2009 and Before



Persian Cultural Club: This $25,000 grant will fund the continuation and expansion of PCC's Persian language and culture program via the Dehkhoda Institute of Persian Language, the expansion of the number of participants and formalization of the model of your existing Summer Day Camp Leadership program for teenagers, and the establishment of a four-week summer day camp for teens aged 13-15. The San Francisco Bay Area-based PCC's mission is to promote Iranian culture, language, literature and arts in the San Francisco Bay Area community through providing classes and activities for children and adults. 


National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement: General operating expenses towards long-term capacity building: NLSCA's mission is to ensure the human rights and dignity of Middle-Eastern, Muslim, and South-Asian peoples. Through this $25,000 grant, they will advocate for unity through diversity via legal defense of civil and human rights; responsible media coverage and depiction; proactive collaboration with governmental and non-governmental institutions; and civic integration through community education and outreach. NLSCA has recently produced a Continuing Legal Education curriculum, which will be used to train attorneys to provide pro bono legal representation on Post 9/11 and national security cases. Through this and its other programs, NLSCA will continue providing critical legal services and community education while building organizational and advocacy capacity.

National Iranian American Council: Civil Society Development Program: NIAC's mission is to advance the interests of the Iranian-American community through advocacy, education and community building. NIAC conducts civil society development projects (such as voter registration), advocacy projects (such as a monthly congressional briefing series and a US-Iran media project) and public education projects (such as the LegWatch e-bulletin and public seminars). This $20,000 grant will fund their Civil Society Development Program, which includes Individual Influence Seminars, in-district meetings, voter education and leadership workshops.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: LACMA is the largest encyclopedic art museum in the western United States. It houses one of the most significant collections of ancient Near Eastern, primarily Persian, art in the U.S. In July 2008, they appointed their first curator of ancient Near Eastern/Persian art, Dr. Ali Mousavi, and this $12,000 grant will support the new position. Dr. Mousavi will work on an exhibition focusing on American archaeology in Iran tentatively titled America Digs Iran: The Archaeological Record 1931-2004. Dr. Mousavi will help plan the reinstallation of the ancient Near Eastern and Iranian galleries at LACMA and will continue to work on electronic and other publications related to the permanent collection.

Asia Society: Persian component of Illuminating Islam: Asia Society is dedicated to enhancing public understanding of Asia and, through its network of regional centers and Asian American community partners, reaches a broad and diverse constituency on topics of arts and culture, business and policy, and national education. Asia Society's latest project is Illuminating Islam, a multi-venue exhibit on Islamic culture unprecedented in the United States. Illuminating Islam will show the creativity of Persian culture in four different modes: music, poetry, film and cuisine.  As part of its programmatic focus on the music of Iran, Asia Society has secured the participation of female classical Persian singer Parissa. This $10,000 grant will fund the Iranian component of the project.

University of Maryland/Roshan Cultural Institute for Persian Studies: "Iranian Jewry: From Past to Present" conference and general support of the Persian Studies program: The Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute for Persian Studies aims to inaugurate an academic program in Persian language and literature and to help enhance mutual understanding between Americans and Iranians. The Center's development of both a major and a minor in Persian studies is nearly complete. This $10,000 grant will fund the Center's Persian Studies program general expenses as well as its Fall 2008 conference: Iranian Jewry: From Past to Present. This interdisciplinary conference will encourage participants to embark on an investigation of the historical relations of Muslim and Jewish Iranians, in addition to the cultural and sociological factors of Iranian Jewry.

Link Media, Inc.: Bridge to Iran: Link Media operates the Link TV national network and http://www.linktv.org/. In 2007, they created the weekly series, Bridge to Iran, which allows Americans to share in the cultural heritage of Iran by looking at it from the perspective of Iranians, instead of an American-centric perspective. This $10,000 grant will fund their Bridge to Iran series, which screens films that create greater understanding and evoke compassion through a connection to personal stories coming from the perspectives of Iranians and Iranian-Americans. They will enhance the impact through the production of special introductions, context-setting "wrap-arounds," and What You Can Do! videos that connect viewers to resources and ways to get involved.

Relief International: Training for three Iranian-American interns: Relief International (RI) is a global humanitarian non-profit that provides emergency relief and development assistance to vulnerable communities worldwide. RI focuses on building capacity among marginalized groups such as women, children, and the elderly. RI will provide paid internships to three Iranian-American students (PARSA CF Service Fellows) attending college in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. area who are pursuing an international relief or development career. This program, funded by PARSA CF's $10,000 grant, will foster research, project management, and leadership skills to young Iranian-Americans and the opportunity to enter a rewarding career in international public policy and development.

