March: Sister Cities Louisville Newsletter

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Message from our Director Meet kevin Lynch City Notes Letters from Abroad

Sports in our Cities News from Around the world Feature: Festivites in Jiujiang Remembering those we've lost


10 11 12 14


WAC Staff Xiao Yin Zhao Executive Director


AndiDahmer Exchange Program Manager Lydia Lewis Event and Program Coordinator


Wes Kawata, Treasurer Antigona Mehani, Secretary

Brian Herbert

Bennett Knox

Colleen Abate Dr. David Wiegman Dr. Gloria Murray Jacque Van Houten

Sabeen Nasim (Committee Chair)

Jason Woodall

Dr. Adel Elmaghraby, University of Louisville

Dr. Kristen Wallitsch

Bennett Knox, Jefferson Memorial Forest

Dr. Dave Wiegman Dr. Gloria Murray, Indiana University Southeast Jacque Van Houten Jan Grayson Roberta Hershberg ADAPAZARI

Dr. Renee Campbell, University of Kentucky Mike Tracy, University of Louisville LA PLATA

Jan Grayson, Immediate Past Chair

Liz Congleton Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Brian Easley, Druther's


Brian Easley, Vice Chair

Bashar Masri

WAC Sister Cities Committee


Christina Milner, Board Chair

Milira Tillman Global Education Coordinator



WAC Board

Tom Dumsdorf, University of Louisville Wendy Yoder, University of Louisville Chief Ife Bell, Professional Coach


Leslie Geoghegan Dr. Renee Campbell Roberta Hershberg Sabeen Nasim Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. Wendy Sirchio Dr. Adel S. Elmaghraby



Dear Sister Cities Friends, We are excited to share our first issue of the updated Sister Cities News Magazine with all of you. With this new format, we hope to give more voice to the people that are at the heart of our respective Sister Cities relationships. The goal of our Sister Cities News Magazine is to strengthen, deepen and broaden awareness of the relationships across borders that support peace, cultural understanding, and compassion. This issue highlights the importance of sports as a platform for peace, collaboration and friendly competition. From the Olympics to our own cities, sports brings us together by showcasing the human spirit to overcome all hardships, and teach us life lessons that transcend the sports itself.

As we distribute this issue, an aggressive war is occurring in Ukraine and undermining the stability of the world that has existed for decades. The Sister Cities programs have both benefited from and helped to create this peaceful environment through our people-topeople exchanges. It is more important than ever that we support each other and emerge from this period stronger and better prepared. Through these pages, we hope to promote more exchange of our cultures and be reminded of all the reasons why Sister Cities are important, especially during times of conflict. As President Eisenhower said in 1956, "our faith in the great promise of people-to-people and sister city affiliations in helping build the solid structure of world peace" is what unites us.



The Louisville Metro Office for Globalization has a new Director, Kevin Lynch. We work in close association with OfG to achieve the mission of the World Affairs Council and Sister Cities. We reached out to Kevin to find out a bit more about him, why he cares about Sister Cities, and his work in Louisville. When did you first move to Louisville? I first moved to Louisville in 1984 as a lawyer with GE Appliances. I’ve lived in Louisville most of the time since then, but spent a few years in Asia and Europe and a couple of years in Chicago and Indianapolis. My wife, Sunny, is originally from South Korea, and we’ve lived in a lot of places but like Louisville the best. It’s a very welcoming town with a good quality of life, and it’s easy to get involved in the community.

You've worked closely with Sister Cities for many years. What draws you to the work? I’ve always had an interest in foreign cultures and foreign affairs, and both organizations have a lot to offer in those areas. The people involved tend to be an interesting and diverse group. WAC gives you a chance to spend time with visitors from all over the world through the U.S. State Department. They also have some great speakers, and I had the opportunity to spend some time with Mikhail Gorbachev and Colin Powell when they visited Louisville. Why do you think Sister Cities is important for Louisville? Louisville is becoming more of an international city than many people realize. Without immigrants, Louisville would not have grown at all over the last 15 years. It’s important that more and more people in Louisville have exposure to other cultures, so we can be an even more welcoming community.


