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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.
20 Episodes
Mr. Grant Baskerville discusses the passing of the Queen and whether the United Kingdom is at the dawn of a new era from a Scottish point of view.Grant has 15 years’ experience engaging Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels, the devolved institutions, US Federal Agencies, and Congress. He has worked in both public and private sector positions, with a strong track record of effectively managing multi-disciplinary teams focused on advocacy, campaigning, media relations, public policy, and stakeholde...
Join us on a journey of inclusion and belonging with Ruchika Tulshyan, inclusion speaker and author of Inclusion on Purpose. As Utah welcomes more minorities, refugees, and immigrants, it becomes more and more important to be culturally sensitive. The seemingly small act of pronouncing names correctly is discussed in depth, from how we can approach awkward moments of getting it wrong, to how names can affect self esteem and leadership opportunities.
Our latest episode features Nino Reyos, a Ute/Pueblo traditional dancer, flute player, US Marines veteran, educator, and therapist. Join us as he discusses the history of indigenous people in Utah, keeping traditions alive, and dancing at the World Expo in Dubai.
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 D...
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 lake...
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 connectio...
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 discussio...
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!
DISCLAIMER: This episode briefly mentions some topics of violence, especially towards women. In this episode, Dawood Saleh, a Yazidi native and refugee, comes on to discuss the truth of what the Yazidi community entails. Through the topic of religion, history, genocides, as well as what Dawood does to highlight his community, we are able to learn just how unique this marginalized community is. If you are interested in helping, some of the organizations mentioned in this episode are...
In this episode, Jessica Chappell, a structural engineer and member of the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, comes on to discuss how and why the infrastructural damage took place after the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria earlier this year. The discussion also compares and contrasts the damage done in Utah after the earthquake in 2020, and how to best prevent this damage from occurring here in Utah and Turkey/ Syria again.
Every year Women of the World hosts a fashion show and cultural gala to embrace the refugee community of women in Utah who come from all over the world. In this episode, Samira and Ryan come on to talk about this event, how it came to be, and why clothing is so important to women refugees. If you are interested in purchasing tickets to this event, click the link below: learn more about Women of the World and the work that they do, go to https://...
In this episode, Jessica Hercules, a community engagement organizer at English Skills Learning Center, joins us to discuss the experience of being a refugee in Utah, the struggles they may face, and what they contribute to our society. This episode contributes to the conversation that will take place at UCCD's World Affairs Symposium on February 16th, which will discuss the future of refugees in Utah. If you are interested in participating in this symposium that is free to the public, c...
In this episode, Dr. Alicia Cunningham-Bryant joins us to discuss what artifact repatriation is, why we should be concerned with returning material goods back to their rightful homes, and how this is an issue that affects Utah.
In this episode, Zachary Frankel, the Executive Director of Utah Rivers Council, chats with us about the ongoing water crisis in Utah and with our Great Salt Lake, what preventative measures can be made, and how this relates to climate change and the overall health of Utahns.
Apa Sherpa, a Nepalese-born mountaineer, held the record until 2011 for the most summits to Mount Everest, a total of 21 times. He is also the founder of the Apa Sherpa Foundation that focuses on bringing educational opportunities and increasing the quality of life to the new generation of Nepal. In this episode, we get insight into Apa's life and upbringing and his adventures with Mt. Everest, how the Apa Sherpa Foundation came to be, and how he settled in Utah. If you are able to, ple...
In this episode, Daniel Romero (he/they), a local activist and community health worker, joins us to have a conversation on the many ways that activism can and should look like, the role that intersectionality plays in activism, as well as their lived experiences and what brought them to become involved in Utah's marginalized communities.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is an immigrant policy that has been heavily debated and discussed in the United States. Brianna and Fanny from Comunidades Unidas, an organization focused on immigration aid and public health, discuss what is DACA, how the recent changes under the Biden administration may affect the Dreamer population, and how dreamers contribute to this country and state.
Nazanin Nour and Sogol Daniels are two Iranian American women’s rights activists who have done incredible work to support the freedom movement of women and girls in Iran and other regions and are serving Utah communities in different capacities for good.
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