Golestan Kids: General support towards costs associated with expanding the school: Golestan Kids is a Persian language immersion program for children aged 18 months and up. They strive to cultivate Iranian-American youths who are aware and proud of their Iranian heritage and culture and encourage children's development through a dynamic and progressive program that draws from a diverse set of educational philosophies which includes Montessori, Reggio, and Waldorf. This $5,000 grant will fund their next stage of growth, which includes establishing the school in a larger space  that best serves their children so that they can grow while being more marketable and appealing to prospective families.

National Geography Society/Aina: Parvaz: National Geographic photographer and Fellow Reza Deghati founded Aina in Afghanistan in 2001. Aina facilitates initiatives in the areas of education, information, and communication, with a focus on women and children. As a fiscally sponsored project of the National Geographic Society, Aina continues to produce Afghanistan's first and only educational children's magazine, Parvaz.  This $5,000 grant will support the production of a special edition of Parvaz on the subject of valuing regional cultural heritage, an edition that has the potential to reach more than one million children and adults, teaching them the importance of protecting their cultural heritage by promoting knowledge and tolerance across cultures, generations, and genders.

Afghan Institute of Learning: Learning centers in Afghanistan: AIL is an Afghan women's NGO which helps address the problem of poor access for Afghan women and children to education and health services, their subsequent inability to support their lives, and the impact of this lack of education and health on Afghan society. This $5,000 grant will fund AIL's Women's Learning Centers (WLCs) for women and girls and Educational Learning Centers (ELCs) for women and men in Afghanistan. With an emphasis in developing leadership capability, AIL offers preschool through university-level classes and trains teachers and administrators.

Children's Hope International Literacy and Development: Adopt-A-School: Children's Hope International Literacy and Development's (C.H.I.L.D.) mission is to transform the lives of children who suffer from poverty, hunger, lack of education, sickness, and neglect, into lives full of hope and possibilities. C.H.I.L.D.'s Adopt-a-School program focuses on schools and students in deprived areas. This $5,000 grant will fund C.H.I.L.D.'s Adopt-a- School program in Von, Turkey, the only educational facility accommodating students of Iranian refugee families who otherwise cannot attend local schools. All students receive school uniforms, books and supplies, and one meal a day.

Institute of International Education: Persian Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program: The mission of IIE is to promote closer educational relations between the people of the U.S. and those of other countries, advance academic freedom, and enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges. This grant will fund IIE's Persian Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (PFLTA) Program, which strengthens Persian language instruction at U.S. universities. The PFLTA Program provides opportunities for young Iranian teachers to increase their English language proficiency, and to gain experience with and knowledge of U.S. culture and customs while providing a reciprocal opportunity for Americans students to have access to a professor with knowledge of Iranian culture, language and society.

Iranian Scholarship Foundation: Two public service fellowships for Iranian-American students: ISF provides scholarships for students of Iranian descent who wish to attend universities in the United States of America. Their scholarships are granted to scholars who demonstrate exceptional academic promise, significant financial need, and a dedication to community service. This $5,000 grant will fund PARSA CF Service Fellowships for two Iranian-American students to carry out a public service project.  ISF believes that the future of the Iranian-American community is in the hands of the young generation, and it is their aim to make college education a reality for every Iranian-American.

Americans for Informed Democracy: A New Hope: U.S.-Iran Relations: AID empowers young people in the U.S. to address global challenges such as poverty, disease, climate change, and conflict through awareness and action. The organization promotes sustainable solutions at the campus, community, and national level. This $5,000 grant will fund AID's new initiative, A New Hope: Improving U.S.-Iran Relations. The initiative will reach out to 5 college campuses to encourage dialogue on the U.S. relationship with Iran through one-day events which will include film screenings, hip hop artists such as Iranian rapper YAS, and leadership trainings. AID will bring together campus leaders to implement campaigns on their campuses to raise awareness of Iranian issues.

Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange County: 2008-2009 voter registration and civic participation efforts: NIPOC's mission is to educate the public on the rich Persian cultural heritage and to promote the achievements and contributions of the Iranian-American community.  This $5,000 grant will support support Iranian-American voter registration, participation, advocacy and outreach in Southern California. NIPOC plans to do so through setting up tables and booths at popular Iranian outlets in a coordinated fashion and create a "register to vote" campaign using media advertising, direct mail, and email. The grant also supports civic participation activities related to the upcoming US Census.