When President Eisenhower started Sister Cities (originally called People to People), he emphasized the importance of developing individual “people to people” relationships to promote understanding. Through WAC and SCL, many individuals have developed strong relationships with people from our sister cites or visitors who stayed with families on their U.S. visits. Many of those foreign visitors to WAC cities have become leaders in their countries, including several heads of state.

We visited the school and saw how thankful they were, and we noticed pictures in several schoolrooms of Wei-bin helping out. That was a good example of the benefit of the “people- to-people” relationships Eisenhower envisioned.

Have you ever visited one of Louisville's Sister Cities or a Friendship City before? What was it like?

What opportunities or activities would you like for Louisville to engage in with our Sister Cities?

Four of us visited Chengdu and Jiujiang, China in 2016. We spent quality time at a conference with Sister Cities representatives from Chengdu and all over the world. Wei-bin Zeng arranged the trip, and what impressed me the most were the relationships he had developed with people in both cities. Wherever we went, it was clear how much they care for and respect Wei-bin.

We definitely should continue the exchanges and visits in both directions. Even though we’re all tired of Zoom, we could use that or other technology to keep connected with people we’ve met over the years through WAC or SCL. Maybe we could have an occasional virtual program about a cultural aspect of Louisville or a sister city. It’s a little easier than the old “pen pal” approach!

There was a very bad flood a couple of years before and many students at an elementary school near Jiujiang tragically drowned. Through Wei-bin’s fundraising efforts in Louisville, they were able to rebuild the school.

When we visited Chengdu, I was also impressed with how it had grown into a modern city.

Overall, both WAC and SCL can help open the minds and hearts of all of us!


Slugger Baseball Field

City Notes: Sports in the 'Ville By Lydia Lewis In this edition of our newsletter, we focus on how sports play a role in our communities. In Louisville, we have a dynamic and wide ranging series of sports--from horse racing to basketball to soccer (football). We want to share some interesting facts about our major sports figures and teams and how they have impacted our city. Sporting events bring millions to Louisville, boosting regional economy and personal well-being.

German Woodworking Roots If baseball is known as America's "favorite past-time," then the Louisville Slugger baseball bat must be its favorite piece of equipment. Baseball is played between two opposing teams of nine players each, that take turns batting and fielding. The bats made in Louisville are the official bats of the Major League Baseball professional association. In 1842, J. Frederick Hillerich emigrated with his family from Germany to Baltimore, Maryland. The village they are from is about and hour southeast of our Sister City of Mainz. They moved to Louisville in 1856, where Hillerich started a woodworking shop. By 1864 "J.F. Hillerich, Job Turning" was in business and filled orders for everything from spindles to shutters to steamboat interiors. Later in 1884, according to the story, Frederick's son Bud gave a local player named Pete Browning a newly made bat after watching his break numerous times during a practice session.

Sources: Courier-Journal, Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville City FC, Muhammad Ali Center.

Legend has it in the next game Browning got three hits with the bat Bud made. Pete Browning's nickname was "the Louisville Slugger." After some years of fighting between father and son, they finally agreed to add baseball bats to their woodworking shop and the famed player's nickname became their registered trademark in 1894. Today, the company's current president is the greatgrandson of the baseball bat enthusiast Bud. On average they make 1.8 million bats of all sizes every year of all sizes.

Louisville's Football Club Gets New Home The popularity of soccer has grown by leaps and bounds in the US over the past several years, and Louisville is no exception. We are fortunate to not only have a local club to support and see play, but one that has been wildly successful. The beautiful game has built a foothold in the region over the past five years, since Louisville City FC played its first match in 2015. The team will share its new open-air arena with Racing Louisville FC, a National Women's Soccer League expansion franchise that occurred in 2021. The Lynn Family Stadium opened in 2020 and is able to accommodate over 11,000 people. Matches started up again, safely, during the pandemic and the site hosted vaccination pop ups as well.


