March 29, 2018
By: Patrick Terrien
This year marks my thirteenth year as the CEO and President of the Columbus Council on World Affairs (CCWA), and I can tell you that I have never before been so excited about the direction in which our organization is going. Our mission is, and has always been, to increase global awareness in the Columbus Region and to be the leading nonpartisan, globally-focused organization in central Ohio. During my time with CCWA, I have seen our city evolve into a vibrant, multicultural, and diverse place that continues to grow economically as our people and our companies build stronger ties around the globe. We have built broad and deep relationships with partners across our community who share our vision of a globally fluent region.
Let me share two stories that exemplify the ways in which our world and our community are comprised of global and local intersections. This month, as we celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we have been highlighting on social media the story of Lucile Atcherson Curtis, a Columbus native who, after helping women win the right to vote in 1920, became the United States’ first female diplomat. Later in life, after serving in France, Switzerland, Haiti, and Panama, she helped found CCWA in 1975 and served on the boards of numerous cultural and health organizations in central Ohio. The CCWA team is proud to celebrate this pioneer of global connections as part of its organizational history.
We are also proud that today we are helping the future leaders of our region, including young women, to pave new ground in forging global awareness. In January, one of our 2018 Global Scholars graduates organized a powerful program for fifth-grade students in her school district to promote their understanding of diversity and the value that it brings to our world. Drawing on the help of her classmates from Ethiopia, Haiti, India, and Somalia, she connected the younger students with people from places in the world that most of them had never previously encountered. The event was phenomenal, and it is a prime example of why we do what we do at CCWA.
As we look ahead to 2020, when CCWA will celebrate its 45th anniversary, I look forward to helping our region develop even more global fluency that will continue to advance our region’s economy. Our schools, our country, and our world need bridges of understanding that connect people and cultures now more than ever. The team at CCWA remains dedicated to global education and awareness and we are honored to serve a community that is made stronger by its vibrant diversity and welcoming spirit.