Persian Students Association at the City College of New York: Long-term event coordination: PSA at CCNY is committed to organizing events on Iranian heritage and history on and off campus. Their core programs consist of events that draw young Iranian and non-Iranian students to engage in activities and discussions to learn more about Iranian culture and history. Their events include annual or bi-annual banquets that commemorate important Persian holidays such as Norooz and Shabe Yalda. Starting this year, they will be planning ahead by collecting resources and establishing communication with all parties to coordinate for upcoming events in the next semester, and this $1,000 grant will fund costs associated with planning these events.

Promises Films, Global Moms: Iran: PARSA has awarded $25,000 to conduct a national outreach program to accompany the release of their feature-length documentary, which will include the creation of materials, workshops and a multimedia website that extend learning from the documentary into schools and universities. Beyond national television broadcast on PBS and theatrical release, the project's distribution plans include a comprehensive educational outreach campaign targeting early childhood educators, policy makers and university departments. By capturing the intimate relationships that producer/director Justine Shapiro and the Iranian families forge with one another, Global Moms: Iran aims to broaden the dialogue and perspective on Persian culture and Iran.  

The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago: Persepolis Fortification Archive Project: PARSA has granted $25,000 for the institute to preserve and publicize thousands of clay tablets, fragments and seals of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, the largest and most detailed collection of the empire's artifacts. Current litigation and the threat of seizure of these tablets compels the Oriental Institute to accelerate their efforts through the use of cutting edge technology to record the information contained in this extraordinary project and make it available to scholars worldwide before it may be lost. What will be learned is indispensable to the study of the history, languages and art of the empire at its zenith.

The Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews: Iranian Anthropological Studies: PARSA has awarded $15,000 to create an Iranian documentary and film archive at the university, establish a library in the department dedicated to anthropological research on Iran, form a new doctorate degree in the anthropology of Iran, organize a series of annual conferences and workshops regarding the anthropology of Iran, the first of which will be "Visual Representations of Iran," to be held at the university in June 2008, and establish a new semiannual scholarly journal concerning the anthropology of Iran. The project will create a bridge between Iranian universities, research institutes and the University of St. Andrews.

The Smithsonian Institution: Falnama: The Book of Omens: PARSA has granted $7,500 to the institution to display this first-ever exhibition devoted to a group of rarely seen illustrated texts, produced during the reign of the Safavid ruler Shah Tahmasb, on the subject of divination. Scheduled for 2009, the exhibition will be accompanied by curriculum-based tours for schools, a lecture program for adults, and performing arts and films. Presenting these unpublished works will counter cultural misconceptions through introducing visitors to some of the most extraordinary and little known works of art created in Iran during the sixteenth century.

Khayam Persian School Foundation: Persian Summer Seminar: PARSA has awarded $7,500 to the foundation to create a three-day seminar in which teachers in the Irvine Unified School District will be provided with materials and education about Persian history, culture and education with the aim of equipping teachers with the knowledge necessary to teach about Persian culture and to be more sensitive to the needs of Iranian-American students. They will advance this project through collaboration with the school district, Irvine Public School Foundation, Irvine Iranian Parents Association, and the Fullerton International Resources for Students and Teachers at Cal State University, Fullerton. These organizations have had prior experiences organizing such seminars for the Korean community, and will apply these best practices towards the Iranian-American community.

Javane: Young-Iranian American Theater Company: New 2008 Theater Production: PARSA has granted $5,000 to the company to produce two new productions in 2008, offer theater workshops for Iranian-American youth, and work towards presenting its productions to Persian-speaking communities internationally. These plays will include productions written by the actors themselves, who are American-born Iranian youth. Javane's theater workshops will also provide training opportunities for Iranian-American youth in the Bay Area and beyond.

The Center for Iranian Jewish Oral History: Of Strings and Skin: PARSA has awarded $5,000 to the center to produce Of Strings and Skin, a 150-200 page hardcover, full-color, coffee table book. This five-hundred year cultural history survey will be embellished with a collection of rare photographs, as well as a multi-set CD album comprising an anthology of the music written or performed by Jewish Iranian masters of Persian classical music.  The publication of this volume will serve as a valuable resource to future scholars, enthusiasts and admirers of Persian classical and popular music.

