"ACWA helps students and broader audiences understand the importance, the complexity, the nuances of their community's/state's/country's relationship with a foreign jurisdiction. With the Global Scholars high school students, I addressed themes important to Canada's relationship with Ohio and the U.S. After my formal evening presentation, I responded to questions from community attendees for about 30 minutes. I found my time in Akron to be professionally worthwhile and personally rewarding."

— Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada to Ohio


Who We Are

The Akron Council on World Affairs (ACWA) organizes events on international affairs, working with foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. Diplomats appointed to come to Akron participate in the three coordinated programs below. These are designed to support audience understanding of the importance, the complexity and the nuances, as well as currents events, relevant to a given country's relations with Ohio and the U.S. Each country's diplomat also provides the context of history and issues relevant to his or her country, as appropriate.


ACWA is led by Jane Walker Snider, Executive Director. It is supported by a Board of Directors and advisory groups. Learn more about the leadership of ACWA.

Formal Evening Series with Visitor Diplomats

ACWA's Speaker Series provides participants from our extended community the opportunity to attend evening sessions with our scheduled diplomats. Registration can be for a formal dinner with a presentation by a diplomat or for the presentation only. With either, participants can engage in a Question & Comments session with the visiting diplomat following the presentation. These events are open to the public.

We invite you to subscribe to our announcement emails so that you are informed of these periodic events. Both ACWA's website and these emails will provide you an outline of the current topics and issues each visitor diplomat will address, together with registration information.

ACWA members receive special pricing for these events. (Find out how to join.)

See the Speaker Series section for more information.
Photos and descriptions of past events are available in the Events Archive.

Global Scholars Program

Global Scholars students with Roy Norton

Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada and Global Scholars students. Mr. Norton and the students discuss the mutual economic interdependence of Canada and the U.S., how the two countries are cooperating to provide a border that works, differences in Canada and U.S. immigration policies and how this relates to Canada's education policies and employment goals and how Canada and the U.S. are working to achieve dominance in gas and oil production

Leadership high school students from Akron Public Schools (APS) participate in ACWA’s Global Scholars program. Students attend a special briefing session in the afternoon before the formal evening event. ACWA engages in a collaborative relationship with APS and obtains foundation funding to support Global Scholars. We bring together students from across the Akron community's social, racial and economic demographics.

Students prepare in advance, in their high schools, with a curricula developed by ACWA, which focuses on topics arrived at in advance with each scheduled diplomat.

At each table in the formal session, students from different APS high schools dialogue with one another and with the visitor diplomat. Students with different perspective weigh-in on questions or comments of other students and visitor diplomats. Cross-cultural ideas-driven debate and communication is supported.

The majority of these students are from financially challenged homes and are already holding part-time jobs in the Akron market. A common theme in their reports, written at the end of each formal session, is that collaborating with peers from other and different APS schools is essential for their future careers. They understand that interacting with others is a skill that that is required in most forms of employment is the marketplace.

WZIP-88.1-FM Community Concern Program • ACWA Executive Director Interviews of Visitor Diplomats

Global Scholars students with Roy Norton

Vicente Sanchez Ventura, Consul of Mexico in Detroit, MI and Jane Walker Snider, ACWA Executive Director, at WZIP Studios in February 2012. Mr. Ventura discussed topics related to Mexico's strategic relationship with the U.S., including the rise in the Mexican economy and industry-related education of its youth since the passage of NAFTA, actions against drug cartels, and legal entry of agricultural workers into the U.S. with special visas.

WZIP-FM and ACWA are partnering to produce Community Concern Programs featuring ACWA guest diplomats as a means to educate WZIP listeners on international issues that affect Northeast Ohio interests, economically and politically. Content of each two-part program is based on the topics addressed in both the Global Scholars formal session and the Formal Evening Program.

Following broadcast by WZIP, each interview is available on ACWA's website. This collaboration with WZIP began in April 2009 with David Schwake, Political Counselor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C. A summary of each diplomat interview is included, and each can be listened to in our Resources section.

Travel Program

ACWA is partnering with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia to provide access to specialized group travel packages around the globe.

Contact Us

Contact ACWA by e-mail at info@akronworldaffairs.org. Our mailing address is:

P.O. Box 5300
Fairlawn, Ohio 44334

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