In the fall of 2022, the American Council on Germany launched the Study Tour on Social Cohesion. Funded through the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), this project brings together small groups of Americans and Germans for two one-week long study tours on either side of the Atlantic. This project explores how communities address diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA).
The first cohort traveled to Dresden and Nuremberg in September 2022 and Charlotte and Cleveland in December 2022. The group members included individuals working for local government, non-profits, think tanks, academia, and corporations.
During the first week of September 2022, the American Council on Germany conducted a German-American Study Tour on Social Cohesion. This initiative brought together German and American experts and practitioners for a week of site visits, meetings, and discussions on how communities in both countries can work to become more inclusive. The group consisted of seven Europeans and ten Americans and visited Dresden and Nuremberg.
On September 4, the program began in Dresden with an opening dinner with Bundestag Member Torsten Herbst (FDP). He addressed some of the biggest concerns in Germany today – including the rising cost of energy, inflation, and the impact of the war in Ukraine. He noted that there are many challenges at the national level which have very local impacts
Following a successful program in Dresden and Nuremberg, the Study Tour on Social Cohesion met for the second part of the exchange in the United States. From December 4 to 10, 2022, the cohort of 15 young professionals working in the fields of government, academia, nonprofits, and corporations, traveled to Cleveland, Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina, for a week of meetings surrounding the topics of social justice, equity, education, and accessibility.
On the evening of December 4, the group met for what felt like a family reunion. With hugs and smiles, the participants reflected on the first program and projects they had worked on in the three months since they last met.