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Advocating for Human and Civil Rights for Minority Communities

July 26, 2015 - July 29, 2015

Cleveland has a rich history of championing civil rights and diversity. Cleveland’s African-American community has been a dominant force since the early 19th century, leading to Carl Stokes being elected as one of the first African-American mayors in a major U.S. city. Cleveland also has a bright history of defending civil rights in court and through well-known community organizations.  These organizations have been focused most recently on demanding police reform in the wake of the recent fatal shooting by police of a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, and accusations that the Cleveland Police Department has engaged in “excessive and unreasonable force” in hundreds of other cases, according to a report issues by the Department of Justice.

Five international visitors from Finland, Malta, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom are coming to Cleveland to learn about protecting minority rights and fostering an inclusive society at the local level. Specifically, they will learn about community relations and civic action for improved policing through meetings with the Community Relations Board of Cleveland; the Ohio Civil Rights Commission; local academics whose research focuses on the school-prison pipeline and the relationship between juvenile delinquency, race, and early interactions with the police; and various law enforcement officials.

International Visitor Leadership (IVLP) Program

Each year, over 250 professionals from around the world visit Northeast Ohio through IVLP. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, these visitors have been identified by U.S. embassies as emerging leaders in their fields.  Over 50 Nobel Laureates and 335 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government are alumni of this program. 

By connecting with foreign leaders we strengthen Northeast Ohio’s commercial, cultural, and educational ties with the rest of the world. For more information, contact Ryan Ouellette, Senior Program Officer, at or click here. To get involved as a Citizen Diplomat, click here.


(216) 781-3730
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Cleveland Council on World Affairs Portal
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