Great Barrington, Ghana enter sister city talks

(Evan Triantafilidis)

By Evan Triantafilidis

GREAT BARRINGTON — The sites of W.E.B. Du Bois’ birth and death, Great
Barrington and Accra, Ghana, are in discussions to become official sister
cities.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee heard an update from
resident Jim Manning about his communications with the mayor of Accra and the
obstacles standing in the way of starting the global partnership as part of
Sister Cities International (SCI).

“Sister Cities has been less than responsive,” said Manning. “I
got a little worried. If I hadn’t heard back from them today, after several
weeks of trying to reach them … they literally didn’t return calls or emails
for three weeks.”

SCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has a network of over
2,000 partnerships with more than 140 countries, linking different cultures of
the world since its creation in 1956.

“A membership in SCI comes with a handful of benefits, like
visa help, medical help and background checks,” said Manning. “The fees are
based on population.”

Manning had originally told the mayor of Accra that their
yearly fees would be $750, but will now have to relay the news of an updated
yearly cost of $2,500.

“Sister Cities quoted me the wrong amount for Accra’s fees,” said Manning. “Ours is $750. I was told it would be $750 for Accra, but they were wrong.”

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