Be a Citizen Diplomat – Travel to Russia in the Fall

From Sharon Tennison of the Center for Citizen Initiatives


Are You Concerned We Aren’t Getting Accurate Information Regarding Russia?

Participate with us as we travel to Russia August 30 – September 15, 2018. We will hold hundreds of discussions with officials and mainstream Russian citizens in eight regions throughout Russia. We will delve into both countries’ reasons and concerns regarding why the U.S.-Russia relationship has deteriorated again — and what it will take to rebuild it at this late date, if possible.


  1. Americans in growing numbers need to travel to Russia to examine the accuracy of our mainstream media, to check different points of view across Russia, to hear Russians’ ideas on US-Russia relations and most importantly make our own analyses regarding how the U.S. and Russia can survive together on our endangered planet.
  2. Russian citizens need to travel to our cities to have discussions about how to redirect this difficult relationship.
  3. Both sides need to halt Cold War II narratives and demonizations which feed fears in both countries.
  4. Both sides need to be prepared to understand the others’ legitimate needs and to negotiate the differences.


MOSCOW: Moscow meetings (presentations, panels, debates, round tables, Q&As) will be in conference halls. Our delegation will meet with Moscow reporters, officials supportive of and not supportive of Putin’s policies, Duma members, government-owned media and public media sources, TV icon Vladimir Pozner and hopefully Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev, NGO leaders, CCI entrepreneurs, educators and students. Students will accompany travelers for city experiences. The first night we will take the metro to Red Square, St. Basil’s and downtown Moscow — we will dine in restaurants in the shadows of the ancient Kremlin walls. The next day we will get to work!

REGIONAL CITIES: Travelers will split into eight groups to visit numerous Russian cities. They will meet with counterpart professionals, local officials, journalists, Rotary clubs, business owners, educators, university students and secondary schools. Interpreters will be provided. We plan to arrange home visits for all delegates in the regional cities.

ST. PETERSBURG: First we will each share our learnings and compare experiences from the eight regions visited. Next we will meet with St. Petersburg citizens to understand their perspectives on a range of issues. All information will be documented for future use. Last we will revel in the cultural capital’s architecture, palaces, classical music, ballets, including a canal ride around the city at twilight!

We believe this trip will uncover numerous ways to approach a new détente with today’s Russia. In the 1980’s we worked diligently and watched changes happen year by year. If it happened once it can happen again!

The Future is Too Important to Leave up to Reporters and Officials with No Personal Experience in Russia.

If you wish to apply to travel on this “Mega-Trip” with a Mission, please email us at:


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; …. indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

                                                            -Margaret Mead, noted American Anthropologist

We are in a perilous Cold War II with Russia. A hot war could be sparked in an instant. Have we forgotten what Hiroshima and Nagasaki looked like? Ponder our magnificent globe … Are we really ready to sacrifice everything we have known and loved?

Over what issues are we willing to go into a war with Russia? Differences in the Middle East? A culturally divided Ukraine? Because Crimea chose to rejoin Russia? If Assad stays in power? Whether hacking was proved or not? Under what circumstances are we ready to risk our family members … our homes and our way of life?

Let’s ask the tough questions …. Who is on whose borders with tanks and armored soldiers? Are Russians on our borders? Whose warships are nearby in whose international waters? Are Russians in ours? Who is destabilizing governments of long-term partners? Is Russia? Who is pushing war? Who is defending their own borders?

Isn’t it insane to pick a fight with Russia? American citizens need to rise up and say, “NO!” to war with Russia — nothing they are doing (or rumored to be doing) …. is worth losing everything dear to us!

Travel to Russia to discuss and debate with Russians how we can exist cooperatively on the same planet.

The Center for Citizen Initiatives worked through the bleakest of days during Cold War I. In 1983, we (and others) tried to intervene in the nuclear standoff between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. … to bring understanding and goodwill between the two peoples — and together we succeeded. In 2018, we are once again determined to intervene between these two countries until this “mania” for war is invalidated by both populations and leaders. Join us!

We Americans must take diplomacy into our own hands — as our citizens did in the 1980’s!Φ

Sharon Tennison is the author of The Power of Impossible Ideas: Ordinary Citizens’ Extraordinary Efforts to Avert International Crises, and she is president of the Center for Citizen Initiatives. CCI’s vision is ….When real people in large numbers get involved, amazing changes begin to happen! If it happened in the 1980s, it can happen again. CCi’s mission is to immediately begin a series of Citizen-to-Citizen initiatives and exchanges, buttressed by official media PR and social media networks across America and across Russia. This appeal and invitation was published on May 2 at Center for Citizen Initiatives.

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