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Our Second Pillar: Education and Outreach

We here at the Greater Gainesville International Center are driven by our mission to celebrate, elevate and empower our local international community. Our goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive global city, a city and region open to all, fostering a diverse economy, world-class educational opportunities, and a creative culture unique to us.

In pursuit of that vision, we have been working to further our second pillar: education and outreach. This part of our mission focuses on helping our community better connect with one another in order to build understanding, empathy and a feeling of shared aspirations. We want to help our community dream together, to work collectively towards a better Greater Gainesville, and to identify what it means to be a completely inclusive community.

We want to help facilitate creative and collaborative community solutions to some of our greatest challenges such as access to quality healthcare, housing, nutritious food, safe streets and transportation options, economic opportunity and so much more. We join with the many community leaders and organizations already working in this space by adding a more diverse set of voices and experiences to the discussion.

To these ends, we have developed partnerships with our local educational institutions including PK Yonge Laboratory School, Santa Fe College and the University of Florida to develop comprehensive educational exchange programs that are designed to foster cultural understanding, promote academic collaboration, and facilitate an open exchange of ideas. These programs will incorporate best practices, adapt to the needs of the participating students and instructors, and be critically assessed for effectiveness and relevance.

The first such programs will be tested via pilot programs at both Santa Fe College and PK Yonge this coming fall. Once we have shown effectiveness and worked through initial challenges, we will start offering guidance for these programs county-wide in a diverse range of settings. Be sure to let us know at if you have ideas or resources that will help us expand this part of our mission!

We are also working with an amazing group of local leaders and experts to bring educational opportunities to our local community in intimate and interactive settings. Starting this fall, we will be hosting a series of events hosted by local venues. The first series will be focused on centering the immigrant story so we can all learn more about the journey so many of our neighbors have navigated before ending up here in Gainesville and part of our community.

The other series will focus on the universal language of music. Music connects us and binds us together, while also helping us understand the underlying history and culture of our neighbors and their extended communities. This series will be part performance, part learning opportunity, often with an interactive element. We guarantee you will walk away energized, more knowledgeable and motivated to get more engaged in helping further our mission in your own way. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates on times and locations of these and other exciting events.

Beyond these immediate efforts to strengthen our second pillar, we will continue to build relationships with new and existing people and organizations to find ways to support one another in our collective efforts to make Greater Gainesville more inclusive and welcoming. If you have ideas you would like to share or represent an organization that would benefit from a partnership with the Greater Gainesville International Center, reach out to and we will set up a conversation!

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