ACIS President Peter Jones’ Statement on Living in a Multi-Cultural World

When we first started ACIS in 1978, we had a very simple premise: Travel Changes Lives. The success of ACIS as an educational travel organization has always been based around this. All of the people that work with ACIS and all of our employees embrace that mission. As a traveler, I get to move freely throughout the world and visit many different places, immerse myself in a whole array of different cultures, and practice my languages wherever possible. I always feel proud to come home to the USA.

I have been a US citizen for over 20 years, and I received my citizenship in historic Faneuil Hall. Quite an amazing place to be sworn in. I had been given an opportunity and I took it. This country was built around an acceptance of immigrants. It was the promise of a new beginning, a new world. It drew people from all walks of life and from every country on Earth. A diverse culture of different religions and different languages under one great umbrella.

Our world has become more accessible – we think and teach globally, we espouse tolerance in our classrooms, and we learn to accommodate each other while at the same time being sensitive and aware of the need to be smart about safety and security. Above all, America has become a beacon of hope for people that are oppressed, a shining light for people who strive for a new beginning. Our flag has become a symbol for openness, tolerance, and cultural diversity.

As Emma Lazarus’s famous poem reminds us, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” This is inscribed on a plaque by our Statue of Liberty. This poem represents the philosophy and rules of conduct we all signed up for when we became USA citizens.

As a cultural, educational, global institution, we believe in “Bringing the World Together,” we believe in developing young people so that they can have a global perspective, and we fundamentally believe that this makes for a better society. Surely we all strive for a better world, a world at peace, a world of diversity, free of racism and inequality. A world of religious freedom. Prejudice has always been an enemy of progress.

Those of us who travel and cross borders without restrictions are fortunate. There are many perks to living in an open, democratic society.
To embrace and understand our entire world is key to a healthy and smart country. Our role is small but not insignificant. Working with educators from across the USA, we create global ambassadors.

I love travel. I love discovering new places and I love helping new travelers begin a journey to become the global citizens of tomorrow. Bringing our world together. Watching travel changing lives. Let’s not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

5 Comments

  • Brian ainscough

    January 31, 01 2017 05:58:16

    Bravo , I came here in 83 and for me I have never visited a country so open and warm. That’s why I stayed.

  • Beth Marshall

    January 31, 01 2017 07:12:04

    And this is exactly WHY I travel with ACIS…I believe in you guys 100% and hope that with each trip I do with my students, I create an idea of respect for our multi-cultural society in the young adults that travel with me. Thank you for all you do to create positive experiences for our travelers, ACIS!:)

  • Lucy Bartholomee

    January 31, 01 2017 07:25:57

    Beautifully said! I am proud to travel with ACIS –since 2001. When I take my students to other countries their whole outlook is transformed and the impact is enduring.

    Breaking down cultural barriers clears the way for compassion and understanding, Thank you for helping to pave the way for a better future.

  • Randy White

    February 01, 02 2017 08:05:23

    My school started traveling with ACIS in the 70’s and I got involved in 1983. I never considered using any other educational travel company and that is because of Peter Jones and the wonderful people that make up the ACIS Team worldwide. I consider myself very fortunate to now be part of this team!
    Thank you Peter! Your message is powerful and uplifting!

  • Pam Skaar Meier

    February 01, 02 2017 04:19:29

    A message truly from the heart! Thank you Peter for expressing what many of us feel about ACIS and our travel mission. It is up to us to continue to open the doors for young people to the world of culture and travel….their minds will follow! Since 1989, ACIS has been my travel companion and family. We cherish the freedom to do what we love….immerse ourselves into new places and cultures. Cheers to Peter and the ACIS Family!

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