UW-Eau Claire: ‘Thursdays at the U’ to highlight citizen diplomacy through sister cities

Deb Neuheisel of the Rice Lake International Friendship Association (RLIFA), will present “Sister Cities: An Opportunity for Citizen Diplomacy” April 28 for the “Thursdays at the U” lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County.

The presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus. Those who cannot attend in person can watch the livestream.

Sister Cities International was founded in 1956 in response to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s call for people-to-people programs to promote global understanding, one friendship at a time. Official, chartered sister cities are formed by local governments.

Rice Lake has partnerships with two sister cities — Miharu, Japan, and Zamberk, Czech Republic. As a result of work by RLIFA volunteers, its programs have evolved and earned international recognition.

During her April 28 presentation, Neuheisel will share a framework for developing a citizen diplomacy program or joining RLIFA’s initiatives. She will be joined by citizens of Zamberk as part of their visit to Rice Lake.

An honorary citizen of Zamberk, Neuheisel is a board member and twice past president of RLIFA. She has led delegations, coordinated successful multinational initiatives and presented at two Sister Cities International conferences. Now retired, Neuheisel’s career areas included education, social and community services, business and marketing.

The “Thursdays at the U” weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for campus guests. Masks are encouraged but not required on UW-Eau Claire campuses, including UW-Eau Claire – Barron County.

For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at [email protected].