The School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London: Archiving of Golha Programs: PARSA has awarded $5,000 to the university, where, in conjunction with the Endangered Archives Program of the British Library, the university will make available a digital archive of over 1,500 of the Golha programs, broadcast on Iranian radio from 1956 through 1979. In order to make the archive available in an accessible format to scholars, students and lovers of Persian culture, they will construct an online searchable database that will also include photographs and biographies of the Golha program participants. 

Bay Area Iranian-American Voter Association: Online Voter Education and Registration: PARSA has awarded $10,000 to the association to undertake an aggressive campaign for the 2008 election to drive the Iranian-American community to http://www.iraniansvote.org/ for online voter registration and education, as well as conduct a get-out-the-vote campaign. Additionally, BAIVOTER will use public service announcements by Persian community leaders to encourage website visitors to register and vote. In collaboration with other Iranian-American organizations, BAIVOTER will create a unified, nonpartisan voter education and registration drive to serve the Iranian-American community in the United States.


Persian Cultural Center, Iranian School of San Diego: PARSA CF has awarded $10,000 to the center to teach eleven Persian language classes at two branches, staffed by 16 instructors. Over the past 19 years, thousands of children have attended the school, learning Persian language, dance, theater, and drawing. The school gives children opportunities to learn and explore their origins while creating a bond with other children of a similar cultural background.

Eastern Arts, The Society for the Preservation and Propogation of Eastern Arts: PARSA CF has granted $10,000 to the organization to create a Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Eastern Arts, where authentic Iranian music and dance as practiced by a few surviving old masters be passed on to talented young disciples. Eastern Arts will employ an initial cadre of 6 dance experts and hire supplemental dancers and instrumental masters to perform at major concerts nationwide and eventually worldwide.

Tiburon International Film Festival, 2008 Film Festival: PARSA CF has awarded $5,000 to the festival to provide the public with an opportunity to view cinema from around the world and also serve a community of international filmmakers, providing them with a platform to showcase their films. The 2008 Film Festival will be the 7th Annual International Film Festival, where Iranian films will be screened alongside other global leaders in film.

The Translation Project, translation of the Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Poetry Around the World: PARSA CF has granted $5,000 to the project to undertake a number of literary efforts and anticipate three achievements in 2007-2008: the publication of an Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Poetry Around the World, the creation of an international editorial committee that will recommend books for translation, and the translation and submission of sample chapters of these books to their publishing partners.

Afsaneh Art & Culture Society, 2008 media outreach: PARSA CF has awarded $5,000 to the society to educate and promote the understanding of the historic Silk Road regions of Central Asia through the presentation of traditional and contemporary works. AACS will promote their work via a media outreach campaign. At this time, it is critical that a greater appreciation for Persian culture is cultivated among non-Persians and to that end, AACS will pursue avenues that will expedite this outreach.

Golestan Kids, general operating and infrastructure expenses for the 2007-2008 school year: PARSA CF has granted $4,000 to the school to improve its facilities, expand its student body, and promote its program as an established and legitimate program for Iranian-American children and other families with children that have an interest in Iran, its language, culture and history.

Iranian Students Cultural Organization at UC Berkeley, 2008 Norooz show: PARSA CF has awarded $1,000 to the organization to hold its annual Norouz show in 2008 to showcase the talents of its members and will feature performances promoting Iranian culture through musical performances, poetry recitations and more.

Iranian Alliances Across Borders, 2008 Camp Ayandeh: PARSA CF has granted $20,000 to the organization to create a nationally scalable template for youth camps and implement the template in collaboration with local organizations throughout the U.S. to execute 5 Camp Ayandeh's in 2008, up from 1 in 2006 and 1 in 2007. The camps will bring together Iranian-American high school students for a week of building leadership skills and learning about their Iranian heritage. Acknowledging that a positive understanding of self and community is a necessary component of effective leadership, the camps will create an inclusive environment where the youth can grow as individuals within a community context.

Iranian Alliances Across Borders, 2008 Iranian American Student Summit: PARSA CF has awarded $10,000 to the organization to hold the second annual Iranian American Student Summit, which will take place on a weekend in November 2008. Two representatives from 15 different colleges and universities will be invited to attend this weekend-long summit. The summit aims to determine how Iranian student organizations can cooperate with each other to achieve common goals, identify how they can correct misconceptions about Iranians, and establish how they can have a greater presence on their respective campuses. 

