Global Involvement and Cultural Competence

Becoming a Board Member of the World Affairs Council – Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is part of a continuing journey as a member of our global community.  

This journey began for me as a young person with an interest in other cultures and geography. It continued with a visit to South Africa after Apartheid was dismantled, a sister city visit to Moscow and Kharkiv in Ukraine, Red Cross missions and meetings in Vietnam, Cambodia, Ghana, Chile, Switzerland and Refugee International trips to Jordan, Kenya, Thailand, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Global visits by others to the US have also provided unique insights into their cultures and how they view our culture.  Hosting visitors throughout all these experiences and visiting other countries, I have met people from different races, ethnicities, religions, cultures and socioeconomic status and/or dire conditions.  What can be learned by all these opportunities is that significant commonalities exist with other cultures such as love of family, education, health for their children and the hope for life, liberty and happiness.

These experiences also give us the opportunity to explore our cultural differences and, as a result, to learn how we can each accept and adapt to each other’s cultures, aspirations, and needs.  Too often we can only focus on our commonalities and neglect the opportunity to learn more by sharing and understanding. We can successfully accomplish mutual understanding and cooperation on basic humanitarian issues and more complex ones, such as global peace, the refugee crises, and efforts to create life, liberty, and happiness for all.

Education efforts and cultural exchanges supported by the Council are an asset for our community to enhance creating a more welcoming and inclusive Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Region.  Everyone should be encouraged and interested in volunteering and participating in the programs supported and offered by the World Affairs Council.


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