April 2, 2021
By: Patrick M. Terrien
As we look back on the last 12 months, change has been the constant. For our team, for our students, for our global community. And while how we deliver our programming also changed, what we deliver has not. Our mission to increase global understanding and cultural competence has endured and grown. We were honored to be named a 2020 Council of the Year by the World Affairs Councils of America for our work to address racial inequity. Still, we know there is more to be done as fissures in the fabric of our society continually challenge us all to choose either fear and ignorance or understanding and empathy. At the Council on World Affairs, we choose understanding and empathy. And that’s what we teach – building bridges of understanding that highlight our shared humanity. We all must do this to help reduce the devastating results of fear and ignorance, like the killing of Asian Americans in Atlanta, the systemic racism embedded in our institutions, the oppression of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, or the tragic civil war in Yemen.
And we yet are full of hope. We see a bright future, one that our 1,000 Global Scholars Diploma students are already creating. In a challenging year where so much learning happened online, we are proud of these students for their thoughtful engagement with our virtual program. As we plan for the time when we can return to in person experiences in Central Ohio, we also now know that our Virtual Global Scholars Diploma is a high-quality, meaningful experience. This new delivery mode positions us to deliver impactful learning beyond our region, creating a national network of communities committed to choosing understanding and empathy.
Patrick M. Terrien
President & CEO