Institute of International Education, Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship: PARSA CF has granted $5,000 to the institute to bring 9 students from Iran to the U.S. for one year, where they will teach Persian at American universities as assistants to other instructors or lead their own classes. They will take at least two courses per semester and also share their native culture. Students will be selected through an open, transparent and merit-based competition of students.

Child Family Health International, scholarships to Iranian-American students: PARSA CF has granted $5,000 to the organization to award two Iranian-American medical students with scholarships for their Global Service-Learning Electives, which will send students abroad to learn about the way healthcare is practiced worldwide and to participate in public health project work. This program focuses on cultural competency in the health setting, helping students become agents of change through its reciprocal and scalable nature.

Iranian Studies Group at MIT, 2007-2008 general operating expenses: PARSA CF has awarded $5,000 to the group to promote Iranian civil society by conducting research on issues related to Iranian native and diaspora societies. ISG will actively publicize its findings through its lecture series featuring prominent scholars, research projects focusing on important issues for the Iranian and Iranian-American community, and publication of Iran Analysis Quarterly.

National Iranian-American Council, Iranian-American Civil Society Development Program: PARSA has granted $50,000 to the council, which will train community leaders to participate in the political process, conduct voter registration drives and assume social leadership. These activities will be conducted through NIAC's civic participation workshops, legislation watch program, and meetings between Iranian-American voters and their election officials nationwide. In addition, it will partner with organizations such as BAIVOTER (Bay Area Iranian-American Voter Association) of San Francisco, California, to assist with voter registration drives across the country. NIAC aims to enable, facilitate and promote civic participation by Iranian-Americans through this program.

Promises Films, Global Moms: Iran: PARSA has awarded $25,000 to this organization, where the production team will create a feature-length documentary film taking Academy-Award nominated producer/director Justine Shapiro and her six-year old son Mateo to live for three months with three families in Iran and explore Persian influences on family life. The families represent a range of Iran's middle class, including a modern, secular family, a traditional, religious family, and a single mom and her child. By capturing the intimate relationships that Justine and these Iranian families forge with one another, Global Moms: Iran aims to broaden the dialogue and perspective on Persian culture and Iran.

Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, Persepolis Fortification Archive Project: PARSA has awarded $25,000 to the institute, which will preserve and publicize thousands of clay tablets, fragments and seals of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, the largest and most detailed collection of the empire's artifacts. Current litigation and the threat of seizure of these tablets compels the Oriental Institute to accelerate their efforts through the use of cutting edge technology to record the information contained in this extraordinary project and make it available to scholars worldwide before it is lost. What will be learned is indispensable to the study of the history, languages and art of the empire at its zenith.

Iranian Alliances Across Borders, Camp Ayandeh: PARSA has awarded $5,000 to conducting the camp, which will bring together over 50 Iranian-American high school students from around the country for a week of building leadership skills and learning about their Iranian heritage. Camp Ayandeh follows the premise that leadership capacity is comprised of four interrelated developmental themes: 1) collaboration, 2) cultural identity, 3) solidarity, and 4) reflection. Acknowledging that a positive understanding of self and community is a necessary component of effective leadership, the camp will create an inclusive environment where the youth can grow as individuals within a community context.

Children's Hope International Literacy and Development, Youth Ambassadors of Hope: PARSA has awarded $5,000 to the organization, which organization aims to empower Iranian youth between the ages of 12-25 to create and lead projects and organizations which benefit their communities locally and abroad. By providing startup grants to qualifying teams, YAH helps youth become familiarized with the fundamental organizational skills required to lead a group of other individuals in an effective and productive manner. Through its partnership with Youth Ventures (Ashoka), the program fosters the development of leaders with socially beneficial agendas.

Stanford Univesrity, Persian Student Association - Business Alliance: PARSA has awarded $4,000 to the association to will create a forum for communication and foster collaborative work through events that will include workshops, seminars, and discussion forums involving various members of the local community and industry. Each event will focus on a specific business or research topic, will feature the firsthand wisdom and advice of one or more guest speakers, and will provide opportunities for professional networking. PSA-BA introduces students to various post-graduate options while fostering the collaboration and communication required to fully realize each student's potential.


PARSA is proud to have made its inaugural grant of up to $210,000 to Ashoka: Innovators for the Public as part of the Ashoka PARSA Initiative to support an Ashoka fellow of Iranian origin from anywhere in the world where Ashoka operates.