The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports One of the most famous and international sporting events in Louisville is the Kentucky Derby. This event occurs on the first Saturday in May, except for in 2020 and 1945 when they were delayed. An estimated 150,000 people attend on average. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain attended as she is a noted horse racing fan. The Derby also holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously-held horse race in the United States. It began in 1875 and was modeled after the famous Epsom Derby races in England. During April and May the city comes alive with festivities, parades, and firework shows building up to the big day. Locals across the city and state host viewing parties and share traditions.

Kentucky Derby

The Greatest of All Time Muhammad Ali is perhaps the best-known and wellregarded figure to come out of Louisville, Kentucky. As a boxer, Ali brought unprecedented speed and grace to his sport, while his charm and wit changed forever what the public expected a champion to be. His accomplishments in the ring were the stuff of legend. But there was always far more to Muhammad than what took place in a boxing ring. His lifelong commitment to peace and social justice is recognized in the establishment of a center in his hometown that bears his name. The Muhammad Ali Center inspires both children and adults to form new commitments in their lives in areas of personal growth, integrity, and respect for others.

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it — then I can achieve it. Muhammad Ali

The World Affairs Council is proud to work in partnership with the Ali Center and we often have international guests visit the renowned center to learn more about the "Greatest of All Time".

College Sports Lead the Way Kentucky is one of a few states that does not have a professional sports league in baseball, football or basketball. As mentioned above, we do have a professional soccer team, but only since 2015. To fill that void Louisville and the rest of the state put our love of sport into college-level sport teams located at the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University and more. Basketball is the particular sport of choice in our area and many have fierce rivalries over which team they root for throughout the state.

Muhammad Ali


Letters from Abroad In this new section, we will hear from people who have traveled to or participated in exchanges in Louisville or in one of our Sister Cities. This month we hear from Dr. Kelli Bernedo and her travels to Quito, Ecuador. ___________________________________ By Dr. Kelli Bernedo Traveling and studying abroad will change your life. Back in 2007, I traveled to Quito, and the surrounding area, for the first time as part of a summer abroad experience with Indiana University Southeast. That summer, like previous ones, Dr. Magdalena Herdoiza Estévez led a group of students through this life-changing, educational, and cultural experience.

Kelli and Dr. Estevez touring Quito.

Living in Ecuador was one of the best years of my life.

We taught in local schools, explored local museums and landmarks, participated in a service-learning project in the village of San Gerardo, and relaxed in the Cloud Forest. This experience changed my perspective on teaching, people, and life. I can easily say that the Summer of 2007 changed my life. Since that summer, I have returned to Ecuador many times, including living, and working at Colegio Ecuatoriano Español América Latina during the 2011-2012 school year. During my year in Quito, I lived with another teacher at the school, who I refer as my Ecuadorian mother. She refers to me as her “hija gringa loca” (crazy American daughter). Living with a native Ecuadorian forced me out of my comfort zone when it came to language, culture, food, and life. But it was one of the best years of my life. We are still very close. One of my favorite memories was when my husband, John, was able to come assist with the IUS program’s service-learning project in 2016. During this summer, IUS partnered with Water Step to bring water purifiers and chlorine makers to the earthquake-stricken regions of the country. John, being an engineer and fully bilingual, served as one of the trainers of these devices for the community.

9 These experiences, and many more, have provided me with endless opportunities to teach, serve and lead in the international community in both Southern Indiana and Louisville. I have worked with English Learners, and their families, in both Greater Clark County Schools and in Jefferson County Public Schools. In August of 2021, I started a full-time position with Indiana University Southeast, in the ENL/ESL Education program. My hope is that my stories will help encourage others to study abroad and explore the world. The “Explorations in Diversity: Summer in Ecuador” program ended when Dr. Herdoiza Estévez retired in 2017. My dream is to bring it back some day. I want to be part of the change in others’ lives. Kelli and Natalia in 2012.

_______________________________________________ Dr. Kelli Bernedo is an Assistant Professor of English as a Second Language/English as New Language Education at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana. Quito, Ecuador is Louisville's second oldest Sister City. In 1962 the two cities made this partnership which has expanded to fields in medical knowledge, humanitarian aid, and municipal cooperation.

