Embassy Viewing Party: Acceptance in Sports Webcast

Categories: June 2014
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Published on: June 20, 2014

Are you involved with an Ottawa-area sports & fitness organization or business, educational athletics department, LGBTQ or community group?

Interested in learning about ethics and inclusion in sports?

Then join us for a viewing party (and lunch!)

Join us for a viewing party for the Acceptance in Sports webcast, June 24th in Ottawa!
Join us for a viewing party for the Acceptance in Sports webcast, June 24th in Ottawa!

Tuesday, June 24, 11:30 – 1:00pm
U.S. Embassy Ottawa
490 Sussex Drive

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: As part of State’s celebration of LGBT Pride Month, the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) has arranged a global webchat for June 24, at noon EDT, focusing on successes and challenges on LGBT issues in U.S. society. The dialogue will feature Jason Collins, who recently became the first U.S. professional basketball player (NBA) to announce that he is gay. Joining him will be Wade Davis, a former NFL professional football player who came out publicly in 2012. He is executive director for the You Can Play Project, an advocacy organization working to eradicate homophobia in U.S. professional sports.

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN US: We would like to facilitate a discussion about acceptance in sports, but at the local level. We will also have a laptop set up for submitting questions to the speakers via webchat in order to make it an interactive experience. Recipients of this invitation include sports & fitness NGOs and businesses, post-secondary athletics departments, LGBTQ and community groups, and government. It’s a prime opportunity to meet like-minded people and share best practices. …and, of course, lunch is on us!

If you can’t join us in person, you can tune into the webchat from your home or office by clicking on this link at noon on June 24: https://conx.state.gov/event/acceptance-in-sports/ (lunch not included in this option, sorry!). Let us know if you tune in, and feel free to share the link with your organization, contacts and colleagues.

Embassy viewing party space is limited — first come, first serve!

Please email your RSVP to cultural@state.gov by June 20. Be sure to include any dietary restrictions.

You must RSVP in order to attend. Reservations are non-transferable.

Please bring photo I.D.

Electronic devices (cell phones, iPods, and cameras) will be checked upon arrival.

Please arrive at the SUSSEX ENTRANCE 10-15 minutes prior to the program to clear security.

Please indicate special needs requirements when you RSVP.

Parking is available nearby in the Byward Market!

Interfaith Dialogue DVC with Eboo Patel

Categories: June 2014
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Published on: June 12, 2014
Eboo Patel, Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core and Member of President Obama's inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships
Eboo Patel, Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core and Member of President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships

On Wednesday, June 25th, the Embassy invites you to join us for a digital videoconference with Eboo Patel, Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core and a member of President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.

What: DVC with Eboo Patel
Where: U.S. Embassy Ottawa, 490 Sussex Drive
When: Wednesday, June 25, 10:00 am to 11:30 am

Please RSVP to Kate Brown by Monday, June 23rd via email, at brownkhb@state.gov.

You must RSVP in order to attend. Reservations are non-transferable. Please bring photo I.D. Electronic devices (cell phones, iPods, and cameras) will be checked upon arrival. Please arrive at the SUSSEX ENTRANCE 10-15 minutes prior to the program to clear security.

Please indicate special needs requirements when you RSVP. Parking is available nearby in the Byward Market.

Chat with an Astronaut!

Categories: May 2014
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Published on: May 16, 2014

On Thursday, May 22nd, the Embassy will be co-presenting a webchat with astronaut Dr. Mary Ellen Weber. For more details about the chat and Dr. Weber, click on the poster below, and then register to join the chat here!

Webchat with Mary Ellen Weber May 22nd - register now!
Webchat with Mary Ellen Weber May 22nd – register now!

#HearFromYou

Destination USA: Washington State

Hi, my name is…

Sage

I’m from…

Ellensburg, Washington — a town two hours east of Seattle, Washington.

My hometown is known for…

Ellensburg is internationally known for the Ellensburg Rodeo, one of the stops on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo circuit. Seattle is known for the scenic splendor of the islands in the Puget Sound, the North Cascades and Mount Rainier, and tourist destinations such as the famous Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.

See Orcas in the Puget Sound! (Credit DiscoverAmerica.com)
See Orcas in the Puget Sound! (Credit DiscoverAmerica.com)

My favorite thing about my hometown is…

Surrounded by mountains on all sides, Ellensburg is located in the heart of the Kittitas Valley in the center of Washington State. It is a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, the city lights of Seattle, the snowy slopes of the Cascade Mountains, the beautiful Columbia River, and the hot, dry, desert of Eastern Washington.

My favorite thing about Seattle is…

From arts to sports to nature, there is always something fun to do. You can go whale watching at the San Juan Islands, explore the seafood at Pike Place Market, and shop to your heart’s delight at one of the many shopping malls downtown.

