The Women’s Congressional Staff Association (WCSA) is a bipartisan organization that dedicates itself to promoting career development for female staffers on Capitol Hill. WCSA was created in 2008 and has grown to more than 600 members, serving female staffers of both parties and chambers of Congress.
On Saturday, June 16, The WCSA hosted a summer leadership conference called "Steps to Success," whose purpose was to educate young women staffers and interns in DC on how to pursue a career in government.
The following are some key take-aways from the day's panels and activities:
The women panelists, who have amassed years of experience and provided an insider's perspective, helped make this conference very worthwhile for the attendees.
To learn more information about WCSA and upcoming events please checkout their website at http://www.womenscsa.com/.
Recent events in the United States have initiated a serious national dialogue over issues once thought of as solved in America—namely racial prejudice and its effect on American society. The tragedies and controversies that have unfolded in the last few months have incited large scale demands to address the hidden face of racism in America: the unwarranted, many say racially motivated, murder of Trayvon Martin by community watch coordinator George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida; the overt hate crime which led to the murder of Iraqi Muslim mother Shaima Alwadi in San Diego; and the NYPD’s intrusive implementation of surveillance and informant networks amongst Muslim communities and Muslim university students in the city.
Undoubtedly, minority groups have reason to be weary over their image in American society, and how they may be exposed to possible attacks. With the current climate on talks of war with Iran at an all time high, Iranian-Americans are beginning to worry over the possibility of pro-war attitudes manifesting anti-Iranian sentiment in the United States akin to that seen during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Groups of pro-active Iranian-American students, working through Iranian Alliances Across Border’s (IAAB) Campus Action Network (I-CAN), are initiating a campaign to raise understanding and appreciation of Persian culture while facilitating cross-cultural and multi-faith dialogues. Over 20 universities will be hosting I-CAN initiative, Iran Awareness Month: No Hate, which will also include measures to raise concern over not only rising anti-Iranian sentiment, but also demanding justice for Trayvon, Shaima, and Muslim communities in New York City. Participants will mail photos of themselves wearing hoodies and hijabs to the Sanford Police Department and the NYPD to show solidarity for the recent victims of racial bigotry.
This campaign is unique to other initiatives on universities campuses dealing with Trayvon and Shaima tragedies in that it takes these events alongside their own specific cultural context to promote a broader unity and dialogue amongst all demographics. Hopefully the success of Iran Awareness Month will inspire a model other cultural groups can utilize to combat ignorance surrounding their own situation while in tandem with a wider awareness movement that helps to develop an informed and tolerant America for all.
If you or your university are interested in participating in IAAB's Iran Awareness Month: No Hate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
|Sepideh Nia & Ariana Romero
at NIAC's 2011 Leadership
|Ariana with Congressman and
Presidential Candidate Ron Paul (R-TX)
Washington, DC - Attending NIAC’s 2011 Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. was an honor. This conference was the first of its kind in our community. The subjects discussed and presented at the Conference were meant to help us tackle various issues affecting the Iranian-American community and to help us understand the importance of having our voice heard in Washington, D.C.
Having a position on the board of Cal State Fullerton’s Iranian Student Association, allowed my fellow board members and I to better educate our campus about our strong cultural and political ties. Our university encourages cultural organizations to indulge in activities that can further the growth of their organization and enrich the university community. That being said, our university is able to fund travel for conferences, on the condition that students prove the benefits of the travel to the campus community. The Leadership Conference workshops like “Advocacy: Being Efficient and Effective” and “How to Build Power Through Community Organizing” specifically focus on empowering the Iranian-American community at large and educate how to advocate within our respective communities. Sepideh, my fellow board member, and I worked on a proposal and an enlightening presentation that would convince the finance committee at Cal State Fullerton to fund our attendance at NIAC’s 2011 Leadership Conference. I am proud to say that unanimously, the finance committee pledged to propose the funds we requested to attend the Leadership Conference. Without their support, we would not have been able to attend this life changing opportunity.
While attending NIAC’s Leadership Conference 2011, I felt inspired to further my education in the hopes of working on U.S.-Iran Relations. Seeing how many decision and policy makers are in Washington deriving policy pertaining to this matter, further inspires me to take action on a topic that only Iranian-Americans can fully understand. I also learned how strong our community really is when coming together for a cause that is dear to our hearts. Seeing individuals from all around this great nation, come together to educate ourselves and unite as a community was touching. This experience will help the board of my organization to educate our members on the policy-making process and those issues affecting our community. Also, this experience has taught us how to actively be involved so our voices are heard in Washington. No one can assume and make decisions for our community; rather it is up to us to contribute to policies relating to our community. I hope that I can contribute to this process by interning and working in D.C., someday.
NIAC Launches Podcast Series - Let's Talk Iran
Friday, May 20, 2011
Washington, DC - NIAC announces our new bi-weekly podcast series – Let’s Talk Iran. This free news show provides an Iranian-American perspective on the current events and policies that shape U.S.-Iranian relations and affect the Iranian-American community.
The podcast series is a new way to stay informed about issues important to our community. It’s easy and accessible online and through iTunes. By subscribing to the series, iTunes will automatically download each new episode as they become available. You can listen to the episode at your pleasure – while driving in the car, getting ready for bed, or as a mid-day work break.
This is also a great way to hear from your NIAC team. We are proud to serve as your eyes and ears on Capitol Hill and look forward to keeping you informed about news and politics as they relate to the Iranian-American community.
Student Leadership Session at University of California, Irvine!
Thursday, April 5, 2011
Irvine, CA - Do you want to learn how you can help empower the Iranian-American community? Want to bring Iranian-American students closer together and more involved on your campus? Come learn more about NIAC, NIACampus, and how you can get in involved. There will be free food and coffee!
Date: Wednesday, May 11th
Time: 5:30p.m. – 7:30p.m.
Location: Humanities Gateway Building, Room 1030 (building #611 on the campus map: http://today.uci.edu/pdf/UCI_10_map_campus.pdf)
RSVP to email@example.com
Going to Law School? Free LSAT Webinar for NIACampus Members!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Students considering law school are required to take the Law School Admissions Test, a half-day standardized exam. Studying for the exam can be challenging; this webinar will help you understand how to get started on the right foot. The webinar will be presented by John Rood, President of Next Step Test Preperation and 6-year LSAT prep veteran. For more information and to register, click here.Save $150 off with "Next Step Test Preparation"
Next Step Test Preparation offers one-on-one and personalized test prep tutoring. NIACampus members will save $150 off when they mention "NIACampus" upon signing up. Click here to learn more.
NIACampus members save up to $100 on any GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, SAT or ACT prep course. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity. Click here to learn more.