April 20, 2022

Letter from the Director in May 2022

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Friends of UCCD,

How much different would our world be if we measured the success of a community by looking at its accessibility for education, equal pay, environmental conservation, the decrease in criminal activities, the increase in philanthropy and volunteerism, interfaith inclusion, and government accountability and transparency? Undoubtedly, we all want to live in an economically thriving society that also offers citizens justice, equity, and meaningful quality of life.

The mission, programs, and services provided by Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy fill this gap on a global scale. Each year, we welcome hundreds of community leaders at every level – business owners, government officials, nonprofit change-makers, and religious leaders – to Utah. While in Utah, they meet with people in communities across the state to explore and examine best practices, resources, and networks that make Utah a great place to live, work, and play.

The exciting news is that research has shown that many of these global community leaders – known as International Visitors – implement new and innovative ideas on how to solve some of the most pressing issues affecting their communities, become more civically engaged by volunteering more, change policies and laws to increase safety and justice, engage in more conversations and dialogue, have a better understanding and view of the American people, and share their experience of visiting Utah and encourage others to visit our great state.

Fifty-five years of mission-driven work have demonstrated that UCCD's work is impactful and necessary. I am honored to lead this organization, whose mission, programs, and services transcend political and cultural divides, making our Utah community and other global communities more peaceful and prosperous. I am confident that you will share the same sentiment after reading this annual report.

Furthermore, despite restrictions in hosting in-person programs, I am incredibly proud of the UCCD team and Board of Directors' work in 2021. In the following pages, you will see that the UCCD team has been innovative and unyielding in providing programs that promote respect and understanding between the people of Utah and other nations.

However, I want to take this moment to acknowledge you. There is a reason that the word 'citizen' is part of our name. 

For a nonprofit that fosters people-to-people diplomacy, we recognize that without you to volunteer, share, attend, and give, UCCD cannot accomplish its work. For that reason, I give my sincere gratitude to you – the hundreds of individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies that support the work we do.

I look forward to connecting with you in 2022.

Globally,
Felecia Maxfield-Barrett
Executive Director