May 4, 2020
May Newsletter
President's Letter; 'CxC: Amplified' - Putting the World Back Together Ideas Summit: Opening Video, Registration, and Star Speakers; Council of the Month; USIP's Nancy Lindborg to Give a Virtual Keynote to the WACA Network; May Cover to Cover and KNOW NOW; and more Council News!
Dear Council Leaders, Supporters, and Friends:

As President of the World Affairs Councils of America, I often reflect on the immortal line of British poet John Donne:

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

I first read his essay, Meditation 17, as a freshman in college. Donne's message is about interconnectedness - that everyone must rely on the company and comfort of others in order to thrive. International relations theorists often cite it as an argument against isolationism.

It was 1623 when Donne wrote Meditation 17 - five years into the Thirty Years’ War that would decimate Europe, with eight million lives lost to violence, famine, and plague. The Peace of Westphalia of 1648 brought that conflict to a close and was and is commonly seen as marking the start of the nation-state system.

And here we are today, grappling with an ever-chaotic world, one riven by tensions of nationalism versus globalization and amid a lethal pandemic that has captured the globe’s attention.

As we connect with each other throughout this week’s CxC: Amplified Putting the World Back Together Ideas Summit and beyond, I hold in mind the courage of medical workers, first responders, and everyday citizens. In an isolating time of social distancing and mounting death tolls, the poet reminds us why solidarity is important:

[A]ny man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind....

Thank you in advance for connecting and engaging with us this week, and every week. Remember to support your community, support your local World Affairs Council, and amplify your voice with us!

Thanks also to my colleagues, Council by Council, for we are helping in our way to put the world back together - and more than that, Council by Council, we will continue to do our part to move the world forward.

Sincerely yours,
Bill Clifford, President and CEO
Putting the World Back Together
An ideas summit presented by World Affairs Councils nationwide
May 4-8, 2020
View the Summit's Opening Session Here!
All Summit sessions will be recorded and posted to WACA's YouTube channel as well as the Member Resources section of the WACA website.
Register now!  Visit the   CxC: Amplified Summit website  to view the developing agenda and register for a variety of events ranging from speaker programs and happy hours to salsa dancing and yoga classes.

Customize your week!  This Summit is presented virtually  for you , which means you can customize your daily agenda to include the events that interest you and work with your schedule.  Each event has its own registration link  and information that can be found on the  CxC: Amplified website , so  be sure to register for   any and all  events  you plan to join.   The vast majority of events are completely free.

' Putting the World Back Together '  marks the first time Councils across the country will gather virtually for a special, inclusive Ideas Summit, under a new brand: CxC: Amplified. Our collective programming - virtual events, conversations, debates, and engagement opportunities - on one platform aims to meet this historic moment with unity, leadership, and dialogue.

CxC: Amplified  is a full week of ideas designed to amplify voices on foreign and national policy, Council by Council, and coast to coast. Open to the public, this Ideas Summit brings together leaders, experts, and citizens across the nation to tackle the central question: How will the world be put back together as we chart our way through the new circumstances caused by this coronavirus pandemic?

Councils ,   we are calling on you to promote the Summit to your membership and regional communities. This is a great opportunity to bolster your own membership engagement and demonstrate the value of the World Affairs Council Network providing personal and professional connections especially during this time of social distancing.

Please use this  communications kit  when promoting Summit events,  and explain to members that they must register for each individual event they would like to attend.
Star Speakers This Week on CxC: Amplified
Monday, May 4, 8:00 PM ET
Ambassador (ret.) Bill Taylor
EVP, U.S. Institute of Peace
Tuesday, May 5, 12:00 PM ET
General (ret.) David Petraeus
Chairman, KKR Global Institute
Wednesday, May 6, 2:00 PM ET
Dr. Nina Ansary
UN Women Global Champion
Wednesday, May 6, 6:00 PM ET
Evelyn Miralles
Former Chief Principal Engineer, NASA; AVP, University of Houston

Thursday, May 7, 10:00 AM ET
Ambassador Emily Haber
German Ambassador to the U.S.

