Sister City Reconnect

Sister City Reconnect focuses on plans for Tuskegee residents to visit South Berwick, Maine as a way of sustaining and maintaining the Sister City friendship.

The Sister City delegation from South Berwick, Maine visited Tuskegee in December 2017 and now it’s time for a reciprocal trip. Tuskegee Mayor Tony Haygood is extending an open invitation to the general public. Anyone who wants to go to South Berwick should mark their calendars for May 31 through June 3rd.

The cost is actually a bargain if you choose the friend plan. Under this scenario, you pay for airfare and accept the hosts’ offer to match you with a family that will open their home to you.

When the Sister City guests came to Tuskegee, their itinerary included the Tuskegee University Golden Voices Choir Christmas Concert, a sampling of products from local vendors, meals at local eating spots, visits to historic sites, briefings from local school officials and frank talks about race. Mayor Haygood says going there will be an “exchange opportunity, a time for us to see what they have and what they highlight in their community.”

The population in South Berwick is 97% white, which contrasts sharply with the 95% black census in Tuskegee. And with the current climate in this country concerning race relations, this Sister City connection could be a badly needed, national prescription for easing racial tensions and cultural misunderstandings. Amy Miller is among the South Berwick residents who made a commitment to the Sister City concept as a mechanism for citizen diplomacy. She says, “Oh, thank God people are going to understand that people in South Berwick and in Tuskegee are in many ways similar; certainly different challenges, different battles, different life experiences…” But she adds that in many ways people in both towns, are just alike, “We all just want to have fun, take care of children, laugh together, love together, eat together and make the country a better place.”

Mayor Haygood says there is also a lighter reason to keep the Sister City momentum going, “It’s important to sustain and maintain friendships and we made friends when they came here last December.” So he is asking local residents to make this Sister City trip for learning, laughter, race relations and budding relationships.

The dates are May 31, 2018 through June 3, 2018. In case you’re concerned about the weather, take note. Temperatures in South Berwick during the month of May are mild with average highs in the 70’s and lows near 50. Contact Kalaful Williams at 704.394.4440 or kalafulproductions@yahoo.com. Incidentally, this Sister City project is the first involving two U.S. communities and the benefits could spill over into many areas including tourism, economic development and other facets of business matters.

To hear Mayor Haygood discuss the upcoming trip to South Berwick, watch the video posted below.