Education, Dialogue, Social Action

WorldDenver International Dialogue


Religious Pluralism and Countering Violent Extremism In the United States

The Abrahamic Initiative and WorldDenver will welcome an interfaith delegation of visitors from the Republic of Georgia who are meeting with a variety of U.S. citizens under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. This is the second delegation to visit Denver and the Cathedral since September.

Thursday, February 1, 2018, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Saint John’s Episcopal Cathedral

1350 Washington Street, Denver


3:00 Opening remarks by Dean of the Cathedral, The Very Reverend Richard Lawson

Welcome by Daniel Wieneke, WorldDenver

Abrahamic Initiative introduction, Gregory Movesian

3:25 Questions/topics to be addressed by participants, moderated by Gregory Movesian

  • The role of interfaith cooperation in addressing community and social issues
  • The role of religious organizations and academic institutions in teaching tolerance and cooperation between faith traditions
  • Challenges to interfaith relations
  • The importance of engaging young people in community and social issues through education, economic opportunity and civic participation
  • The integration of minority populations in the larger civic community

4:30 General Q&A

4:55 Wrap up and closing notes


Ms. Hurie ABASHIDZE, Book Reading Program Manager, Union of Georgian Muslims

Ms. Hurie Abashidze has been active in community engagement activities in her hometown region of Adjara from a young age. In her current role as Book Reading Manager with the Union of Georgian Muslims, Ms. Abashidze oversees the activities of a book reading club and encourages Muslim girls to participate in volunteer educational and service learning opportunities. She is currently working towards her masters in psychology. During her IVLP, Ms. Abashidze hopes to gain new ideas for developing programming for Adjara’s Muslim community, with a particular focus on youth and women. Mr. Malkhaz CHKADUA, Manager of Regional Offices, Transparency International - Georgia

Mr. Malkhaz CHKADUA, Manager of Regional Offices, Transparency International - Georgia

Mr. Malkhaz Chkadua is a regional leader for the international anti-corruption nongovernmental organization Transparency International. In addition to his responsibilities of managing the regional office, Mr. Chkadua conducts trainings, crafts blog posts, and conducts surveys and research. Mr. Chkadua also regularly holds public lectures on the topic of democracy, national identity, and religion and the state at venues such as the American Corner in Adjara. Through his IVLP experience, Mr. Chkadua plans to refine his monitoring of public policy and outreach efforts.

Ms. Tsiala KATAMIDZE, Regional Manager, Public Defender’s Office, Adjara

Ms. Tsiala Katamidze was appointed as head of the Adjara division of the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia in 2016. Since her appointment, she has worked on various issues ranging from the problems of eco-migrants migrating for economic or ecological reasons such as the deterioration of land quality to religious issues. As the regional Public Defender’s Office representative, Ms. Katamidze is tasked with the formulation of the office’s policies and public outreach campaigns concerning the Muslim population of Adjara. In this capacity she works with a diversity of stakeholders from the government and civil society. Mr. Oktai KAZUMOV, Research Fellow, Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature

Ms. Sophie SHAMANIDI, Advisor to the President of Georgia, Georgian Presidential Administration Ms. Sophie SHAMANIDI, Advisor to the President of Georgia, Georgian Presidential Administration

As a religious leader and academic, Mr. Oktai Kazumov has experience working with senior leaders of the government and the religious community across Georgia. He currently works on issues of the literary magazine of the Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature, Rustvelology. Through his participation in the IVLP, Mr. Kazumov hopes to broaden his understanding of religious liberty clauses in the U.S. Constitution and the legal relationship between religion and government in the United States. He also hopes to observe examples of collaboration on public policy among governmental, religious, and civic organizations.