BROOKINGS - Six young Russian leaders will visit Brookings, Watertown and Pipestone, Minn., June 22-30 to learn about accountable governance and environmental management during a U.S. Congress-backed, Open World Program. The visitors will give public presentations about their home life and experience at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, June 28, in the new Brookings City and County Government Center.
The South Dakota World Affairs Council is orchestrating the visit with collaboration from Brookings city government, the Chamber of Commerce, Brookings Economic Development Corporation, South Dakota State University, local businesses and nonprofit organizations. The group will also visit sites in Watertown and Pipestone, Minn.
During their stay, the Russian guests are being housed with local families in Brookings to experience American lifestyle and activities.
Open World, a nonpartisan initiative of Congress that began as a pilot program in 1999, has since brought over 17,000 Eurasians to communities across the U.S. to experience American democracy at the local level. The program is managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
For the second year SDWAC has planned a full experience for Russian and area residents. Russian delegates will first learn about U.S. democracy and state and local governance from SDSU professors. They will also meet and exchange information with area civic and community leaders throughout their visit to the region.
Tours of McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Art Museum, Children's Museum of South Dakota, Brookings Farmer's Market and Boys & Girls Club of Brookings will show examples of public and private cooperation.
A trip to the Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone, Minn., will demonstrate preservation of an indigenous site and its ecology that is governed by the National Park Service.
More information about the Open World visit or the South Dakota World Affairs Council can be obtained from Harriet Swedlund at 605-688-5416 or at Harriet.Swedlund@sdstate.edu. Information about the Open World program is available at http://www.openworld.gov .