The Cleveland Council on World Affairs’ objectives are to educate, foster interest and develop comprehensive programs that focus on international affairs education and global awareness. Developing global competence and awareness of foreign cultures, foreign languages and international relations prove to be more important than ever. For example, according to the Ohio Department of Development, more than one-half million Ohio jobs are dependent on exports and foreign investment. Residents of Northeast Ohio, particularly high school and college students and young professionals, need to be prepared for careers in today’s global village and they must hold skills that can bridge relationships between the United States and other countries.
The Cleveland Council on World Affairs works toward developing cohesive programs that address key world affairs issues that involve our community. The Council also encourages economic development and international trade to our city and region by creating links throughout the world.
The following is a brief summary of the Council’s programs positively impacting the community:
- The Council’s Speaker Programs are the most visible activities in the community. Our speaker events provide residents a vital forum for informed discussion and debate on world affairs and their impact on the nation and our city and region. Participants interact and are able to make personal connections throughout the world.
- The Council is now in its 68th year for organizing Model United Nations conferences for high school and middle school students, with more than 1,200 participants and 37 schools. While the direct purpose is to educate and engage the students on an international level, the MUN conferences bring additional benefits to these students, such as enhancing communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills
- We create learning opportunities for middle and high school students through the Bridges to the World program by having every speaker participate in a distance learning session or school visit to share their expertise and personal stories on significant global affairs topics. Students are well prepared to ask questions and discuss the relevant issues with these experts.
- Through the International Visitors Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Council hosts hundreds of current and emerging leaders from around the world and seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations. The program encourages economic development and international trade to city and our region by creating community collaborations that generate ties to key representatives of foreign media, business, and government. Cleveland’s hospitality and our International Visitors Program are highly regarded by U.S. Department of State, so much so that we are awarded additional delegations that multiply the impact to our area and the world.