April 2007 GCIV's Monthly Newsletter
Georgia Council for International Visitors NEWSWIRE
In This Issue . . .

Who's Coming to Town?

April 1-4 - Multi-Regional
Fifteen Government and Business Officials
Focus: Privatization and Financial Systems

April 3-7 - Congo
Four Government Officials

Focus: Independence of the Judiciary

April 14-18 - Multi-Regional
Three Journalists
Focus: US Foreign Policy, Counter-Terrorism, and Media

April 18-22 - Thailand
Four Government and NGO Officials
Focus: Religious and Ethnic Diversity

May 1-4 - Turkmenistan
Four Government and NGO Officials

Focus: HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment

May 2-6 - Uzbekistan
Six Public Health Officials
Focus: HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment

May 5-9 - Kazakhstan
Four Government and NGO Officals

Focus: Adoption Legislation

May 13-17 - Pan-Latin America
Ten Civil Society Leaders

Focus: Grassroots Democracy

May 27-30 - Multi-Regional
Twenty Government and NGO Officials
Focus: US Foreign Policy and Human Rights

June 10-14 - Pan-Africa
Twelve Government and Civil Society Officials

Focus: Grassroots Democracy

Home Hospitality Opportunities

Sunday, April 5th - Four visitors from the Congo would like to experience home hospitality. Their program in the U.S. is focusing on the independence of the judiciary. They can be available at 6:00 PM and need to be accompanied by interpreters. It would be best to have two hosts take two visitors and an interpreter each.

Wednesday, April 11th - Fourteen visitors from Bangladesh, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan and Uzbekistan would like to experience home hospitality. They are participants in the CNN Journalism Fellowship Program. They would be available at 6:30 PM and do not need interpreters. We would like for seven hosts each to take two visitors.

Sunday, April 15th - Three visitors from Egypt, Hong Kong, and Mexico would like to experience home hospitality. Their program in the U.S. is focusing on counterterrorism and the media. They would be available at 6:00 PM and do not need interpreters.

Thursday, April 19th - Four visitors from Thailand would like to experience home hospitality. Their program in the U.S. is focusing on religious and ethnic diversity. We have been asked to arrange an interfaith potluck and are working with
Sisters United in Human Service. Please let us know if you are interested in participating and inviting friends of various faiths.

Please note: Home hospitality opportunities are available to GCIV members only. Hosts are asked to provide transportation to and from the hotel on the evening of home hospitality. If you are interested in hosting visitors in your home for dinner on these dates, please contact Emily Bushey at 404-832-5560 x 15.

GCIV hosts are required to attend an orientation session. The next session is scheduled for Thursday, June 14th. To RSVP contact Emily Bushey at 404-832-5560 x 15.

Presenting Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors
Bear Stearns
The Coca-Cola Company
Crawford & Company
Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Jones Day
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
Mueller Water Products
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
Newell Rubermaid

Bronze Sponsors
AHD International
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
Global Atlanta
Hennessey Automobile Companies
Regency Suites Hotel
Smith, Gambrell, & Russell
UBS Investment Bank

Community Partners
Advisory Committee on International Relations
Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University
Georgia Department of Economic Development
International Leadership Council
Jones and Kolb
Community Voices, Morehouse School of Medicine
Parking Company of America
YKK Corporation of America

Mike Dangerfield
Dr. and Mrs. James Dew
Dr. Austin O. Esogbue
Chris and Charles Evans
Sue and Jim Heerin
Eleanor Hooks
Laurie and Scott Nichols
Bryan Ramos
Wayne Reece
Shell Stuart
Sharon and Bruce Taylor
Annie-York and Raul F. Trujillo

GCIV would like to thank our Lifetime Members and members who have made financial contributions during the second quarter of our fiscal year 2007:

Lifetime Members
Hans and Ada Almering
Pin Pin Chau
Jim and Carol Dew
Lew and Anne Hansen
Betty Haas
Alfred and Evelyn Messer
Marianne McConnel
Helga Siegel
Miguel Southwell
George and Judy Varga

Ambassador ($1000+)
Mrs. Richard Hallock
Lynne and A.J. Land, Jr.

Consul ($250+)
Raoul Donato

Attaché ($100+)
James Franklin and Brenda Swithenbank

Citizen Diplomat ($50+)
Fabian Derozario
Albert P. Hall IV
Mark and Sue Partridge
John and Peggy Shepard
Lynn Wong

Join our mailing list!
Win Two Business Elite Delta Tickets!

Don't forget to buy tickets for the raffle at the International Consular Ball in two weeks! One ticket is $25 and five tickets are $100. You can buy the tickets online or send a check to the GCIV office. If sending a check, please email Emily Bushey to ensure that your ticket is in the drawing. You need not be present to win.

The International Consular Ball is only two weeks away!

Have you bought your ticket for the International Consular Ball on April 14th yet? It’s only two weeks away and the deadline to RSVP is April 6th. It promises to be a night to remember, with dinner, dancing, our signature silent auction, and an opportunity to meet and honor distinguished members of Georgia’s Consular Corps. Visit our web site to buy tickets online, or download a response card to mail or fax in.

Delta Air Lines will be presented with the 2007 Citizen Diplomat Award, and Delta CEO Gerald Grinstein will accept the award on behalf of the company. Delta has also arranged for surprise entertainment that is sure to make for an exciting evening!

