NIAC Receives $50,000 Grant from PARSA

Washington DC – Last week, the PARSA Community Foundation announced the recipients of its 2007 Norooz Grants. Of the 29 organizations that applied, only 6 were chosen to receive grants. The largest grant, at $50,000, was awarded to the National Iranian American Council.

PARSA is the Iranian-American community’s first and largest grant-making foundation. It manages the largest independent endowment fund dedicated to Persian philanthropy. The central pillars of its mission are the preservation and advancement of Persian arts and culture, the development of leaders through fellowships and awards, and the encouragement of civic engagement through nonprofit capacity building and voter registration. PARSA’s mission is to become the leading institution practicing strategic philanthropy and promoting social entrepreneurship with the goal of creating a strong global Persian presence.

PARSA made its first ever grant in 2006 to Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a non-profit organization promoting social entrepreneurship globally. The 2007 grants mark PARSA’s first direct contribution to specifically Iranian-American organizations. PARSA will continue to award grants to similar organizations on a bi-annual basis. The 2007 Norooz grantees include Promises Films, the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, Iranian Alliances Across Borders, Youth Ambassadors of Hope, and the Stanford University Persian Student Association, in addition to NIAC. The combined value of the grants is $114,000.

The award of PARSA’s 2007 Norooz Grants represents a major milestone for Iranian Americans. As the overwhelming response to PARSA’s call for applications shows, our community is hungry to play a greater role in American culture and civil society. PARSA’s grants will serve as a lifeline for our community organizations and allow them to make a greater impact than they ever could alone. “Persians have a great tradition of philanthropy which the diaspora is redefining in our new homes,” says Noosheen Hashemi who serves on PARSA’s board of directors. “With cooperation, imagination and hard work, we can take care of our own and strengthen our good name.”

PARSA’s grant will support NIAC’s Civil Society Development Program. This program will be run by our community outreach director, Babak Talebi, and will focus on voter registration and civic participation workshops. We aim to conduct 10 workshops annually in partnership with local Iranian-American organizations. These workshops will combine education (on the American political process) with training (on how to organize voter registration drives, how to communicate with law-makers, and how to engage the local media) in order to shape a more active political culture in our community.

To read more about the recipients of the 2007 PARSA Community Foundation grants, click here.

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