Recent Commission Activities
Atlanta’s sister cities showed strength and resilience throughout the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay connected and share best practices, The Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and the Atlanta Sister Cities Committee (ASCC) hosted a virtual summit titled “Sister City Diplomacy & COVID-19: Looking Ahead to the New Normal.”
Over 10 ASCC cities joined to share challenges and the ways each city was able to overcome major areas of concern. This summit allowed cities to learn from each other and share ideas for best practices. Following the event, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs published a series of reports detailing how each sister city has mitigated problems that arose from the impact of COVID-19. The reports are found at: https://www.atlinternationalaffairs.com/news-events.
In addition to this virtual summit, other events were hosted to connect sister cities around the world. Dr. Augustine Esogbue, Committee Chair of the Lagos-Atlanta Sister City Commission, presented his work with Lagos at the Diaspora Day global webinar to connect the Nigerian diaspora around the world. He also participated in the Sister Cities International (SCI) webinar on Emergency Municipal Management in November, which showcased SCI’s collaboration with Africa Fire Mission to provide firefighting assistance throughout Africa. Furthermore, Terri Simmons, former ASCC Chair and current SCI board-member, spoke about strengthening ties with global partners at the Sister Cities International Convention in July.
Prior to the national shelter-in-place mandates, Northern Powerhouse, an economic initiative to boost economic activity in the North of England, traveled to Atlanta on a trade mission represented by exporters and high-growth businesses from cities across northern England, including Newcastle. Once the mandate was lifted in Georgia, Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development led an economic mission to Germany to promote international ties and support Atlanta’s sister city relationship with Nuremberg.
As COVID-19 continued to impact communities, many sister city committees organized food drives and distribution assistance to assist families in need. Food distribution centers in Decatur and Union City, Georgia, as well as Lagos, Nigeria helped provide food and medical supplies to hundreds of residents.
In 2020, many social activities continued, despite the transition to a virtual platform. The Atlanta-Greek Film Expo featured Greece’s 2020 Oscar entry, and a virtual film festival was hosted in July 2020 to promote Greek movies in the United States to the Atlanta Greek Community. In addition, the Atlanta-Toulouse Sister City Committee organized a virtual screening of Dean’s Road, an event that supported the collaboration of actors and artists from Atlanta and Toulouse. Various socially distanced gatherings between members of the sister city commissions allowed the members to re-connect and plan future events.
Keeping the spirit of sports alive, The Port of Spain Sister City Commission and Georgia Youth Select Soccer Association partnered to provide soccer training for Atlanta area youth. In addition, the annual Daffodil Dash 5K, hosted by the Daffodil Project, continued in 2020 virtually.
For more information on recent events, click the "Annual Report" below. Past events and initiatives can also be found under the “Past Highlights” tab on the main navigation menu.