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It's a Movement!

The sister city movement dates its beginnings to a White House Conference on Citizen Diplomacy convened in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to bring together citizens forging ties with communities abroad. On September 11, 1956, President Eisenhower exhorted delegates, "to help build the road to an enduring peace" and a Civic Committee was appointed by the President to set up town affiliations linking U.S. communities with counterparts around the globe.

SCH is a tax-exempt corporation working in partnership with the City of Hampton to improve understanding and promote friendship between citizens and students of Hampton and the citizens and students of Hampton’s sister cities through exchanges, communications and personal interactions. Hampton has participated in the sister city movement since the 1950s and currently has four sister cities:

  • Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
  • Anyang, South Korea
  • Vendome, France
  • Southampton, England

Sister Cities International creates lifelong friendships that provide prosperity and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.” Today it is a grassroots movement that reaches around the globe to 134 countries.

Support the Movement

Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Excerpts from the Sister Cities International website.

A sister city, county, or state relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. A sister city, county, or state relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities sign off on an agreement. Sister city relationships offer the flexibility to form connections between communities that are mutually beneficial and which address issues that are most relevant for partners.

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