Chicago Sister Cities International Hosts 2020 Virtual Summit
The Fifth Annual Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Summit took place virtually from July 11 – 18, 2020. A joint program of Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Summit is an intensive leadership program designed to empower the next generation of global leaders. The Summit is for teenage girls, ages 14–16, from Chicago and its 29 international sister cities.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s participants engaged with Chicago’s business and civic leaders via virtual workshops, discussions and presentations on advocacy, activism and leadership.
As the largest and most active sister cities organization in the U.S., CSCI is committed to strengthening ties between Chicago and its sister cities around the world. Nine girls from Chicago and 15 from its sister cities were selected this year. The girls from Chicago live in the following neighborhoods: Albany Park, Austin, Bridgeport, Chatham, Edgebrook, Lincoln Park, Portage Park, and South Shore.
The 9 Chicago participants attend the following schools:
- Kenwood Academy
- Lane Technical High School
- Lindblom Math and Science Academy
- Murray Language Academy
- Northside College Prep
- Smyser Elementary
- St. Jerome Catholic School
- Walter Payton College Prep
- Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
The 15 international participants are from the following sister cities of Chicago:
- Accra, Ghana
- Amman, Jordan
- Athens, Greece
- Busan, Republic of Korea
- Delhi, India
- Durban, South Africa
- Galway, Ireland
- Gothenburg, Sweden
- Kyiv, Ukraine
- Lahore, Pakistan
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Milan, Italy
- Shanghai, China
- Sydney, Australia
- Warsaw, Poland
This year’s Summit featured multiple guest speakers including Anna Valencia, City Clerk, City of Chicago; Emma Ruby-Sachs, Executive Director, SumOfUs; and Felicia Davis, President & CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women, among many others. The Ambassadors spent the week exploring issues that have a profound impact on the quality of life for women across the world through the lenses of climate change and the environment, mental health, representation and participation in society, and gender-based violence.
Since its inception in 2016, more than 360 girls have participated in the overall Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Program, with 119 of them participating in the Chicago Summit or Virtual Summit.
This year’s Summit was sponsored by GCM Grosvenor and PNC Bank.