foundation who hosts experiential tours for individuals focusing on the place religion has in American and Muslim societies.
• Richard A. Webb, founder of ProWorld, a social enterprise that matches individual volunteers and university groups with community projects in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
"Through their unique vision, ingenuity and dedication, this year's honorees demonstrate how individuals can make a tremendous difference in shaping U.S. foreign relations - one hand shake at a time," said Ann Schodde, President and CEO of the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD). "Each of this year's honorees are inspirations for us all and we congratulate them. These citizen diplomats are making positive impacts every day by facilitating one-on-one dialogues with people of different cultures, religions and ethnicities. Through their efforts, these citizen diplomats are building a reservoir of sustainable goodwill among the citizens of the United States and other nations and are excellent examples of citizen diplomacy at work."
The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy received more than 40 award nominations this year. A committee of representatives from a range of sectors including business, education, academia and the foreign service selected the honorees. M. Jessica Rowe, the Center's director of programs and initiatives, organized the national awards program.
The criteria for the National Awards for Citizen Diplomacy were based on the goals of the Fulbright-Hays Act. Accomplishments and/or activities must have increased mutual understanding, strengthened ties, promoted international cooperation and developed peaceful relations between people of the United States and another country or countries. Additional criteria included:
• Nominees must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old.
• Activities/accomplishments must reflect a commitment to promoting global understanding.
• Nominees represent excellence, diversity and vitality of citizen diplomacy.
• Outstanding ability to attract, support and motivate people in the field of citizen diplomacy.
• Evidence of dedication, originality and capacity for leadership and self-direction.
The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy will make a $5,000 donation to a citizen diplomatic program or non-profit organization "of choice" in each honoree's name. In addition, honorees will be recognized at a ceremony on Wednesday, November 17 in Washington, D.C. The event, entitled Inspire!Diplomacy, will take place during the Summit For Global Citizen Diplomacy November 16 - 19, 2010.
The first of its kind in 54 years, the U.S. Summit on Global Citizen Diplomacy is in partnership with the U.S. State Department and in support of more than 1,000 U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) conducting citizen diplomacy activities. The goal of the Summit and a subsequent ten year Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy is to dramatically increase efforts to help resolve major global challenges of the 21st century by doubling the number American citizens of all ages engaged in international activities at home or abroad, from an estimated 60 million today to 120 million by 2020.
Established in 2006, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that promotes and expands opportunities for all Americans to be citizen diplomats and affirms the indispensable value of citizen involvement in foreign relations. For more information about the 2010 award honorees, please visit www.uscenterforcitizendiplomacy.org.