The Tennessee World Affairs Council (TN WAC) is the first non profit educational charity to develop and deliver global awareness programs and resources in the State of Tennessee, in association with about 95 independent councils in the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) network. The impact of TN WAC programs, such as distinguished visiting speakers to schools and civic organizations, academic competitions for high schools, facilitated discussion groups and more, cannot be overstated at a time when American knowledge of global affairs is poor and the challenges that face the United States, especially the next generation are so great. In the 2015 year of operations the TN WAC transitioned from its founding home in Cookeville, Tennessee to a new base of operations in Nashville, hosted at Belmont University.
How best to get youth involved? Make it fun. WorldQuest is a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America network. It is a quiz competition that encourages reading and preparation for an academic game. TN WAC hosts a state championship match and sponsors the winning team to the national title competition in Washington. Winners included Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet HS and Montgomery Bell Academy. We will expand the WorldQuest concept to the university level and Young Professionals/Corporate Professionals in Tennessee. The aim is to encourage interest in global affairs by making it a game.
Distinguished Visiting Speaker Series
Face-to-face with global leaders. The ability of World Affairs Councils to bring foreign affairs officials, business people, military officers, academics and others to contact with our audiences is a hallmark of the WAC network. The Council organizes panel discussions, seminars and symposia under the speaker series, such as a public affairs briefing with the Ambassador of Russia Sergei I. Kislyak, Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson and Consul General of Japan Masami Kinefuchi. In addition to officials, business people, scholars, and others who speak at Tennessee WAC events in the coming year we will welcome about four visits by foreign ambassadors.
Global Focus Webcasts
To reach classrooms and communities around Tennessee the Council is developing a Web cast capability to connect international decision and policy-makers, authors, scholars and more to students, community groups and individuals. The concept was proven through an interactive Webinar featuring distinguished Beirut-based journalist Rami Khouri who talked with Tennessee students, Council members and even audiences from around the network of World Affairs Councils about Middle East developments. The Web cast concept is one example of how the Council will use technology as a multiplier to reach the widest audience in its mission to share an understanding of the world.
Local discussion groups – like a ‘salon’ – bring people together for casual conversations about international issues in the news. The Council has a monthly program to facilitate social meetings for that purpose. These groups – usually no larger than about 20 people – are provided readings to prepare for give and take where they share their insights and perspectives in a mutually respectful dialogue.
Signature / Named Awards Series
The Council organizes an award series to acknowledge achievements enhancing global affairs education and understanding in the community. The council will attract sponsors to support prizes for various categories that will be awarded at an annual spring banquet. -- International Educator of the Year; Annual Global Affairs Essay Contest; International Student of the Year (HS); International (Small) Corporate Leader of the Year; International (Medium-Large) Corporate Leader of the Year; Nashville Music Industry Global Leader; Tennessee Healthcare Global Leader; Intrnational Citizen of the Year.
The Council prepares background materials to prepare the participants – several articles as well as online videos, maps, reference material and a longer list of readings to expand the participants’ knowledge if they want to dig deeper. The roughly one-hour conversations are facilitated by a Council member and sometimes a subject specialist but the focus is on everyone contributing their views. The discussion is guided by a set of key points and may conclude with a poll of members concerning their conclusions – the poll results to be provided to government officials. More venues will be added as demand increases and the program is available ‘off the shelf’ for groups to use as global affairs fellowship sessions.
The Council organizes an award series to acknowledge achievements enhancing global affairs education and understanding in the community. The council will attract sponsors to support prizes for various categories that will be awarded at an annual spring banquet.
--· International Educator of the Year
-- · Annual Global Affairs Essay Contest
-- · International Student of the Year (HS)
--· International (Small) Corporate Leader of the Year
--· International (Medium-Large) Corporate Leader of the Year
-- · Nashville Music Industry Global Leader
-- · Tennessee Healthcare Global Leader
-- · International Citizen of the Year
President & Founder, Tennessee World Affairs Council; President, Ryan & Associates
Patrick Ryan is the volunteer President and founder of the Tennessee World Affairs Council. In 2007 Mr. Ryan organized a group of concerned citizens to launch Tennessee’s first World Affairs Council, to bring global awareness education programs and resources to communities and schools in the state. In 2009 Mr. Ryan’s contribution to building international understanding was acknowledged by receipt of the “Mandala Award” at the TTU Window on the World Festival. The Council moved from its first home in Cookeville to Nashville where it is hosted at Belmont University.
He is President and founder of Ryan&Associates, an editorial consulting firm based in Nashville, specializing in on-line global affairs information resources.
Mr. Ryan was born and raised in New York City. At age 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served a 26-year career, assigned first in the Persian Gulf in 1973 followed by assignments in the Submarine Service where he attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Mr. Ryan received a BA degree at the University of South Carolina, in 1981, majoring in International Studies followed by commissioning in the Navy as an Ensign. Mr. Ryan served aboard numerous ships, headquarters staffs and overseas assignments before retiring in 1998 as a Lieutenant Commander. Among his assignments were the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, the Center for Naval Analyses, and US Central Command headquarters. He has lived and worked in Bahrain, Italy and Japan and has traveled to about 50 countries for work and leisure.
Mr. Ryan was President of the Cookeville Breakfast Rotary 2008-2009 and was co-Chair of the Rotary Ghana Project, which provides clean water, school literacy and medical support humanitarian projects to villages in Western Ghana for which he was award “Rotarian of the Year.”
Established the Foundation of Five Star Friends, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation for families in need. As executive director, she initiates donor contact, manages donor relations, actively engages and energizes volunteers, board members, event committees, partnering organizations, and funders. Other activities include: coordinating special events, seminars, and hosts support group meetings; support of disaster relief efforts, youth physical fitness and sports programs, children with special needs, wounded warriors, and deployed military members. She also works to advance the needs and goals of women and youth through advocacy, career and education counseling.
• Consultant to 7 Sisters International, a reintegration home providing holistic, rehabilitative care for female victims of child sex trafficking in Northeast India. The goal is to nurture and empower girls to become resilient and independent women of courage, enabling them to reintegrate into society and, ultimately, become change agents themselves. Assist in hosting events, fund-raising, and website guidance.
• Member of the Motlow State Community College Philanthropic Society which provides scholarships for women 23 years old and over.
• Member of the Arnold Community Council – Assist in educating state and national leaders and facilitating interaction and cooperation between the engineering center and surrounding communities. Support AEDC efforts in advocating strong education programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs. The ACC is made of professionals in thirteen Southern Middle Tennessee and Alabama counties.
• Past Board Member of the Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton, CA. For over 8 years, helped to increase the number of families served and dramatically increased donations for numerous programs and services (including scholarships for children of wounded warriors and those killed in action).
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The United States stands out among nations as a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Demographers predict that by 2050, no single majority group will exist in the United States. Diversity is a key part of Middle Tennessee’s past, present and future. Nashville, especially, is a model of the American "melting pot," with an active Native American population, thriving Hispanic community and growing Middle Eastern and Asian presence. Different cultures, religions, ideas and customs come together harmoniously in Music City.
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