March: Our Council of the Month; AWQ Hotel Block Filling; Educational Opportunities

Tuesday, March 06, 2018 11:03 AM | Anonymous

President's Letter

Dear Council Leaders, Supporters, and Friends:

Last month's massacre at Marjorie Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, makes this much plain:

1. America is first in the world, by a longshot and for far too long, when it comes to mass shootings in "civil" society.

2. America is not focusing enough on our kids - in general or in this gruesome particular. Fortunately, however, we have the surviving Parkland teens to teach us all a thing or two about poise and common sense.

It's all about the kids. And as I consider not only guns but these chaotic times - in which dictators like China's Xi win praise from a U.S. administration, populism is rampant and fraying Western democracies, trade protectionism is on the rise, and the risk of great power conflict is increasing - the kids are on my mind.

This is why this month's Council of the Month is Montana World Affairs Council:  for today, MWAC opened its two-day Academic WorldQuest 2018 program - the most robust in the country - and the attention to these students' futures is affirming. 

Held at the University of Montana campus, the statewide program and competition goes far beyond the 10 AWQ categories. The United States Institute of Peace, WACA's national AWQ partner, will present a student workshop on "Conflict Management in Global Affairs" as well as a for-credit teacher workshop on "Teaching Peacebuilding for Active Global Citizens." High school students will also enjoy a UM international student panel.

Keynote speakers are superlative: Helana Mayor Wilmot Collins, a Liberian-born American politician who is the first black person to be elected mayor of any Montana city in the state's history; Ambassador Max Baucus will deliver the State of the World Address at MWAC's Global Educator of the Year Banquet; Lt. Governor Mike Cooney will emcee the AWQ competition; and former State Senate Majority Leader Carol Williams will conclude the AWQ Awards Ceremony.

Kudos to MWAC's Board, particularly Charlie Oliver and Shelley Geiszler, and former Executive Director Aubrie Lyons for laying the groundwork over many years to refine their Academic WorldQuest program recipe. Aubrie's successor, Janet Rose, is well-positioned to build on this legacy of excellence. 

The Montana kids will get to show what they know and likely will teach the adults a thing or two about world and national affairs. It's all about the kids.


Bill Clifford, President and CEO

Spring Leadership Meeting Hotel Block Open!

WACA and the World Affairs Council of San Antonio have arranged a special group rate at the Hotel Valencia for the May 17-18 Council Leadership and May 19 Board Meetings. Please stay tuned for the Meeting agendas. 

To take advantage of our hotel block at $169 / night (plus tax), please book your room by April 25. Reservations can be made by following this link: WACA or by calling 855-596-3387 and referring to the World Affairs Councils of America group.

Scholarships Available for Educators Travel Tour

The World Affairs Council of Greater Houston is offering $1000 scholarships to the first six applicants for its Educators Travel Tour to Montreal and Quebec City, June 16-22

See the program itinerary and program application. Please send completed applications to Amanda Rico at by March 26.

Register for AWQ National Competition!

Registration for the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is now open! The AWQ championship weekend program will be held in Washington, DC on April 27-28. Please stay tuned for updates on the competition venue.

Local champion teams of Academic WorldQuest competitions hosted by World Affairs Councils around the country must complete the registration form in order to participate in the AWQ National Competition. Registration forms are due no later than March 23!

Register your AWQ team! 

This year's program will once again feature a welcome reception at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Friday, April 27, at 4:00-6:00 PM.

For topics, study guide, and other information about this year's competition, please click here.

Hotel Reservations:

Thursday rooms are sold out! To take advantage of our special hotel rate of $169 / night plus tax, book your room now at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008). These discounted rates will expire April 5.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:


Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute

The Great Decisions Teachers Institute is a once in a lifetime opportunity for high school educators to immerse themselves in some of America's biggest foreign policy challenges and build their skills in teaching international affairs. For four days, teachers from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada will attend lectures presented by experts and policy makers, interact with teaching colleagues, and acquire new teaching resources and curriculum ideas. See the flyer.

To apply, all applicants are required to complete the application questionnaire.  The questionnaire can be accessed here, or by visiting

High school educators nationwide are invited to apply by March 30, 2018. All applicants will be notified by April 13, 2018.

If you have any questions in regards to the application or the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, please email, or call the Foreign Policy Association at 212-481-8100 x250.

Call for Applications: SQCC Intensive Summer Language Program

The word Sabla in Omani Arabic dialect refers to places in communities where people gather to receive hospitality. Sabla also serves as a meeting place to discuss important public issues. 

The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center's Sabla Program is an intensive summer language program designed to benefit current university-level students and recent graduates. The program emphasized the instruction of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The program runs for five weeks, offering highly intensive coursework in Arabic.

Scholarships are available. Apply by May 6, 2018. See more details.

Listen to WACA Podcasts!

Chuck Freilich joined WACA's March Cover to Cover conference call program last week to discuss his forthcoming book, Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change. Listen to the podcast.  

Global I.Q. Minute with Jim Falk

In this episode of World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth's Global I.Q. Minute, Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses "How India Is Making Its Place in the World" with WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President and CEO, Jim Falk. Listen now.

The Cleveland Council Is Hiring!

Cleveland Council on World Affairs is hiring a Manager of Student Education Programs. See the job announcement.

Councils in the News

World Affairs Council of Atlanta

Former Liberian President: Despite Challenges, African Democracy Gaining Steam -- Global Atlanta

World Affairs Council of St. Louis

Foster to Lead World Affairs Council -- STLtoday

World Affairs Council of Connecticut

Taking a Global Outlook -- Newington Live

Tennessee World Affairs Council

Iran Nuclear Deal Matters for America's Credibility and Security -- Tennessean

Sarasota World Affairs Council

Lecturer: Policymakers Must Be Pushed to Address Climate Change -- Herald Tribune

World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana

Foreign Policy Expert Talks Potential Global Conflicts, Challenges for 2018 -- WFPL

World Affairs Council of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky

Iran, Saudi Arabia, and U.S. Relations in the Middle East -- WVXU

World Affairs Council Upstate

A Collection of Cuban Art that Has Traveled to 14 Cities Lands in Greenville to Kick Off Upstate International Month -- Greenville Journal

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Pak-U.S. Need to Work Together for Regional Peace: Aizaz -- Pakistan Observer

Military Officers Provide Insight During Peters Township Program -- The Almanac

World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Former Mexican President Fox Endorses Legalization of All Drugs, Endorses Dreamers -- Dallas News

Les Femmes du Monde Honors Carmaleta Whitely Felton -- ParkCitiesPeople

Plano West Repeats as Regional Winner of Academic WorldQuest -- Dallas News

Northern Nevada International Center

The Davidson Academy Wins Academic WorldQuest Competition -- Nevada Today 


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