Sister Cities International (SCI) was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 during the Cold War Era as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, national membership organization to serve a network of tens of thousands citizen diplomats around the globe who champion peace and prosperity. Through the SCI program platforms, over 145 countries have hosted visiting International leaders, engaged in cultural and arts exchanges, developed youth and education programs, provided humanitarian assistance, and stimulated economic and sustainable development.
Sonoma Sister Cities Association (SSCA) was established on September 8, 1986, by official agreement between SCI and the City of Sonoma, as a nonprofit organization to create long-term partnerships between Sonoma and communities in other countries where we have mutual, beneficial interests. Today, SSCA has seven sister city relationships that extend to four continents. Our citizen diplomats are ordinary citizens who, as a group of volunteers, pursue municipal, business, trade, educational, humanitarian, social and cultural exchanges with our sister cities. Under the auspice of the City of Sonoma and with the support of local elected officials, we are a driving part of SCI's global network of sister city partnerships.
Through international people-to-people relationships, our mission is to promote global peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation - one individual, on community at at time. This mission is advanced through four broad-based goals with our global partners to:
* Facilitate cultural and arts exchanges
* Support humanitarian assistance projects
* Offer youth and educational programs
* Stimulate economic and sustainable development
SSCA Committee Relationships
A Sister City relationship is typically formed between two cities because of shared demographics, town size, business connections, travel, similar industries, or a shared history. A local citizen in one community with an interest in another community abroad creates an official long-term partnership by working with the officials of both cities to sign an agreement to establish a Sister City relationship. A Sister City Committee is formed by a volunteer Chairperson. Committee volunteers create and promote programs, exchanges and tourism within our sister city communities, opening doors to meaningful lifelong friendships that promote mutual respect, cultural understanding and mutual cooperation.
Make a Difference - be a Member
If you are ready to exercise your “inner diplomat,” come join us. We welcome the participation of youth and adults alike. If you are a business, non-profit or public sector organization, we welcome the community service of individuals from your team. Volunteer with our committees, help host international delegations, facilitate student and professional exchanges, and network with our global partners. You can be a part of our success by participating in and sponsoring the cultural, educational, health programs and economic exchanges that are the foundation of citizen diplomacy. Global relationships will enhance your life as a citizen diplomat and are our best hope for peace and prosperity in the future. Together, we can help Sonoma thrive as a welcoming, international visitor destination.
Wine Country Chinese Legacy Project
This year marks the beginning of the Sonoma-Penglai Sister City Committee’s (SPSSC) ambitious project to commemorate the significant contribution made by the many Chinese laborers who helped create the vineyards and wineries here in Sonoma Valley during the mid-19th century. Committee Chairperson Peggy Rubens wants to make our residents and visitors aware of the historic ties between Sonoma Valley and China. “Many who live in our beloved wine country are unaware of the significant role played by Chinese laborers in the mid-19th century at the beginning of our world famous wine industry.” Although their legendary skills as vineyard workers, cave diggers, and cellar workers have been acknowledged by historians, there is little recognition of these facts in Sonoma, which is why the SPSSC has decided to commemorate this forgotten piece of wine country history.