July 06, 2023

Letter from the CEO July 2023

Dear Friends of Utah Global Diplomacy, 

As we embark on another year of fostering global understanding and international goodwill, we have set a fundraising goal of $25,000 to support our mission and programs, and we would be honored if you would consider contributing to our cause.

But first, let me take this moment to share how your support of Utah Global Diplomacy helps makes the world a better place for everyone. Our international delegates often report their Utah experiences as being life-changing, giving them a lift of energy, and making them feel more connected to their cause and community with some commenting how they have grown to be better people with more appreciation for their own causes.

Earlier this year, we hosted a delegation from Armenia who visited Utah to examine and explore efforts on human rights security, inclusivity, and community support initiatives. One delegate mentioned how in her home country of Armenia she continues to face significant challenges including death threats for her work with the LGBTQ community. These threats are so real that we were not allowed to publish pictures of her or her name in our newsletter, social media, and public announcements for fear of retaliation when she returned home.

Our delegate recently shared, “Utah was different from my country. People welcomed us in their houses and offices, people smiled back in the street and introduced themselves to us. I have learned that I can share love instead of hate. I can be more creative, and it's preferred in such work I do. Also, I felt that my queer personality is okay for people who are not working with LGBTQ+ people: communication and questions are the key. I have learned to evaluate, keep in touch freely, ask without fear and study America's culture. So, thank you for this great and heart-warming opportunity and experience for a social worker and queer person to study your experience, and to know so many great people in Utah. Thank you for motivating me not to give up in these hard times.”

I’ll be honest that when I read that last sentence, it made me cry.

Making the world safer, enhancing world peace, breaking down negative stereotypes, and building these beautiful and impactful global connections every day is not easy. And when I read that we are encouraging people, businesses, and communities around the globe during these hard times, not only am I motivated to not give up, but I am also fueled to make a bigger difference than ever before.

So, here are three fun and exciting ways you can make a difference:

Dining Around the World Fundraising Event on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Join us for an exquisite culinary trip around the world. Our Dining Around the World event is an opportunity to indulge in diverse cuisines while connecting with local ethnically-owned restaurants. By purchasing a ticket, you not only get to savor delicious dishes but also contribute directly to our fundraising efforts.

The Bicycle Diplomacy Project: As the CEO of Utah Global Diplomacy, I have initiated a unique project that combines my passion for building bridges between Utah and other nations with cycling, as cycling provides an incredible opportunity for diplomatic engagement, thanks to its slower pace, which allows for more in-depth interaction with those around you. If you are a cycling enthusiast or appreciate a good old fashion bike-a-thon, check out The Bicycle Diplomacy Project as I ride more than 500 miles seeking out the spirit of hope in Utah, across the United States, and around the world. Not to mention, 100% of the funds raised from The Bicycle Diplomacy Project support the mission and programs of Utah Global Diplomacy.

Strings of Diplomacy Art Fundraiser - ongoing until December 2023: We have commissioned TEN new violins to be painted by local artists for our Strings of Diplomacy Art Exhibit. These violins provide a medium through which the viewer can experience cultural heritage and identity and invite people to engage in conversations that raise cultural awareness, promote social identity, and at the same time, strengthen intercultural relations. Support Utah Global Diplomacy by purchasing one of these violins - your donation supports our Young Diplomats of Utah Program.

And of course, SAVE THE DATE for the original Vivaldi by Candlelight concert in Utah - Saturday, December 2, 2023. Tickets go on sale on July 1, 2023.

Your contribution, no matter the amount, makes a significant impact on our organization and the lives of those we serve. Whether it goes towards funding our educational programs, supporting international exchanges, or strengthening our outreach efforts, your financial gifts are instrumental in furthering the cause of citizen diplomacy.

We invite you to donate through one of the three opportunities listed above or donate online through our secure website. 

Thank you for your consideration and support. We look forward to your generous contribution, which will help us reach our fundraising goal and make a lasting difference. Together, let us build bridges, promote understanding, and create a world where cultural differences are celebrated and cherished. 

Felecia Maxfield-Barrett
President & CEO