Beginning Chinese Language Course builds skills for travelers

Blue sky and white clouds, ancient Chinese architecture

Beginning Chinese for Business

Learn Chinese for Business:  Open doors for travel.

Do you enjoy different cultures and travel? Do you like to challenge yourself? And most importantly, do you want open up opportunities to work, live, communicate, and understand a country that will continue to play an important role in the world’s future?

Then this class is for YOU!

In this noncredit class, you will learn common phrases and scenarios of business in China. Ten topics will be introduced, which include self-introduction, asking for directions, taking transportations, visiting a Chinese family, dining in a restaurant with your business partners, etc.

The class will be sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Webster University and World Affairs Council of St. Louis, instructed by professors from Beijing Language and Culture University. Additionally, five of the classes will feature guest speakers who can offer further insight into China’s business, society and culture.

  • Non-credit class: Beginning Chinese for business
  • Schedule: September 11, 2018 – November 15, 2018. 10 weeks, 10 classes.
  • Time: Every Tuesday, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
  • Location: Arcade Building, Classroom TBD
  • Address: 812 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63101
  • Material fee: $80 (Other cost covered by the Confucius Institute at Webster University)
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    Chinese Language for Business Course
    To learn more about the 10-week course, offered through the Confucius Institute at Webster University and the World Affairs Council of St. Louis, sign up here.

June 2018 IVLP Update

This month your WAC-STL has hosted three IVLP groups learning about a wide variety of topics. In the first week of June, we had two groups, one from Russia and one from the Lake Chad Basin in Africa. This week, a group from Tajikistan and a group from China finished up their visit in St. Louis.

The group from Russia was focused on Preventing Trafficking in Persons: Partnerships, Sustainability, and Advocacy. Highlights of their visit included a conversation with Whitney Howland from the International Institute of St. Louis on engaging foreign-born communities in anti-trafficking efforts, visiting the Arch, and home hospitality visits with two community members.

Our visitors from the Lake Chad Basin in Africa met with organizations and departments in St. Louis to discuss the role of Community Relations in the Fight Against Terrorism. The visitors said they especially enjoyed the meetings with Dr. John Doggette and Karen Kalish. The group was able to visit the Arch, which they really enjoyed.

The visitors from Tajikistan were focused on Media Management in a Digital Era. They toured St. Louis Public Radio and learned about Journalism Education at Mizzou. Cultural highlights included an excellent home hospitality visit.

The group from China also learned about Media management, with a focus on New and Traditional American Media in the Digital Age. The group listened to Robert Patrick from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had a great conversation with the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists, and talked with professors and faculty at Mizzou’s School of Journalism. The group was excited to attend a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium! This exchange also touched some of the presenters from St. Louis, check out a blog post about presenting to the visitors here!

Preventing Trafficking in Persons: Advocacy, Partnerships, and Sustainability

This past week, WAC-STL hosted seven visitors from Russia and two interpreters through the International Visitors Leadership Program. The visitors were from all over Russia, and most of their work deals with the prevention of trafficking in persons. While in St. Louis, they met with Washington University’s Human Trafficking Collaborative Network, the St. Louis County Police Special Investigations Unit, the Child Protection Department of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, a representative from the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College, The Covering House, Healing Action Network, Gateway Human Trafficking, and a representative of the St. Louis Rescue and Restore Coalition from the International Institute of St. Louis.

The first meeting was with a wide variety of St. Louis focused resources that work to prevent human trafficking and really offered a wider picture of human trafficking in St. Louis. During their meeting with Healing Action Network, the group discussed the merits of peer to peer work with victims of human trafficking and the importance of collaboration with law enforcement. The meeting with the St. Louis Rescue and Restore Coalition highlighted the importance of building trust in foreign-born communities as the first step to preventing human trafficking in those communities. The meetings all concluded with engaging questions and dialogue.

The visit was made possible through the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Meridian International. WACSTL hosts more than 150 visitors a year through IVLP, offering a wide range of local and global exchange on a diverse range of issues. If you are interested in supporting WACSTL’s work with IVLP as a volunteer or in other capacities, consider becoming a member!

World Affairs Council of St. Louis Hosts Visitors from Lake Chad Basin region of Africa

On May 30, The World Affairs Council of St. Louis welcomed three interpreters and nine individuals from the Lake Chad Basin region of Africa to St. Louis. The group consisted of those who have passionately dedicated their careers to serving in local and national police departments, anti-terrorist/ national security forces, and community outreach organizations, all of whom arrived with a purpose to share their unique experiences, and to gain new insights on integrating community outreach and policing efforts.