Friday, May 8, 12:00 PM ET
General (ret.) John Allen
President, Brookings Institution
The World Affairs Council of Connecticut receives the much-deserved honor of Council of the Month for May! The CxC: Amplified Summit was the brain child of WAC Connecticut, and CEO Megan Torrey and VP of Programs and Communications Amanda Jolly, and consultant Caroline Schaefer were instrumental in the developing, planning, and presentation of this fantastic Ideas Summit connecting Councils nationwide.

We thank them for their tremendous work both for the CxC: Amplified Summit and the high-level speaker presentations they present virtually in response to the current pandemic. Stay tuned for more fantastic programming and features from the Council throughout the month of May.
WACA Presents USIP President Lindborg in Special Program May 28
Mark your calendars! Nancy Lindborg, President and CEO of the United States Institute of Peace, will deliver a virtual keynote address to the Council Network and all Academic WorldQuest students and teachers on Thursday, May 28.

In light of the current pandemic and the unfortunate but necessary cancelation of the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, Nancy will address the students and teachers along with the national audience - stay tuned for event information and platform details.
National Teacher Appreciation Week!
This week (May 4-8) our country celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week! Teachers change the lives of millions of children every day - their immense work and impact moves us beyond words, so we need emojis to say how we feel. And with the abrupt end to the physical school year, our teachers have done even more to continue education with virtual classrooms and learning at home lessons. All to ensure every student has the tools they need to reach their full potential.

Tomorrow, May 5, we celebrate National Teacher Day! So, let’s all shower teachers in appreciation by sharing your personal story or congratulations on social media using #ThankATeacher.

It's in these challenging times that we truly recognize and appreciate how our nation’s educators play such a pivotal role in our children’s lives - inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success.
Cover to Cover : Nina Ansary on Global Gender Inequality - May 6
Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, May 6 at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Dr. Nina Ansary, UN Women Global Champion for Innovation and Visiting Fellow at The London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace & Security, for Anonymous Is a Woman: A Global Chronicle of Gender Inequality.

Anonymous Is a Woman takes readers on a 4,000-year historic journey to expose the roots and manifestations of institutionalized gender discrimination; dismantle centuries of historical bias through biographical profiles of fifty extraordinary, yet forgotten women innovators; and challenge ingrained stereotypical assumptions to advance an unconventional argument for equality and inclusivity.
Cover to Cover : Michael Klare on Climate Change - May 14
Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Thursday, May 14, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Michael Klare, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Arms Control Association and Professor Emeritus of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, on his book All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change.

Of all major institutions in American society, none take climate change as seriously as the U.S. military and the Pentagon. Drawing on previously obscure reports and government documents, renowned security expert Michael Klare shows that the U.S. military sees the climate threat as imperiling the country on several fronts at once. The military now regards climate change as one of the top threats to American national security, and is busy developing strategies to cope with it.
KNOW NOW: Amb. Luis Moreno on U.S.-Latin America Relations - May 21
Register now for WACA's KNOW NOW conference call Thursday, May 21, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featuring Ambassador Luis Moreno, former U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, on U.S.-Latin America relations. Ambassador Moreno will be in conversation with Armen Babajanian, Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio.

U.S. interest in Latin America has grown significantly over the years and political, socio-economic, and cultural factors have influenced the conduct of American diplomacy in the region. What does the future hold for U.S.-Latin America relations and what impact will these relationships have on their respective economies and political structures? Join Ambassador Moreno and Armen Babajanian for an in depth look into Latin America, a region comprised of more than 30 countries with varying economies, leadership styles, and roles in the international arena.
Nordic Innovation Summit 2020 Goes Virtual
The Nordic Innovation Summit 2020 presented by Ericsson, previously scheduled for May 14 at the National Nordic Museum, has been reimagined and transformed into a virtual Summit available online to anyone at no cost!
The virtual Nordic Innovation Summit 2020 will take place on Thursday, May 14, from 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM ET.

This free online event will give you the opportunity to hear from some of the top voices on sustainability, growth, and corporate leadership in the Nordic countries and the Pacific Northwest. Register here!