The signature silent auction will feature a wide variety of travel, food and wine, home and garden, and entertainment items. You can preview the silent auction online.

The ball raises funds for GCIV and allows us to continue our citizen diplomacy programs throughout the state. Please support GCIV by coming to the ball or contributing today!


On March 30, 2007, the Georgia Consular Corps hosted a party to thank the sponsors and organizers of the 2007 International Consular Ball. The Sponsors and Patrons Party took place at the residence of the Honorary Consul General of the Philippines, Mr. Raoul Donato.

Ms. Remedios Gomez Arnau, Consul General of Mexico and Dean of the Georgia Consular Corps, thanked all sponsors and patrons for their generous support and the Ball Committee for its continuing hard work. The evening featured entertainment from a hip-hop dance group and a traditional Filipino dance troupe.

Conflict Resolution Delegation Brings Insight to Atlanta

GCIV recently hosted four international visitors who came to Atlanta to study civil conflict resolution. The four delegates represented Croatia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe. With different experiences and situations in their home countries, the visitors came together as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program to examine the role of the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, and citizens in mediating and negotiating conflict. They were able to meet with a wide variety of professionals in Atlanta March 20-25, 2007. Read more about their program in Atlanta.

Cultural Competency for Citizen Diplomats

We are continuing with Vicki Flier's Fifteen Ways to Increase Cultural Competence. Vicki provides cross-cultural trainings for corporations, classrooms, and many other settings. Visit her web site at www.highroaders.com.

5. Avoid projected similarity and simplicity: One of the most significant barriers to successful global business is our own perception of other cultures. Say you are an American who gets an overseas assignment in Britain. You think to yourself, “I won’t get culture shock in England. They’re just like us!” You get to England and discover that, as George Bernard Shaw stated, “America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language.”

Reactions to unexpected cultural differences range from mild surprise to visible anger. Part of increasing cultural competence is learning not to project similarity between cultures. Expecting cultural differences prepares you for reality – and any similarities you discover along the way may be viewed as pleasant surprises. Similarly, culturally competent business people avoid projecting simplicity onto their associates’ cultures. Just because a culture is not developed economically does not mean their culture is not complex, technically competent or rich with ideas to offer.

6. Use the magic phrase I don’t know: Imagine you are walking down the hall at work and pass by your French colleague. You smile warmly and say hello. In return you receive a short nod before your colleague looks away. Immediately you think, “How rude!” Your next interaction with this French coworker turns out negative because you assume he is unfriendly.

What if in place of this knee-jerk reaction you could apply a magic cultural tool? When you ask yourself, “Why did my French colleague not smile back or say hello?” simply answer “I don’t know.” Do not react negatively or positively. Saying “I don’t know” allows for many possible answers; it allows you to wait, gather more information and ask questions. The reasons for behavior might be cultural, work related or perhaps your French colleague just got some bad news. The magic phrase ensures you can handle the situation with cultural competence.

Be sure to check out the GCIV e-newsletter in coming months for more tips from Vicki Flier.

Become a Citizen Diplomat Today!

GCIV's membership is critical to the success of our organization, as it serves as an important indicator of community support for the U.S. Department of State and other agencies that rely on us to arrange programs for hundreds of international visitors each year. Becoming a member is easy - just visit our membership page to download an application.

GCIV Upcoming Events

Tuesdays, April 10-June 5, 7:30-9:00 PM
Evening at Emory Great Decisions Group

Join this upcoming discussion group and increase your understanding of world affairs. This eight-week series is based on a briefing book published annually by the nonpartisan Foreign Policy Association. The topics of discussion for 2007 include: the Middle East, Climate Change, Mexico, Migration, South Africa, War Crimes, Central Asia, and Children. Register for the course at the Emory web site.

Thursday, April 12th, 10:00-11:30 AM
IWA April Meeting

The International Women's Associates will have a presentation from personal trainer Abby Schonier. Please contact Emily Bushey at 404-832-5560 x 15 to receive an invitation.

Saturday, April 14th, 7:00-11:00 PM
International Consular Ball

Join GCIV in honoring Georgia's Consular Corps for their efforts in promoting business and cultural ties between their countries and the southeastern United States. The ball will be held at the Georgia Aquarium and will feature our signature Silent Auction. Purchase tickets online or fax in a response card to GCIV. The deadline to RSVP is April 6.

Other Opportunities
Wednesday, April 11th, 11:45 AM-1:30 PM
Atlanta Council on International Relations Luncheon

Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, will speak on the topic "U.S. Intelligence and the Quest for Global Security." The luncheon is at the Capital City Club downtown, and the cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. To make a reservation, please contact Francesca Cesa Bianchi.

Weekends in April
French Film Festival at the High Museum
The High celebrates the art of cinema through a diverse program of classic, independent, and recent international films. The French Film Festival will include screenings of Comedy of Power, Lemming, Me and My Sister, and The Rules of the Game. Admission is $5 and all screenings are in the Rich Theatre of the Woodruff Arts Center.

About GCIV
The mission of the Georgia Council for International Visitors is to build cross-cultural understanding and mutually beneficial personal and professional relationships between Georgians and leading citizens from around the world.

Our vision is that every Georgia citizen has the opportunity to become more globally engaged.

Georgia Council for International Visitors
100 Edgewood Avenue, Suite 1560
Atlanta, GA 30303