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Quito provided me with opportunities to teach, serve and lead in the international community.


Sports Around the World By Beatrice Colombier (Montpellier), Franz-Josef Wertmann (Mainz), and Osman Mubarak Abu (Tamale)

We hear about the most popular sports in our Sister Cities and the accomplishments of their local athletes.

Montpellier: Sports Galore Did you know that nine athletes based in Montpellier returned home with Olympic medals around their necks last year? With an ecosystem of 290 high-level athletes, and 20 teams in the highest leagues in their sports and categories, Montpellier is a paradise for sports lovers. Whether you are into Football, Rugby, Handball, Volleyball, Basketball or even American Football, Baseball or Ice Hockey, Montpellier has a professional team for you to support. If you are inspired by the pros and want to compete, our local sports clubs are home to almost 100 000 licensees and thousands of volunteers and professionals to train them in a wide variety of disciplines. Montpellier has also hosted a wide variety of International sports events, including the FIFA Women’s World cup in 2019 or the FISE, an annual Extreme sports Competition for riders from around the world. This year Montpellier will host the World Figure Skating Championships, from the 21st to 27th of March 2022.

Mainz: Track and Field Olympians Sport in general does play an important role in our city, with numerous clubs of all sorts all over Mainz. In Finthen, a western suburb, the Kunst-Kraft-Sportverein has been doing very good work in popular sports for years, and time and again produces top performers. For example, two young ladies won the world championship in the women's 2-woman artistic bicycle a few years ago.

The best-known sports club in Mainz is Mainz 05, whose soccer team performs at a high level in the Premier League (Bundesliga). They always attract tens of thousands of spectators to their stadium, which was newly built a few years ago. Last but not least there is our famous university sports club (USC) that is the home of many Olympic gold medal winners in the track and field competitions.

Tamale: Soccer Star of the City SpZainab Haruna, a fifteen years old play maker of Tamale Super Ladies has had to deal with the strain and attention that comes with being dubbed the "Messi" for a long time. Nonetheless, she is used to dealing with pressure. In the 2020/2021 season, as an attacking Midfielder, she put up an impressive statistics scoring ten (10) goals out of Fifteen matches, with twelve (12) assists, and winning a number of most valuable player.

SpZainab Haruna

She is also a complete baller, dribbler, a goal scorer with precision and she been described by many as total footballer. While at Tamale Super Ladies, she displayed such exceptional technical talent and vision that earned her a call up to the national women under fifteen (U15). The midfielder has thrived in her new surroundings, and big clubs in the country are keeping tabs on her. In the academic world she performed creditable well in her West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.


Updates from our Cities By Franz-Josef Wertmann (Mainz), and Osman Mubarak Abu (Tamale)

We hear about the latest updates from our Cities including official news and exciting events on the horizon.

Mainz: Fassnacht Celebrations “Fassenacht”, the famous fifth season along the river Rhine – that means “Prince Carnival” has taken over the rule of the city, day-long parties, all-nighters, costume balls held throughout the city. Unfortunately, all events, all festivities on the streets, especially this wonderful parade known as “Rosenmontagszug” which normally attracts half a million spectators, had to be canceled again this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions. But many of the carnival clubs have organized sessions online where they present their witty and funny programs.

Tamale: New Member of Sister City Committee On Saturday, February 5, 2022 the Sister Cities of Tamale held its general meeting. Part of the agenda was to elect new Executive Committee to stir the affairs of the relationship. The house also used the opportunity to reorganize and form various committees which in the past were dormant. The following members were elected as the new executives: 1. Alhaji Alhassan Madugu Kpabia - President (Unopposed) former Vice President. 2. Chief Nyorin Lana - Vice President 3. Osman Mubarik Abu- Secretary (Unopposed). 4. Yussif Abdul Mumin - Assistant Secretary (Unopposed) 5. Hajia Fati Munkaila - Treasurer(Unopposed) 6. Jomo Issahaku Amin - Assistant Treasurer 7. Abdullah- Public Relations Officer The outgoing President Alhaji Mohammed Haroon congratulated the newly elected executives and challenged them to continue from the previous achievements of the past executives. He used the opportunity to thank the general house, including those present and far for the opportunity he was offered to serve in the capacity as the President of the Sister Cities of Tamale. He handed over to Alhaji Alhassan Madugu as the new President of the Sister Cities of Tamale in the presence of the general house. On his part, the New President Alhaji Alhassan Madugu thanked the house for the confidence in him and the entire executive committee.