Join us tomorrow, May 5 , for #GivingTuesdayNow : a global day of giving and unity supporting nonprofits in response to the unprecedented needs created by COVID-19.
The World Affairs Councils of America is an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to engaging the public and leading global voices to better understand the world, America’s international role, and the policy choices that impact our daily lives and our future.

Your generous contributions will strengthen our capacity to support the World Affairs Council Network through educational and civic initiatives - any amount helps.

Your donation goes to:

  • Academic WorldQuest Endowment
  • Our flagship youth education program. We are 23% away from achieving our $1M goal!
  • New Horizons Councils Fund
  • Any monies donated to this fund are set aside only for World Affairs Councils' use
  • New Horizons General Operations
  • Help support WACA carry out its educational mission with initiatives such as the National Conference, Cover to Cover and KNOW NOW monthly conference calls, the Engage America Speaker Series, and general office operations

You can give in one of several ways:

  • Pay with your credit card via the donation buttons at the bottom of this page
  • Mail a check to the WACA National Office (1010 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 516, Washington, DC 20005)
  • Make a gift of appreciated stock
  • Request a distribution from your Donor Advised Fund
  • Check with your employer to see if they will match your gift!

With the passing of the CARES Act, most individual taxpayers will become eligible for significant tax benefits for charitable contributions made this year. Two of these benefits will be:

  • A $300 Above-the-Line Charitable deduction, meaning that individuals who do not itemize their deductions will be eligible to claim up to $300 of charitable deductions in 2020, on top of the standard deduction
  • Modified Limitations on Cash Charitable Contributions - for 2020, the 60% AGI limitation on cash contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations, such as WACA, is suspended

Click on the categories below to make a donation and view more information about the benefits of your contribution. We thank you for your support!
Access Council Virtual Programming via WACA's Members-Only Portal
WACA is busy preparing a number of additional resources for the Members-Only section! WACA strives to provide Councils with easy access to tools, guidelines, events, and more that add value to our Members both personally and professionally, to our Councils' overall operations, and to the Network as a whole. This is a top priority for the National Office, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. That is why we've added two resource sections dedicated to COVID-19 related information and digital programming available to the public by Councils.

The goal is to make the Members-Only section a one-stop shop for all Council needs. However, these sections are only as good as the information contained within, so we are calling on all Councils to please submit any documentation per the categories below, or any other information helpful to the Network.

The Members-Only section is a private benefit for our Council Members. Please contact Rachel Pastor at for login details and account creation.
COVID-19 Updates & Tracker

Health & Wellness

Educator Resources
  • Ohio Council for the Social Studies Resource Document -- Bill Hilt, President/CEO, WAC Northwest Ohio
  • To help alleviate some of concerns with distance learning and explaining the current health crisis, the list is a compilation of K-12 Social Studies lessons, activities, and resources. It also has guidelines for explaining COVID-19 to young people.
  • Zoom CEO announcement of free platforms for K-12 schools

WACA Updates: Messages from President and CEO Bill Clifford

  • Monday, April 27 Announcement
  • Friday, April 24 Announcement
  • Monday, April 6 Update
  • Friday, April 3 Update
  • Thursday, April 2 Announcement
  • Tuesday, March 31 Announcement
  • Monday, March 30 Reminder
  • Friday, March 27 Reminder
  • Monday, March 23 Announcement
  • Tuesday, March 17 Update
  • Monday, March 16 Update
  • Thursday, March 12 Update
  • Monday, March 9 Announcement

*To view Council Member Resources on the WACA website, you must be a Council leader, staff, or board member and have an account

Please contact Rachel Pastor at if you don't have an account.
WACA's National Speaker Database Needs You!
We have recently debuted WACA's Speaker Database 2.0. In this new iteration, we have expanded our list of speakers and made it easier than ever for you, as Council staff and board members, to engage with it. We want your speakers! Please submit your speakers through the " Submit Your Speakers" button on our website.

You need to have an account through our website in order to view and interact with the database and submit your speakers. To check if you have an account, please visit your Council Member page on the WACA website and see if you are listed as a staff or board member. If you are not, you will not be able to interact with the database yet.

If you do not have an account or are having issues accessing the website and/or the Speaker Database, please email Rachel Pastor.