November 2, 2020
November Newsletter
Letter From the President; WACA 2020 National Conference Updates; Councils of the Month; WACA's Embassy Row Live!; Engage America: World Food Programme; Submit Your AWQ Pledge Forms; Charitable Giving Tax Planning; 2021 Exchanges Photo Contest; and more!
Dear Colleagues, Supporters, and Friends:

Tomorrow is Election Day, and it set to be one of the most historic in United States history. It rivals the 1796 election, which enshrined the precedent of the peaceful transfer of executive power, and the 1860 election of Lincoln, crucial to preserving the Union.

Underscoring the stakes in 2020, tens of millions of Americans have already cast their ballots in unprecedented early voting; tens of millions more will do so on November 3. If you haven't voted yet, I hope you have a clear and ready plan to make your voice heard tomorrow.

Once we know which presidential candidate is the official winner, the immediate task facing citizens and all elected leaders will be to heal divisions and commit to public safety amid the pandemic.

And the task for WACA and World Affairs Councils nationwide will be to convene the best leaders, policy experts, and thinkers who can offer insight and perspective on the election resultsand what's to come within and beyond our borders.

I encourage you all to take advantage of WACA 2020 National Conference early-bird pricing and register by tomorrow! During the Nov. 16-20 program, we will as always present intriguing keynotes and introduce new think tanks. We have a terrific set of Leadership Day professional workshops (and not just on one day!). And, in keeping with recent tradition, we will honor a Council of the Year – three, in fact:

  • Columbus CWA for excellence in programming devoted to social inequality and racial injustice
  • Atlanta WAC for sustaining impressive growth in their 10th anniversary year
  • Santa Fe CIR for presenting a bigger and better 3rd annual Journalism Under Fire Conference, starting Nov. 10

A few open questions remain... perhaps you may already know the answers:

Trump or Biden?

Who in our network will receive the WACA Chairman’s 2020 Individual Leader Award? Find out Wednesday, Nov. 18!

Have you bought your WACA National Conference ticket? See below and don’t delay!

Thank you,
Bill Clifford, President and CEO
WACA 2020 National Conference
New Frontiers in Diplomacy and National Security
November 16-20, 2020
Congratulations to WACA's 2020 Councils of the Year!
The following programs will be featured at the National Conference:
Educating Toward and Anti-Racist World
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 12:00-1:00 PM ET
Innovation and Development Assistance
Thursday, Nov. 19, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET
Journalism Under Fire: Covering Crisis in Hong Kong
Friday, Nov. 20, 12:00-1:00 PM ET
New Think Tank! Council on Strategic Risks
Systemic Security Risks & Solutions: Biological, Climate, and Nuclear
Chief Executive Officer
Council on Strategic Risks
Director,
Ctr for Climate & Security, CSR
CEO, Nuclear Spin Cycle
Senior Fellow, CSR
Registration is open for WACA's virtual 2020 National Conference: New Frontiers in Diplomacy and National Security on November 16-20. We will present 20+ livestream sessions throughout the week - keynote conversations, exclusive think tank briefings, Council of the Year award programs, and professional leadership development workshops!

Pricing Information

Special Revenue-Sharing Opportunity for Councils
  • For Councils that generate 6 or more paid tickets (non-student), WACA will return 10% of those ticket sales back to the Council. Council CEO and staff tickets count toward the six tickets.
  • For Councils that generate 10 or more paid tickets (non-student), WACA will return 20% of those ticket sales back to the Council. Council CEO and staff tickets count toward the ten tickets.
WACA Thanks Our Generous Sponsors
Star Speakers This Week
Anne Applebaum
Pulitzer-Prize Winner
Xavier Becerra
California Attorney General
Toyin Umesiri
Founder, Trade with Africa
Embassy Row Live! With Ambassador Santos of Colombia
WACA's second webisode in the new Embassy Row Live! series featured Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the U.S., in conversation with WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford, last Friday. The program focused on Colombia's response to COVID-19 and how it compares regionally; the idea of a new "Alliance for Progress" in the Americas; implementation of the peace agreement with FARC; economic policies to drive growth: the Crece initiative and supply-chain nearshoring; and geopolitical challenges facing the region.
WACA's Engage America Speaker Series
The World Food Program Engage America Speaker Series is dedicated to fostering deeper understanding of issues and priorities of WFP USA, such as Climate Change & Hunger; Women & Hunger; and Hunger & Food Waste. The UN World Food Programme won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
World Affairs Council of Atlanta: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 12:00-1:00 PM ET
"The Hunger Crisis: Fighting Food Insecurity In a Pandemic"

