The American Summer Experience

Amber Mackay for GPA As a sweet British lady sat down next to me, offering me a roasted coffee bean I realized this was not going to be your average garden party.

Citizen Diplomacy International hosted their yearly fundraiser on July 22nd at the College of Physicians. This garden party allowed for people from all over Philadelphia to gather to practice citizen diplomacy, while raising money to allow for the CDI to continue their various programs.

The party began on the lower levels with drinks and speed networking. After engaging in 30 second conversations with people from all over Philadelphia and the world we were ushered upstairs. Two grand rooms contained bbq food, wine, beer, mussels, a variety of noodles, and of course, dessert.

I settled down at a "I don't know anyone here table" where I was immediately welcomed. Although there were tables solely for employees of a specific company there were also plenty of people who came alone. Students, business professionals, new immigrants, city officials, the list of diverse guests could continue for paragraphs.  

Throughout the night there were rarely conversations about the weather, but instead we talked about the different cultures, homes, music, and experiences. The openness that people were willing to share was unfound.

As a student majoring in Political Science I have learned that diplomacy can be incredibly complicated. But after accepting that coffee bean, sharing our different cultures, forming new understandings I experienced citizen diplomacy can be as simple as bonding over a coffee bean. This truly was the networking event of the summer; hopefully we’ll see you there next year!