Canadians Head to Washington for IVLP Program on Interfaith Dialogue and Human Rights

Four Canadians will visit Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities from June 16 to July 4 as participants in an International Visitors’ Leadership Program (IVLP) on Interfaith Dialogue and Human Rights in the U.S. The program is organized by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The goals of the program is to illustrate the history of human and civil rights protections in the U.S; examine how civil rights and religious NGOs interact with federal, state, and local government bodies to influence policy; study how the U.S. implements and enforces international human rights standards, including the freedom of religion; explore religious groups’ use of civic participation, political activism, and interfaith dialogue to address social issues, promote improved public policy, and confront intolerance; and highlight NGO management, fundraising, marketing, advocacy, and outreach campaigns designed to influence American public opinion and U.S. human rights and religious policies.

Participants in this program are:

  • Chelsea Byers, Pedagogical Advisor, Quebec City Police Service
  • Urzurum Heer, Director of Outreach, Member of Parliament Kyle Seeback
  • Iman Ibrahim, Assistant Ombudsperson, University of Ottawa
  • Mina Rahravan, Police Officer, York Regional Police

The IVLP enables Canadians who are emerging leaders in their professional field to observe U.S. institutions and culture first-hand, and to meet with professional counterparts to explore issues of common interest. Through this program approximately 40 Canadians a year benefit from three-week study tours, as guests of the United States. Founded in 1940, the IVLP has given hundreds of thousands of emerging leaders — including hundreds of Canadians — the opportunity to observe and interact with American culture and society on a personal level. For more information, visit

Participants are available for interviews before and after the program upon request.


Media Contact
Jennifer Young
Media Assistant
U.S. Embassy Ottawa
Tel: 613-688-5315