Guest Speakers:
  • Barron Segar, President & CEO, World Food Program USA
  • Alex Marianelli, Director, Supply Chain Division, UN World Food Programme
  • Joe Ruiz, Director, Humanitarian Relief & Resilience Program, The UPS Foundation
Four Councils participated in WACA's Wunderbar Together USA 2020 grant series, "Engage America: What 30 Years of a Reunited Germany Means for Transatlantic Relations and the World."

Montana World Affairs Council on Oct. 20 hosted Angela Kerwin, Mark Tokola, and Hyungkwon “HK” Jung for WACA's Future of Korea 2020 grant series, sponsored by the Korea Economic Institute. Watch the Recording
AWQ 2020-2021 Study Guide to Be Released This Week
Pledge Forms Due Nov. 30
  1. Global Protests
  2. Shifting Sands: The Arab Spring 10 Years On
  3. International Labour Organization (ILO)
  4. The U.S. Foreign Service in the 21st Century
  5. Great Decisions
  6. Country in Focus: Uzbekistan
  7. Exploring Peace in a World of Conflict
  8. Fraying Alliances
  9. Looking to a Post-Pandemic Economy
  10. Current Events

The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020-2021 Academic WorldQuest National Competition is scheduled to be held in Washington, DC on April 16-17, 2021 at the United States Institute of Peace.

Hotel Block

WACA has arranged a group hotel block at The Westin DC City Center (1400 M St. NW, Washington, DC). See the reservation link here to book your discounted room(s). The hotel block deadline is Monday, March 29, 2021.

Event Details

The national competition is attended by 200-250 of the nation's most promising high school students each year, along with their parents, teachers, and chaperones. The 4-hour AWQ competition is a unique opportunity for students to visit the nation's capital, perhaps for the first time. A weekend of substantive programming is included to enhance the experience.

Pledge a Team Now

To confirm your Council's participation in the 2020-2021 AWQ season, please fill out and submit this Pledge Form by November 30, 2020. Stay tuned for the official AWQ 2020-2021 Study Guide!

Start a Local Academic WorldQuest Program This Season!

WACA encourages all Councils to host a local Academic WorldQuest program for high school students in your area. Please read WACA's 2021 Operations Paper to learn more about launching an AWQ competition. Additionally, please use these materials to promote the AWQ program to teachers, students, and sponsors for the 2020-2021 AWQ season: Teacher's Guide and AWQ Flyer. There is no minimum or maximum number of teams that are required for local AWQ competitions, and WACA encourages Councils to engage as many regional high schools as possible.
Tax Planning Strategies for Charitable Giving
WACA Board Member Charles Stout presents this "simple but powerful" video on Charitable Giving Tax Planning Strategies. The video is designed to be sent to donors, potential donors, and Board members. In addition, it can be personalized by adding your own 'intro' video.

Global Ties U.S. 2021 Photo Contest
Snap a great photo during one of your exchange programs? Show it off at the Global Ties U.S. 2021 Exchanges Photo Contest! Global Ties is looking for photos that capture the spirit of citizen diplomacy and showcase the impact that U.S. Government exchange programs (i.e. IVLP, Fulbright, YALI, Open World, etc.) have on local U.S. communities, as well as individuals. Global Ties will recognize the most compelling snapshots. Submit your photo by December 1.
WAC Cincy Steps Up Support for Local Students
World Affairs Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky has joined area partners to bring international education programming to students facing challenges with remote learning. With hundreds of students lacking access to computers and internet, the Council stepped up to support the “Tech to Students” campaign, which supplied 38 students (including siblings) with Chromebooks. Read more.
WACA's National Speaker Database Needs You!
WACA is continuing to upgrade and expand our 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 Laura Duncan.
Global Minnesota

World Affairs Council of Atlanta
Tennessee World Affairs Council 

Windham World Affairs Council

World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana

Pacific & Asian Affairs Council

World Affairs Council of Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky 
World Affairs Council of Harrisburg

WorldDenver

World Affairs (Northern California)

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia 

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 rpastor@worldaffairscouncils.org for login details and account creation.