March 23, 2020
WACA Weekly
Announcing Second Council CEOs Conference Call; Council of the Month: WorldBoston Hosts KNOW NOW; FPA Great Decisions on Video; AWQ 2020 National Competition Canceled; Councils' Virtual Programming; COVID-19 Resources; and Councils on Podcast
Thank you to all Council leaders who participated in last Wednesday’s conference call. As a coworker and community member (and parent), I understand the practical and emotional challenges you are experiencing because of this fast-changing COVID-19 pandemic.

I draw great inspiration from your leadership – as seen in the distributed summary and recording of the call. With 70 dialing in, it was one of the greatest gatherings of WACA leaders at one time in my tenure, including the WACA National Conference. You are setting examples of resilience and creativity for your Councils and the WACA network nationwide, and this is exactly what will see us through - together - the anxieties and uncertainties of this trying period.

WACA will host a second conference call for Council executives next Tuesday, March 31, at 1:00 PM ET. The agenda and a brief survey about the June 11-13 Leadership Meeting in Colorado Springs was sent out earlier today to all Council executives. (A separate survey, tomorrow, will go to those Councils that deliver Academic WorldQuest programs for high school students in their communities.)

A few quick items for your consideration that I think about constantly:

  1. Safety: What does “stay home” and “shelter in place” mean? USA Today’s state-by-state roundup.
  2. Funding: Contact your local or regional Community Foundation and keep an eye on grantmakers. Many foundations are rallying at the local level, starting with nonprofits on the frontlines (especially given shortages confronting healthcare providers). Still, now is a good time to reconnect with community foundations – and explore grant makers.
  3. Technology: Teleworking has risks, too.

As always, the WACA National Office and Board of Directors, with whom I am in contact with (particularly the Council representatives), are here to listen and to support you as best we can. We have an amazing network - and we will emerge stronger together.
Register now for WACA's KNOW NOW conference call Thursday, March 26, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Dr. Jonathan Quick, Senior Fellow at Management Sciences for Health, on COVID-19 and global epidemics. Dr. Quick will be in conversation with WorldBoston President and CEO Mary Yntema

In January 2018, Dr. Quick spoke at WorldBoston's Great Decisions series on the topic of " Global Health: Progress and Challenges," having recently published his book The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It. As the book says, "Somewhere in nature, a killer virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a bird, bat, monkey, or pig, preparing to jump to a human being. This not-yet-detected germ has the potential to wipe out millions of lives over a matter of weeks or months." Join Dr. Quick and Mary Yntema to discuss what has changed since his Great Decisions talk, how effective local and global efforts have been in combating COVID-19, and what we can expect in the coming weeks and months.
Dr. Jonathan Quick
Foreign Policy Association Drops Special Great Decisions Video
In a democracy, it takes an informed public to inform policy. During this period of isolation, groups across the country are using teleconferencing tools from Google Hangouts to Zoom to continue their discussions online. During this time of public health crisis, the Foreign Policy Association has decided to release the 2020 Great Decisions series to the public via YouTube. WACA encourages the entire Council Network to watch and share the videos to inspire debate, discussion, and decision.

Click here to view a special bonus video of " Americans and the World" featuring interviews with WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford and Global Minnesota President Mark Ritchie.
Important Update: AWQ 2020 In-Person Competition Canceled
WACA has canceled the in-person Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2020 Academic WorldQuest National Competition , originally scheduled for April 24-25 in Washington, DC . This difficult decision comes after carefully monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the World Health Organization's declaration of a pandemic, hearing about local restrictions on student travel, and conversations within in the Council Network.

WACA is exploring all options and congratulates the students on all their hard work. We will share more about the   possibility of a virtual AWQ championship and cover other logistical issues on tomorrow afternoon's Council Leadership call.  Note that decisions about upcoming local AWQ competitions rest with individual Councils, but WACA suggests exploring the idea of a virtual competition.

Despite the cancellation of the in-person 2020 AWQ National Competition, we still ask that all participating Councils fill out the National Competition Registration Form with the winning team's information immediately following the completion of its local AWQ competition. 

For topics, study guide, and other information about this year's AWQ season, please click here.

Thank you to our sponsors!
Councils Go Virtual
Everyone is invited!
Monday 3/23  

Tuesday 3/24 

Wednesday 3/25 

Thursday 3/26  

Friday 3/27 
Coronavirus-Related Resources
COVID-19 Updates & Tracker

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, 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.

Please contact Rachel Pastor at for a login.
Councils on Podcast & Video
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.