Programs from May 31 to June 4 included:

  • A Presentation from a St. Louis Neighborhood Improvement Specialist, who acts as the bridge between neighborhood concerns and municipal action.
  • A Visit to St. Louis City Hall where the Mayor’s spokesperson and the liaison for the Mayor and aldermen explained the role of the Mayor’s office in informing the public of their policies, actions and reactions to events in the city.
  • A Meet and greet with the St. Louis mayor.
  • A Trip to County Police Headquarters in downtown Clayton. A Sergeant explained the Police Athletic League (PAL) Program and introduced two officers who shared their stories of immigration into North America from Africa, to serve in the police force.
  • A County police ride-along in the 1st precinct
  • A Discussion led by the head of the Community Mediation services, who explained the positive role mediation can play between government agencies and the citizens they serve.
  • A Presentation from an Officer who is head of the city’s PAL, describing how the nonprofit sector functions and why it is beneficial to the community.
  • A Trip to the Ferguson Police Headquarters. The Head Commissioner, Police Chief and City Manager of Ferguson explained the Moving Ferguson Forward” Ordinance passed in response to the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 that touched off tense social unrest in the community and nationwide.
  • A Meeting with the Director of the Restorative Justice School Program who shared the practices used to contribute to stronger and safer communities.
  • A Meeting with a social entrepreneur who developed the Books & Badges program for police recruits and elementary school students.

Each meeting concluded with dynamic questions and dialogue. As the visitors and speakers discussed cultural differences that render police work and outreach unique to St. Louis and the Lake Chad Basin respectively, they discovered many commonalities which led to fruitful conversations about how improvements and liaisons can be forged in both areas.

This visit was made possible through the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as well as Cultural Vistas.  The World Affairs Council of St. Louis annually hosts more than 150 visitors through the program, providing an important link between local experts on important global issues and countries where deeper knowledge on those issues is important.

Home Hospitality Request!

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis and the International Visitor Leadership Program are looking for a host for a home hospitality dinner.

Hosting a home hospitality dinner entails picking up the visitors from their hotel, taking them to your home, serving them dinner, and then returning them to the hotel at the end of the evening.

In the upcoming weeks, IVLP has requested home hospitality visits for two groups.

The first group is from the Lake Chad Basin and is focusing on Community Relations and the Fight Against Terrorism in the US. Their home hospitality visit will be on May 31st, June 1st, or June 2nd.  The visitors are observing Ramadan, which means the host must be open to a later dinner time and the meal served must be halal. This group is made up of three interpreters and nine visitors. We are looking for three hosts available to host four visitors (1 interpreter and 3 International Visitors) on any of the previously mentioned nights. Please contact Elizabeth Hatfield if you are interested in hosting a home hospitality visit for this group.

 

 

 

The visitors:

Mr. Adam Adam Tchari – Director of Kadaye FM Radio

Mr. Hissein Dudoua Hamit – Chief Comander of the Mobile Intervention Police Group of the Ministry of National Security

Mr. Moussa Aniguey Khassim – Head of Civil Military Unit of the Chadian Army’s AntiTerrorism Group

Mr. Abdoul Aziz Abdoulaye Moussa – Police Inspector of the Niamey District V Police Station

Mr. Aboubakar Francois Bernazou – Police Commissioner of Niamey District V Police Station

Mr. Moctar Kio Abdou – Police Officer at the Niamey District V Police Station

Ms. Esther Abimiku Ibanga – Executive Director of Women without Walls Initiative

Mr. Wilson Iyamu – Deputy Superintendent of the Nigeria Police

Mr. Saleh Ibrahim Saad – Assistant Commissioner of Nigeria Police

Mr. Philippe Chamy – Simultaneous Interpreter

Mr. Zac Heyman – Simultaneous Interpreter

Ms. Christiane Metral – Administrative Interpreter

 

The second group is a group of seven visitors from Russia. This group is focused on Preventing Trafficking in Persons: Advocacy and Partnerships. Their home hospitality visit will be on June 4th or June 5th. We are looking for one host to host 4 visitors (1 interpreter and 3 international visitors) and a second host for 5 visitors (1 interpreter and 4 international visitors) on either of the previously listed nights. Please contact Elizabeth Hatfield if you are interested in hosting a home hospitality visit on the dates above.

The visitors:

Ms. Veronica Antimonik – Project Coordinator of Safehouse Foundation in Lyubertsy

Ms. Vladlena Avdeeva – Project Manager of Stellit in St. Petersburg

Ms. Svetlana Bazhenova – Founder and Director of Far-Eastern Center for Civil Initiatives and Social Partnerships in Vladivostok

Ms. Nurzida Bensgier – Chief Executive of Non-Commercial Partnership International Information Center Association in Yekaterinburg

Mrs. Elena Boliubakh – Chief Executive of Institute of Non-Discriminatory Gender Relations, Women’s Crisis Center in St. Petersburg

Mr. Oluremi Kekhinde – Head of Help Services for Nigerians in Russia in Moscow

Ms. Nadezhda Zamotaeva – Chief Executive of Sisters Charity Center for Victims of Sexual Violence in Moscow

Ms. Mila Bonnichsen – Russian Language Interpreter

Mr. Raymond Krischchyunas – Russian Language Interpreter

WAC-STL hosts international group focused on Combating Gender-Based Violence

To aid in the international campaign against Gender-Based Violence, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosted seven visitors from the country of Georgia May 6-9. The delegation included two language interpreters and five individuals with careers in national and local law enforcement and NGOs, all concentrating their time in the U.S. upon Combating Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The group arrived in Saint Louis looking to learn more about:

  • the impact of legislation on Domestic Violence,
  • Specialized Police and Courts roles in these topics and
  • NGO activity in the legal sphere of GBV.