City of Seattle (Courtesy of Visit Seattle)
City of Seattle (Courtesy of Visit Seattle)

If you came to visit me, I’d take you…

Hiking in the Cascade Mountains; sailing in the Puget Sound followed by a bon fire on the beach at Golden Gardens Park; for Pacific Northwestern fare — including some of the world’s most delicious seafood — at the Pike Place Market (the original farmers market, established in 1907); and, on a trip to the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle and many other attractions.

Pike Place Market (Credit: Discover America)
Pike Place Market (Credit: Discover America)

The Seattle Space Needle (Credit spaceneedle.com)
The Seattle Space Needle (Credit spaceneedle.com)

Things you have to try before you leave…

Seattle has four professional sports teams, and while you are in town you should definitely join the crowds to cheer on any one of them! If you are visiting the Seattle Center, you can easily catch a Seattle Storm Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) game at the Key Arena next to the Space Needle. The Seahawks, Seattle’s National Football League (NFL) team, recently beat the Denver Broncos to win the 2014 NFL Super Bowl. The Sounders are Seattle’s Major League Soccer team, and the Mariners are the city’s Major League Baseball (MLB) team. Nothing beats catching an M’s game on a sunny day with the stadium roof wide open!

Ellensburg, Seattle, and General Washington State Links:

Destination USA: Utah

Categories: May 2014
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Published on: May 2, 2014

The best Jazz is in Utah

Utah Jazz (Credit Utah Jazz)
Utah Jazz (Credit Utah Jazz)

Hi, my name is…

Daniel

I’m from…

South Jordan, Utah

My hometown is known for…

Like the rest of the Salt Lake valley, South Jordan is chiefly known for its connection with the Church of Latter-Day Saints. It’s also known as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are plentiful opportunities for skiing, fishing, or hiking in nearby mountains and trails.

My favorite thing about my hometown is…

South Jordan is within driving distance to five iconic national parks — Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Canyonlands — that offer some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world. The rock formations in Bryce Canyon come in every hue of the rainbow. In Zion, the sandstone walls stand over 1,000 feet high. The views of these canyons are truly awe-inspiring.

Turret Arch with rainbow viewed through North Window at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. (Credit Discover America)
Turret Arch with rainbow viewed through North Window at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. (Credit Discover America)

If you came to visit me, I’d take you…

I would take you to Zion National Park and Arches National Park. Zion offers what I believe is the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in the world, and Arches features the highest free-standing natural arches. No trip to Utah would be complete without visiting both parks. (More information on these parks can be found here.)

Things you have to try before you leave…

Winter sports fans should not leave Utah without visiting some of Utah’s world-class ski resorts. There are eleven mountain resorts within an hour’s drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport. These are not just any ski resorts. The location of these resorts on the Wasatch Mountain Range, the first major range between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, means that these resorts enjoy some of world’s best snow and views. Don’t just take it from me: Deer Valley’s four summits hosted many events in the 2002 Olympic Games, and the Park City Mountain Resort is where U.S. Olympic ski and snowboard teams train. Visit skiutah.com for more details on skiing and winter sports.

Utah Mountain resorts (Credit SkiUtah.com)
Utah Mountain resorts (Credit SkiUtah.com)

Basketball aficionados should not miss a Utah Jazz NBA game. The EnergySolutions Arena is in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City.

While visiting Utah’s other attractions, you may want to stop and do some discount shopping at brand name factory outlet stores: Tanger Outlets in Park City and The Outlets at Zion.

General Utah tourism links:

Urban Sustainability Lecture @ uOttawa

Eric Zeemering, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is currently the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Governance and Public Administration at the University of Ottawa. On Tuesday, April 22nd he’ll be delivering a free public presentation entitled “Collaborative Strategies for Urban Sustainability: Investigations in Canada and the United States”. Click on the image below for complete details!

Eric Zeemering, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is currently the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Governance and Public Administration at the University of Ottawa. On Tuesday, April 22nd he'll be delivering a free public presentation entitled "Collaborative Strategies for Urban Sustainability: Investigations in Canada and the United States". Click on the image below for complete details!
Eric Zeemering, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is currently the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Governance and Public Administration at the University of Ottawa. On Tuesday, April 22nd he’ll be delivering a free public presentation entitled “Collaborative Strategies for Urban Sustainability: Investigations in Canada and the United States”.

Celebrate Earth Day 2014 with Us!

U.S. Embassy Ottawa and the Embassy of Japan invite you and your family to join us for an afternoon of planet-friendly activities including arts and crafts, snacks, and a screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (Walt Disney, 2008). Children aged 5-12 are also encouraged to enter the Earth Day art contest by bringing along an original work of art (see rules for details).

The event will take place April 12 at 1:30pm at the Japanese Embassy, 255 Sussex Drive. Seating is limited, so be sure to RSVP, either by phone (613-244-6959) or by email (infocul@ot.mofa.go.jp). Click on the poster below for more details!

Join us for an Earth Day screening of Ponyo!
Join us for an Earth Day screening of Ponyo!

