TNWAC This Week

TNWAC This Week

December 24, 2020

Dear Members and Friends:

Holiday greetings from the Tennessee World Affairs Council!

On behalf of the Council’s Board of Directors, I would like to extend our best wishes to you as our community completes observance of Hanukkah, prepares for Christmas and Kwanza, and considers the coming of a new year.

The arrival of 2021 is a time to reflect on the astonishing year ending next week. In January we first reported on the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, hosting interviews of Health Department and medical experts and compiling reports of the spreading infections, both at home and abroad.

TNWAC quickly pivoted from in-person global affairs awareness programs to virtual events via Webinars and Podcasts that kept COVID-19 on the forefront of our international affairs reporting. Our two-night symposium on the pandemic in collaboration with other World Affairs Councils, featured journalists from around the world and prominent public health officials in the United States. These programs demonstrated the power of the World Affairs Councils to convene events and educational offerings on important global events impacting our security, prosperity and health.

In addition to robust coverage and conversations about COVID, the Council’s programs covered every aspect of U.S. foreign policy, America’s position in the world, and the transformation of the global landscape to a different new world.

TNWAC’s Election2020 project showcased the ability of the Council to assemble world-class, world-wise, distinguished speakers to share their insights and perspectives with you. The three-month series provided context and background for the civic responsibilities being exercised by America’s voters.

Since early March the World Affairs Council delivered multiple programs a week featuring several of our Board Members who are devoted to the mission of building global literacy. Former Mayor Karl Dean talked with community leaders about “Global Nashville” and everything that makes it an international place. Ambassador Dick Bowers, Dr. Breck Walker and LCDR Patrick Ryan met you every Wednesday with their Global News Reviews, sharing assessments of current events from decades of experience in diplomacy, scholarship and intelligence.

The need for global literacy is more apparent than ever, as our community and country have faced exceptional challenges in 2020. The world was already changing with new “great power” shifts, pushback against aspects of globalization, and questions about multilateralism. In a world where the United States has such significant influence and global events have far reaching consequences to our prosperity and security, ensuring that Americans understand these challenges is of vital importance for the our community.

As we wrap up this extraordinary year with the pandemic battle continuing amid other international challenges, let me remind you of the mandate we’ve given ourselves at the World Affairs Council. We are singularly dedicated to providing programs and resources to achieve our global awareness vision – “A well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.”

Let me close by inviting you to join us in this mission.

We look forward to welcoming you as a member of the World Affairs Council and we thank you for considering TNWAC in your “end of year” charitable giving. The Council is a nonpartisan, educational charity and your donations are tax exempt under IRS 501c3 provisions. Our work goes on only with your aid.

Thank you for your interest and support this year.

Best wishes to you and your family and best wishes for a safe and enjoyable holiday season.





Jim Shepherd
TNWAC Board of Directors


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

January 6 | Wednesday | 1:00pm CT | Global News Review | Register (Every Wednesday)

January 12 | Tuesday | 7:00pm 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” | Register

January 13 | Wednesday | 1:00pm CT | Global News Review | Register (Every Wednesday)

January 19 | Tuesday | 7:00pm CT | Global Nashville with Karl Dean | Register (Every Other Tuesday)

January 20 | Wednesday | 1:00pm CT | Global News Review | Register (Every Wednesday)

January 27 | Wednesday | 1:00pm CT | Global News Review | Register (Every Wednesday)

January 28 | Thursday | 9:00am CT | Future of Korea Project & IBC Business Insiders’ Series | Register

January 28 | Thursday | 5:30am CT | Future of Korea Project Global Town Hall: US-Korea Relations | Register

February 3 | Wednesday | 1:00pm CT | Global News Review | Register (Every Wednesday)

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

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]


TNWAC 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



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.