During their time here, they met with various governmental department heads and leaders of organizations.  On Monday, May 7, the group’s meetings focused on law enforcement and legal rulings pertaining to domestic violence cases. They observed Judges presiding over their domestic abuse court cases in St. Louis County.

After meeting with several circuit judges, they finished the day meeting with a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Detective from the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART).

On May 8, the meetings focused more on policy and service aspects of domestic violence. The group met with an attorney from the Legal Advocates for Abused Women (LAAW), the only domestic violence program partnering with law enforcement and criminal court systems.

Next, they met with the Public Policy Director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) who discussed efforts and challenges in lobbying for legislation related to victims of abuse. They concluded the day by meeting with a manager from Provident, INC. an organization providing therapy services to families and individuals suffering from abuse, as well as those who have, themselves, committed domestic violence.

The group on May 9 continued their trip to Boston, Massachusetts, where they spent two more days meeting with leaders of current local efforts to combating GBV and exploring various prevention and education programs within the city.

This visit was made possible through the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs as well as Global Ties U.S.    The World Affairs Council of St. Louis annually hosts more than 150 visitors through the program, providing an important link between local experts on important global issues and countries where deeper knowledge on those issues is important.

 

Wac Welcomes Summer 2018 Intern

The school year is over and summer has begun, which means we are welcoming a new intern to WAC-STL!

Bonjour, hi! My name is Jessica Ryan and I am a Junior majoring in Environmental Sciences and minoring in Communication Studies and Social Entrepreneurship at McGill University. I plan to use this mélange work in a philanthropic minded international organization. I grew up in Saint Louis and moved to Montréal, Canada for school two years ago. During the year, I participate in McGill’s Ski club and volunteer for Junior Peacemakers: an organization that provides middle school classrooms with UN designed curriculum and activities to expand American kids’ global knowledge in a captivating way. I love learning new languages because it also helps me increase my awareness of a culture (food plays a significant role here!). I am fluent in English and French although I have previously studied Ancient Greek and Spanish, and hope to start Korean soon. I greatly look forward to spending my summer connecting Saint Louis to the international community here at the World Affairs Council.

If you are interested in becoming an intern for the Fall or Spring semesters, be sure to fill out our interest form!

Great Decisions 2018 Wrap Up

This year’s Great Decisions program had a great turn out! Attendees listened to experts on a variety of pressing topics. Highlights of this year’s program included Dr. Ellen Carnaghan‘s presentation on the recent Russian election, Dr. Jean-Germain Gros’s discussion on South Africa’s progress and challenges, and Dr. Joel Glassman’s assessment of US-China government relationships in 2018.

WAC-STL would like to thank all of our speakers and attendees who make our programs such a success. Thank you for attending Great Decisions 2018 and we look forward to seeing you next year!

We are looking for feedback to help improve for next year’s Great Decisions Lecture Series. If you attended any of the Great Decisions events in 2018, please be sure to fill out this survey.

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Global Health, Local Focus

On Wednesday, April 25th Dr. Matthew Gabel presented on topics in Global Health as the final presenter in the World Affairs Council’s 2018 Great Decisions Series. His presentation focused on the amount of resources put into public health and the way those resources are used by various agents in the processes that perform public health abroad.

Dr. Gabel’s presentation called for reflection on the allotment of funds to global health initiatives. The presentation emphasized the difficulty that organizations who focus on global health initiatives are faced with when trying to evaluate and better their programs. Any policy change has a large number of surrounding confounding variables that make it difficult to understand the results of the enacted policies and practices.

The goal of global public health may be better suited to be carried out by philanthropic efforts, as the current channels of the US government have  a large emphasis on foreign policy, not a focus on long term sustainable health solutions. United States infrastructure abroad is mainly focused on military structures and group, so the results when health initiatives are put forth by the United States’ government is that they can exclude local experts and officials in ways that make the initiatives unsustainable.

Global Public Health’s role in national security was emphasized as an overlooked objective of the United States’ foreign policy. There is a lot of focus on intentional biological violence, but not as much focus on the more realistic culprit of the unassuming transmission of germs through travelers on a daily basis.

Great Decisions Sparks Further Thought and Conversation

Dr. Ellen Carnaghan discussing her findings while studying the Russian election.

The Great Decisions Lecture Series of 2018 is meant to further conversations on important topics related to global issues. In the recent lecture by Dr. Ellen Carnaghan of Saint Louis University, St. Louis community members participated in critical thinking about not only Russia’s Foreign Policy but also the involvement of the United States in that foreign policy.

In the Webster-Kirkwood Times, the relevance of this topic on a local scale is discussed by Don Corrigan. His article on the American’s waning wariness of Russia brings a globally focused topic back to St. Louis in a way that encourages community members to think about their actions, involvement, and attitudes towards both Russia and their local politics.

As the goal of Great Decisions Lecture Series is “inspiring learning about the world”, the local engagement of citizens in global issues as a result of conversations about Great Decisions topics is the epitome of inspired learning.