This blog is for those wanting to keep up to date on all the work that the Vermont Council on World Affairs is doing around the world.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

VCWA's Annual Meeting

Phew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at the Vermont Council on World Affairs, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Less than a week after our annual #GivingTuesday event, the VCWA hosted it’s Annual Meeting on December 5th at the Pomerleau Alumni Center at Saint Michael’s College, which included a Speaker Series panel on refugees. The panel featured speakers Ambassador Robert Ford, former Ambassador to Syria, Sean McMannon, the Winooski School District Superintendent, and Mayor Louras of Rutland.

The Annual Board Meeting bid a warm farewell and thank you to Claudia Lovell, who is moving on from the VCWA board this year, and expressed gratitude to Eric Hanson and Bill Mares, who stepped down as co-chairs, but will remain on the board in 2017. Additionally, we congratulate Leigh Cole on her new position as VCWA board chair! The Board Meeting reviewed progress made in 2016 and brought everyone up to speed on the outlook for the coming year.


The Speaker Series panel on refugees drew over 70 Vermont community members, as well as local news outlets. The panelists discussed Vermont’s, “responsibility to provide refuge” (Louras) and the refugees who will arrive in Rutland next month; models that can be emulated in refugee integration such as that in Winooski; and the seemingly eternal international challenge of fixing the problems that create refugees in the first place. It was an incredibly informative event, and attendees expressed their gratitude to the VCWA for hosting such a timely discussion on a topic so relevant to Vermont and the world at large.

We couldn’t be happier to do what we do: bringing the world to Vermont, and Vermont to the world, and we’re excited to continue fulfilling our mission: to promote awareness and understanding of the world and its people, places and cultures through education and engagement as we head into 2017!

By Chelsea Beaulieu

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

#GivingTuesday with the VCWA

On Tuesday, November 29th, the Vermont Council on World Affairs  gathered at Hotel Vermont to fund raise and celebrate  #GivingTuesday, a globally recognized movement that supports donating to local to global organizations following the chaos of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is a way to support to different causes after focusing on the materialism that comes with jumping on holiday deals.

The VCWA hosted a silent auction to raise money for the organization. Many local organizations donated to the cause, including Leunig's Bistro, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, The University Mall, the Spirit of Ethan Allen, Kiss the Cook, and Shelburne Farms.  Guests also enjoyed beverages from a cash bar and tasty snacks hosted by Hotel Vermont.

Three #802Diplomats spoke regarding the impacts of #GivingTuesday, including former Burlington mayor Peter Clavelle and Ned McMahon, UVM Professor of Community Development and Applied Economics, as well as Karen Freudenberger of Vermont Goat Collaborative. The theme was giving back to organizations and for the many people in need who don't benefit from Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday brought together 802Diplomats from all over the Burlington and greater Vermont community. A huge thank you to everyone who attended the event and to those who were so gracious to donate to the VCWA. Happy Holidays!