An idea created by Shawn McClondon and supported by residents from Solana Beach 4 Equality, Encinitas 4 Equality and Del Mar pushing for greater diversity and racial equity in San Diego County and beyond. “The Sister City Program” was born to partner affluent communities with underserved communities in San Diego County for the following purposes:
- Provide opportunities for city officials and citizens to experience and explore other cultures through long-term community partnerships.
- Create an atmosphere in which economic and community development can be implemented and strengthened.
- Stimulate environments through which communities will creatively learn, work, and solve problems together through reciprocal cultural, educational, municipal, business, professional and technical exchanges and projects.
- Collaborate with organizations in communities that share similar goals.
The practical execution of the Sister Cities partnerships would be to create programs and events that allow the two areas to collaborate and share resources in an effort to forge relationships and provide opportunities for mostly white and/or affluent communities to support black businesses, black youth, black history, black organizations and black arts. And although Sister Cities Project does not exclude the participation of men in our programs, we are focused on prioritizing black women. Currently, we have designated the following two Sister Cities Partnerships as prototypes with greater expansion to follow:
- Southeast San Diego and Solana Beach
- City Heights and Encinitas
Events & Programs will be focused on the following areas:
- Cultural Events (General Events, Cultural Tours and Networking Events)
- Business Growth (Mentorships, Resources, Tools & Education)
- Workforce Development (Youth Internships, SMB support)
This will be a permanent partnership. Given the current climate in America, we believe that this is the first and most important step toward understanding one another and using that understanding to create the changes that are needed for true racial justice in America.