Fact Sheet

What is Sister Cities International?

It is a nonprofit, citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between US and international communities to increase global cooperation at the local level. The organization traces its roots to 1956 when President Dwight D Eisenhower proposed a people-to-people citizen diplomacy initiative. More information can be found at www.sister-cities.org.


Why a Sister Cities Association of Salisbury/Wicomico County?

Salisbury/Wicomico County began a Sister Cities Association in 2006 and joined Sister Cities International. Subsequently, the longlasting relationship between Salisbury, MD and Salisbury, England was formalized through Sister Cities International. Salisbury, MD has also had a Sister City relationship with Tartu, Estonia since 1999, which has now been formalized. Additionally, over the last year or so, the Sister Cities Association has been developing an informal relationship with Dalian, China.


What are the Mission and Vision of the Sister Cities Association of Salisbury/Wicomico County?

Mission: International exchange creating lasting friendships through cultural understanding, economic development, and education.
Vision: Global peace through mutual understanding.


What is the organization of the Sister Cities Association of Salisbury/Wicomico County?

We have a Board of Directors which meets monthly. The Board has three subcommittees: Culture, Business and Education.


What has the Association accomplished to date?

  • In 2006 we hosted an 8-person delegation from Salisbury, England.
  • In 2007 we coordinated a visit with government officials in Salisbury, England for a group of students and faculty visiting from Salisbury University (SU). We sent gifts from the City with the group from SU to present to the officials in Salisbury, England. The group discussed their experiences at a special Sister Cities Association Meeting.
  • In 2007 we sent gifts from the City, the Board of Education, and Greater Salisbury, and a letter regarding Sister Cities to the Mayor of Dalian, China with a group of students and parents traveling to China. The students discussed their expereince at a special Sister Cities Association meeting and to the Wicomico County Board of Education. They also presented gifts from China to the Board of Education and to the Sister Cities Association of Salisbury/Wicomico County.
  • In 2007 we began a conversation with the Wicomcio County Board of Education about ways to integrate Chinese culture/language into the educational curriculum and to establish cultural exchanges.
  • In 2007 we co-sponsored "Memories Denied" - an award-winning historical and psychological Estonian documentary - with SU, the Salisbury Film Society and SWAC. Also, SU and World Artists Experiences co-sponsored "Vagilased" ("The Mighties") - an award-winning contemporary folk group from Estonia. The event included an Estonian dinner at SU.
  • In 2008 we coordinated a visit with government officials in Tartu, Estonia for a group of students and faculty visiting from Salisbury University. We sent gifts from the City, SWAC and SU to the officials in Tartu. The group discussed their experiences at a special Sister Cities Association meeting.
  • In 2008 we sent gifts from SWAC with a group from Salisbury University visiting Dalian, China
  • In 2008 SCA of SWC held their first International Students and Faculty Reception where Mayor Tilghman gave them a tour of the Council Chambers and a short lecture on municipal government and the role of the Mayor
  • In 2009 we hosted a Global Markets event at the Chamber of Commerce with speakers Bob Walker and Signe Pringle from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development's Division of International Trade and Development
  • In 2009 Dr. Shekar Shetty from the Purdue of School Business at Salisbury University spoke to SCA of SWC about his experiences teaching at Tallinn University of Technology in Tallinn, Estonia
  • In 2009 the Sister Cities Association held their second International Students Reception where Mayor Ireton gave a lecture on the role of the Mayor and a little Salisbury history


What are the future plans of Sister Cities Association of Salisbury/Wicomico County?

  •  Identify what is feasible for us to do with regard to cultural and educational exchanges.
  • Work toward creating Pen Pal relationships between students living in Salisbury, England; Tartu, Estonia; Dalian, China, and students living on the Lower Eastern Shore.
  • Create a signature event.
  • Summer program in Scandinavia: Estonia and Finland- The Perdue School of Business, in collaboration with the University of Tartu in Estonia, has created this program, which offers students a chance to experience firsthand two of the most dynamic economies in eastern Europe. First offering summer 2008 (see above). Next scheduled offering is summer 2010.
  • Salisbury University and the University of Tartu have made special arrangements for SU students to spend a semester in Tartu studying European Studies, Baltic Studies, Law Studies or Russian Studies. Final arrangements pending. Anticipated first offering of program is fall 2009, after which the program would be offered every fall and spring semester.
  • Continue to discuss with the Board of Education ways to internationalize the curriculum and encourage cultural exchanges.
  • Determine the international needs of the business community and then determine how best to address them.


What Government and Community Groups are currently involved with the Sister Cities Association?

The City of Salisbury, Wicomico County, Salisbury University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council and Rotary Club.


Why does the Sister Cities Association need donations?

The Association is a volunteer organization; however, we need money to pay our annual dues to Sister Cities International and to establish the Association as a 501 (c)(3). We also need donations to begin our program of work. Once we become a 501(c)(3) we will engage in further fund raising efforts.


Whom do I contact for more information?

You can contact either George Whitehead, Chair of the Sister Cities Association of Salisbury/Wicomico county, at giwhitehead@salisbury.edu or 410-543-6369, or Gina Boobar, City of Salisbury Mayor's Office, at gboobar@ci.salisbury.md.us or 410-548-3100.