Fassnacht Celebration (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

He also thanked Alhaji Mohammed Haroon his team for handling the position for the past 10 year. He pledged with the support of his executives to continue to build on what his predecessors had achieved.


Jiujiang: Olympic Celebrations By Cindy from Jiujiang Foreign Affairs and Lydia Lewis (WAC)

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics came to a close a couple of weeks ago on February 20th. This international sporting event allowed athletes from around the world to show their abilities in all the sports we love during the winter months.

Ms. Wang Zhongmei

The first Winter Olympic Games were held in Chamonix, France in 1924.

Our counterpart in Jiujiang provided us with a special look into how our Sister City was participated in the games and how the community celebrated the events. ________________________________

Olympic Torch Relay Perhaps one of the most famous and enduring images associated with Olympic festivities is the torch relay across the host country. In host country China, about 1,200 torchbearers participated in Beijing 2022 Olympic torch relay. These torchbearers came from all walks of life and most of them make outstanding achievements and contributions. As an industrial worker, Ms. Wang Zhongmei took part in the Beijing 2022 torch relay atop the Badaling section of the Great Wall. She is a chief welder from China Railway Jiujiang Bridge Engineering Co. Ltd, and she was awarded as a national technical expert, a national model worker, and an outstanding communist party member in China.

Opening Ceremony

13 Since July, 2001, she has worked as a welder and participated in the construction of over 60 famous bridges at home and abroad. Wang said that she felt very happy and proud, and was inspired by the Olympic spirit and would love to pass it to everyone. She hopes that persistence, confidence, never-saydie spirit and hard work of the Olympic Games would prompt more people to pursue their own dreams and build a better world.

Winter Carnival

Skiing on Mount Lushan

To celebrate the Beijing 2022, Jiujiang launched a winter carnival on Mount Lushan, a world-famous tourist destination. Tourists enjoyed the beautiful scenery and participated in interesting sports such as skiing, hiking and more.

About 1,200 torchbearers participated in Beijing 2022 Olympic torch relay.

Through these activities, people in Jiujiang extended their best wishes and supports for the Winter Olympics.

Skiing on Mount Lushan Lushan ski field, built in 2018 in Jiujiang, attracts a lot of visitors every winter season. This year, the enthusiasm for winter sports triggered by the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics continues to heat up in Jiujiang. _____________________________ We hope you enjoyed this special feature on the Olympics and the festive spirit of sports in our Sister City of Jiujiang! Winter Carnival



Sadly, we lost one of our greatest Sister Cities supporters in early 2022. We want to share with our readers in Louisville and abroad Irene's legacy. We are sharing below a segment of her obituary, written by her family. Irene Therese (Terry) Taylor Stacy, 90, of Prospect, KY passed away at her home on February 10, 2022. Terry was born December 18, 1931, in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in Clarks Green, PA. She was a 1953 graduate of Penn State with a degree in home economics Her greatest love was her family including her extended multi-generational family. She will be remembered as a loving mother, doting Nana/Great Nana, supportive "big" sister and friend to so many.

Second only to family was her love to travel which started at 18 with a trip to Europe. After moving to KY, Terry's love of travel and meeting people was realized with her work with Dr. George Brodschi at the University of Louisville's International Center. This was the beginning of decades of being an active member of Sister Cities of Louisville. She spent years on the Board of Directors (incl. President, VP, Sec) but more importantly many years of hosting foreign students and visitors to Louisville from around the world. Those lifelong relationships are at the core of Terry's travel bug to see her "kids" and friends overseas. Terry shared that love of travel and meeting people around the world by taking or sponsoring a trip to Europe for each of her grandchildren.

MARCH 2022