TNWAC This Week

TNWAC This Week

December 7, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of The Tennessee World Affairs Council:

This week we’re celebrating the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to the public in the United Kingdom and the imminent approval for vaccinations among the U.S. population. This global catastrophe has been center stage in our reporting and programs since last January when TNWAC first sounded the alarm about the emerging pandemic. We hosted Medical Epidemiologist Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill of the Tennessee Department of Health’s Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness (CEDEP) Division before COVID-19 arrived in our state, to give us the insights necessary to understand the looming menace. Over the summer and into the fall our weekly Global News Review led with global COVID-19 developments and the implications for U.S. public health. In September we joined with three other world affairs councils to present a two-night special program on COVID-19 bringing in journalists around the world — Russia, China, Iran and Latin America — and U.S. public health specialists.

TNWAC has delivered for you on this essential story. But it’s not done yet and although there’s cause for hope that vaccines are at our doorstep we all see the daily toll soaring to record numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The pandemic continues its human and economic toll at home and abroad. TNWAC will continue to bring you data, insights and perspectives on the COVID catastrophe.

Meanwhile, we’ll soon be wrapping up our regular programs for a holiday season break. However, we’ll continue to bring you curated news through our @TNWAC Twitter account (#TNWACquiz); our “What in the World?” Weekly Quiz; and a Christmas-week Global Trivia program. Details are below and on our Web site.

This week we’re also finalizing plans for the 2021 Academic WorldQuest competition. AWQ is our flagship program for high school students to inform and inspire them to learn more about the world. It’s a match among four-student teams with 100 questions in ten topics. The TNWAC winning team goes on to a National Championship Match among teams from the 90+ sister councils around the country. This year our AWQ practice match (Jan 31) and championship match (Mar 7) will be virtual, and we’ll be hosting the competitions in collaboration with World Affairs Councils from New Hampshire and Maine. Details on our AWQ page.

As we enter the traditional holiday season we invite you to take advantage of the TNWAC Gift Membership program. You can delight your friends and family with a one-year membership to the World Affairs Council. Check the Gift section of our Membership information for details and benefits. We also ask that YOU become a members, to support the Council’s work and to take advantage of the member benefits, like exclusive delivery of the “Daily Chatter” customized newsletter every weekday.

Lastly, we ask that you include the Tennessee World Affairs Council among your end-of-year charity giving. TNWAC is an IRS 501c3 tax exempt organization and registered in Tennessee as an educational charity. We need the financial support of members and donors like you to continue to bring the expansive array of public service programs. Visit our Donate page to make your gift.

Thank you.



Patrick W. Ryan
President, Tennessee World Affairs Council


Tuesday | “Global Nashville with Karl Dean” | 7pm CT | A conversation with AllianceBernstein Chief Operating Officer Kate Burke | REGISTER | COO Kate Burke who oversaw the relocation of AB’s New York office to Nashville will join former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7pm CT on our “Global Nashville with Karl Dean” Webinar to talk about: the choice of Nashville for its corporate expansion, the company’s international operations, and its integration into the fabric of the community. You are invited to join the conversation.

Wednesday | “Global News Review” | 1pm CT | REGISTER | Join our team of Ambassador Dick Bowers, Dr. Breck Walker and LCDR Patrick Ryan for expert analysis of current global developments. Give Dick, Breck and Pat 45 minutes and they’ll give you the world. Analysis and entertaining commentary on the top events and issues leading global news reports. Hard to find insights and perspectives from diplomacy, academia and intelligence, along with a little fun and your questions. This week’s topics:

  • 2021 – What’s in Store for America in the World
  • Iran: Maximum Pressure at the Barrel of a Gun
  • Brexit: Disorderly Conduct

Wednesday | Special Program | “UN75: The Journey Continues” | 6:00-7:15pm CT | REGISTER | In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations TNWAC in collaboration with WorldDenver, WAC Harrisburg and the International Relations Council Kansas City present a special panel to talk about the UN’s past and future challenges, featuring America’s diplomat Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former French Ambassador to the UN Amb Gerard Araud and a panel of specialists. 

UN75 SPONSORS SOUGHT – The Nashville Cordell Hull Chapter of the UN Association USA has pledged $250.00 toward a $1,000 sponsorship of the December 8th special program. We invite you to contribute to the Nashville Chapter sponsorship bid by contacting Pat Ryan ( / 931.261.2353)


December 29 | Tuesday | 6:00pm CT | Global Trivia Night

January 12 | Tuesday | 6:00pm CT | Special Presentation | Members’ Only Virtual Reception and Discussion | Professor Thomas Schwartz on “The Challenges of Teaching the Cold War to a Very Post-Cold War Generation”

February 9 | Tuesday| 7:00pm CT | Global Dialogue | Hon. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman | Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States

The bi-weekly “Global Nashville with Karl Dean” and “Global Dialogue” (every other Tuesday evening) programs resume in January along with the weekly “Global News Review (Wednesdays at 1pm).


The Anne Smedinghoff AWQ challenge is on. This annual competition among high school students is set for a practice round on January 31st and a joint championship match on March 7th (date change from Feb 28) with our sister World Affairs Councils in New Hampshire and Maine. We invite students and teachers to form teams and participate in this years program. More information on our page.  


Calling all quiz enthusiasts. Every Monday we launch ten questions derived from the previous week’s global news reports. Join our quiz takers from around Tennessee and around the world in this lively quiz. And if you are among the weekly winners, and you’re a TNWAC active dues paying member, you’re eligible for the monthly quiz prize. Look for the quiz on our Web site and in your email if you’re a TNWAC newsletter subscriber. Get on the newsletter list on our home page, [December prize: “The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal,” by Ambassador William Burns]


December 10 | 6pm CT | Join your neighbors to celebrate International Human Rights Day. During the event, leaders are acknowledged, and awards will go to human rights champions in two categories: Outstanding Service and Lifetime Achievement. The Outstanding Service Award will go to Rev. Becca Stevens, who is founder and president of Thistle Farms and has served as the chaplain at St. Augustine Chapel for more than 20 years; and Dr. James Hildreth, the 12th president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center. DETAILS|REGISTER



TeachMideast – the MEPC’s educational outreach initiative – has just launched a new content hub “Reimagining the Middle East: Contemporary Social and Creative Movements” providing U.S. educators with tools to teach about the cultural depth and nuance of the greater Middle East. Access it here.


TNWAC has recently purchased a subscription to the popular weekday global affairs newsletter “Daily Chatter.” It brings you a quick, two-minute, perspective on the world each day. TNWAC active dues paying members receive this valuable service at no charge. If you are a Member and haven’t gotten the “Daily Chatter” signup link yet, drop us a note at If you’re not a member why not join today to get the “Daily Chatter” and other member benefits. DETAILS/JOIN


Shopping angst? This one is easy. Give them the world. A one-year individual membership to the World Affairs Council is loaded with benefits you’re lucky recipient will appreciate all-year long. Check our Gift Membership page for details. Don’t delay. We want to get them their world famous TNWAC coffee mug and membership materials in time for the holidays.  DETAILS/GIVE A GIFT



THE MISSION of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.

THE VISION of  the Tennessee World Affairs Council is a well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.