Thank you to the 300 civic leaders, international affairs experts, community members, international alumni, and students from across the region and around the world who helped us mark our 40th-anniversary last month and engaged in important and enlightening conversations about grassroots diplomacy, exchanges and innovative solutions impacting our border region. Organized in partnership with Global Ties U.S. and the U.S. Department of State, the events were a huge success. With your help, we will continue to forge meaningful relationships between San Diego, Baja and the rest of the world.
The events kicked off on September 19 with a Fundraising Learning Lab hosted by Sempra Energy that brought together 80 leaders from our Global Ties U.S. network for breakout sessions and peer-to-peer learning from some of San Diego’s top fundraising experts. The afternoon included tours of Petco Park and a visit to Chicano Park, as participants became acquainted with San Diego and learned about engaging with local communities.
That evening we hosted our 80’s themed Diplomacy Rocks! 40th Anniversary Party at Park & Rec. Freshly made gorditas, free-flowing drinks, and on-point 80’s attire saturated the venue while 80’s tribute band Rock of Ages belted tunes like “Take on Me” and “My Sharona.” We have plenty of blackmail worthy photos to prove it! 😉
On September 20th, Diplomacy Begins Here: Innovation in the Cali Baja Region and Beyond showcased presentations and panel discussions on binational collaboration at the government level (with Mexican Ambassador Carlos Gonzalez-Gutierrez; Consul General of Tijuana, Sue Saarnio, Mayor Salas, Tijuana Council Member Casillas and Denice Garcia), the role of innovation in our binational region, and LGBT rights initiatives in San Diego and Mexico (with IVLP Gold Star, Ivan Tagle). We also heard from program alumni on the role of exchange in shaping their career path and worldview, we were inspired by Senator Ben Hueso’s vision for our border region, and we celebrated the poignant contributions of Doris Elsworth and La Jolla Country Day School, both honored with Charles H. Hostler Diplomacy Awards. Our Summit included a diplomatic migration simulation for 60 local youth, led by Ambassador Leslie Bassett and Diplomat in Residence Cecilia Choi and our lunch break featured and exhibitor fair featuring 20 local, national, and international organizations. To conclude the day, our 250 summit attendees boarded buses for a Fronteras Friday tour of the U.S.-Mexico Border at Friendship Park and the Cross Border Xpress.
The next day, instead of sleeping in, we kept the party going with a full-day trip to Tijuana with Turista Libre! We made pupusas with women in a migrant shelter, left messages on the border wall, toured the Hidalgo open-air market, and sipped local beers at Telefonica.
For more information, check the highlights on Twitter at #IAmDiplomacy and the media coverage below:
- SD Union-Tribune article to announce the Regional Summit with quotes from Heidi Knuff and Ev Meade, September 8
- KUSI Interview with Jorge Goytortua, CEO of Cross Border Xpress and Fabienne Perlov, September 18
- The San Diego Union-Tribune en Español Reporter Alexandra Mendoza – attended binational government session; interviewed Fabienne, September 20
- KPBS TV and Radio Reporter Max Rivlin-Nader – attended youth track; interviewed Ambassador Leslie Bassett and San Diego High student, September 20
- LGBTQ San Diego article by Albert Fulcher Advocating for Cross-Border Relationships
Thank you to our sponsors: Sempra Energy, San Diego Tourism Marketing District, the InterContinental San Diego, Parks and Rec, the UCSD Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, the Port of San Diego, Chinyeh Hostler, Sharon Payne and Rob Oswalt, the Torrey Project, Meridian International Center, Cultural Vistas, Ad Astra Ventures, Stella Labs, Sure Ride, South Norte Brewing, the San Diego World Trade Center, George Hardy, Dean Haas, and Southwest Airlines and our community partners: City of San Diego, Ensenada EDC, Global San Diego, Hostelling International, Institute of the Americas, Internaitonal Relations Council of Riverside, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, La Jolla Country Day School, Francis Parker School, SRE Consulado General de Mexico en San Diego, Nature and Culture International, Peace Corps, San Diego Peace Corps Association, Red Door Interactive, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego LGBT Pride, Sea World San Diego, Smart Border Coalition, the SDSU Center for Advancing Global Business, Tijuana EDC, Turista Libre; UCSD Global Education, and San Diego World Affairs Council.
Diplomacy Rocks! 40th Anniversary Party!
Tijuana Gastro Diplomacy Tour