DiscoverUtah's Fireside Chats
Utah's Fireside Chats
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Utah's Fireside Chats

Author: Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

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The Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy is proud to present Fireside Chats! These fireside chats are short conversations with Utah’s citizen diplomats who are reformulating the American worldview by bringing their global experience back home. We hope that the embers of this conversation will light a fire in you to also make the global - local.
7 Episodes
Join Gerald Brown, Utah State Refugee Coordinator, while he shares his story and experiences that helped shape his passion for working in refugee resettlement. From living in Cairo, processing asylum applications, helping shape the refugee process to include refugee community organizations, and assisting with the creation of the Utah Refugee Services Offices, Brown's motto of "just befriend a refugee in Utah" has opened endless opportunities. Join us for a live recording of UCCD's Executive Director, Felecia Maxfield-Barrett, and Gerald Brown discuss how his actions have exemplified the spirit of Citizen Diplomacy, how Utah has led a successful path of refugee resettlement, and how the community can step up to assist with the hurdles refugees continue to face in our state.  
Dr. Baxter explains how by studying Earth’s extreme environments, scientists around the world have learned much about the limits of life (as we know it) on Earth. How are these lessons applied to the search for life on Mars? Dr. Baxter studies the extremophiles that live in Great Salt Lake and employs them as models for potential life off our planet. She discusses the salt deposits on Mars currently being explored by NASA’s Perseverance Rover, and why Jezero Crater is reminiscent of salt lakes on Earth. Also, how will this connect to other Mars missions this year from UAE and China, and how will the European Space Agency help Perseverance send samples home? 
Nils Bergeson, Founder/Executive Director at ENGAGE Global Storytelling, discusses international development as an element of human geography. Nils applies his decade of experience as a former foreign service officer at USAID to explain how development works and how it doesn't work. Nils also discusses some of the myths and misconceptions regarding international development efforts!
Kiki & the Kitchen

Kiki & the Kitchen


Join Kiki Sharma as she tells us about her journey from growing up in a refugee camp in Nepal to becoming an Utah restaurant owner and manager! Kiki and her family are an inspiring example of resiliency. Despite Covid restrictions, Kiki continues to run Bhutan House Restaurant and make a living for her family. Join us for this live recording of a community podcast and talk to Kiki about her life experiences!
Join Nathaniel Coleman, professional climber and member of the USA Olympic Climbing Team, as he discusses his connection to areas around the world, as well as those close to home in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.  As environmental threats harm wild places, Nathaniel will discuss how he has witnessed the climbing community step up to preserve the environment and businesses vital to these communities. Nathaniel believes that climbing is an opportunity for people to find a deeper connection with nature, and thus become stewards of the outdoors. Listen to learn more! 
Welcome to the second episode of Fireside Chats! These chats are short conversations with Utah’s citizen diplomats who are reformulating the American worldview from one of despair to one of hope during a time of multiple crises. Virtual seating will be limited to 20 participants in order to create an intimate conversation between the audience and the speaker. Join us for the recording of this community podcast! In this episode, join musician, artist, and writer Liz Lambson in a discussion about Utah’s minority art community and the influence of 2020’s social justice movement on the vision of Black artists. Liz is a founding member of the recently formed Utah Black Artists Collective, string bassist in the Ballet West Orchestra, painter, creative writer, and gumbo chef. Learn more about the experiences and perspective of local minority artists and views on what it’s like to be a Black artist creating in majority-white spaces. 
Music Diplomacy

Music Diplomacy


Gerald Elias will lead a fascinating discussion on the importance of music in diplomacy. He will discuss the international component of musicians within organizations, musicians in other countries, working with young people overseas, and connections grown through music. Join us for this empowering conversation! 
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