Tayyibah Taylor in Ottawa

Tayyibah Taylor was in Ottawa last week on a mission to dispel myths and empower Muslim women. Ms. Taylor, the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Azizah Magazine, spoke to a crowd of fifty in the conference room at the Ottawa Citizen on the evening of February 25th. The event was co-sponsored by the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Council for Muslim Women (CCMW) and the Cordova Academy.

Panoramic view of Ms. Taylor's presentation. (Credit: US Embassy Ottawa)
Panoramic view of Ms. Taylor’s presentation. (Credit: US Embassy Ottawa)

Ms. Taylor highlighted the importance of interfaith cooperation to counter negative stereotypes of Muslim women, which includes depictions of them as victims, terrorist, or the exotic “other.” She described her own spiritual and professional path, and using extraordinary Muslim women achievers in the U.S. as examples, she showed that Muslim women need not be defined by others’ negative perceptions, but can chart their own path of excellence.

A lively Q&A followed her presentation, and participants were delighted to have the opportunity to meet Tayyibah as the program concluded.

Four of our exchange alumni attended Ms. Taylor's presentation, including representatives from the CCMW and Cordova Academy. (L-R: Sana Khalil, Tayyibah Taylor, Ferrukh Faruqui, Naima Sidow, and Erica Bregman) (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Four of our exchange alumni attended Ms. Taylor’s presentation, including representatives from the CCMW and Cordova Academy. (L-R: Sana Khalil, Tayyibah Taylor, Ferrukh Faruqui, Naima Sidow, and Erica Bregman) (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)

On Wednesday, Ms. Taylor was the guest speaker for the University of Ottawa’s Religion and Diversity Project‘s lunch and learn program, Building Bridges. She focused on dispelling myths about the role of women in Islam and explaining the rights of the Muslim woman within the fait. The audience of 30 was made up mainly of students and faculty of the university’s Department of Classics and Religious Studies.

Ms. Taylor was interviewed by the <a href="http://artsites.uottawa.ca/ommi/en/" target="_blank">Ottawa Multicultural Media initiative (OMMI)</a>. (Credit: US Embassy Ottawa)
Ms. Taylor was interviewed by the Ottawa Multicultural Media initiative (OMMI). (Credit: US Embassy Ottawa)

Ms. Taylor had a number of interviews while in town. You may have heard Ms. Taylor on your commute home Wednesday evening when she was featured on CBC Radio’s All in a Day with Alan Neal. We look forward to hearing about Ms. Taylor’s impact on our community as print and web articles are published.

Read more about Ms. Taylor and Azizah Magazine at www.azizahmagazine.com.

Related Links

Podcast interview with Ms. Taylor (6:41, 8.9MB MP3)

Tayyibah Taylor in Ottawa:

Matuto Comes to Ottawa

Categories: February 2014
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Published on: February 20, 2014

Ottawa experienced a bit of a mid-February thaw last week when jazz group Matuto brought its warm Brazilian beats to town.

Based out of New York City, Matuto describes their sound as “Appalachia-gone-Afro-Brazilian.”(It’s not like anything else you’ve heard, but it’s compelling — Hear for yourself!)

Matuto: (L-R) Rob Curto, Richie Barshay, Michael Loren Lavalle, Clay Ross and Mazz Swift. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Matuto: (L-R) Rob Curto, Richie Barshay, Michael Loren Lavalle, Clay Ross and Mazz Swift. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)

The band, whose name comes from Brazilian slang that means a man from the backcountry, is made up of six members who play violin, guitar, accordion, bass, drums, and various Brazilian percussion instruments to produce a unique genre of music.

Funded through a U.S. Embassy grant, the band performed to a receptive young audience at Ridgemont High School on the morning of February 13. They also led a percussion workshop alongside Ridgemont music teacher Kate Dickson. Students clapped, stomped, banged on buckets… and did improvised solos on triangles. They were buzzing with excitement.

Ridgemont percussionists find their inner rhythm. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Ridgemont percussionists find their inner rhythm. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Ridgemont students with the band and teacher Kate Dickson (far right). (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Ridgemont students with the band and teacher Kate Dickson (far right). (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)

Matuto led an advanced lesson on Farro, a form of Brazilian folk music, at Carleton University later that evening. The workshop turned into a workout when the group educated the students in the basics of Samba dancing!

Carleton music students feel the rhythm. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Carleton music students feel the rhythm. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)

The final Ottawa show for Matuto was its performance at the Mercury Lounge on the night of February 14th as part of the Ottawa Jazz Festival’s winter lineup. Audience members put the wintery weather aside and spent their Valentine’s night sweating it out on the dance floor.

Clay Ross during the sound check at Mercury Lounge. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Clay Ross during the sound check at Mercury Lounge. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
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Mazz Swift during sound check. (Credit: US Embassy Ottawa)
Mazz Swift during sound check. (Credit: US Embassy Ottawa)
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