#ICYMI: NIAC’s Annual Sapphire Gala in Los Angeles

On September 21st, NIAC was pleased to host its annual Sapphire Gala in Los Angeles. The evening was marked by an outstanding group of NIAC friends and allies, exceptional speakers, food and entertainment, and, of course, some laughter and levity, thanks to our master of ceremony, Iranian-American comedian K-von

We had the pleasure of hearing not one, but two incredible Congresswomen who work everyday to champion the priorities of the Iranian-American community and the progressive values our country so deserves. NIAC Research Fellow, Dr. Assal Rad, after remarks of her own, welcomed Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) to the stage.

Congresswoman Porter regaled the audience with the importance of holding the White House accountable and with her experiences working with the Iranian-American community. She has been integral in the fight to protect our community against the discriminatory Muslim Ban. Moreover, she remains an ardent proponent of advancing peace and diplomacy by preventing war with Iran and advocating for the United States to return to the Iran nuclear deal.

NIAC President Jamal Abdi also took to the stage to share his own story: his family’s immigrant journey, navigating being Iranian and American, and underscoring the importance of our community doing everything possible to build the political power we need to secure our seat at the table. 

We were proud to give Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-48) NIAC’s first ever Courage Award. NIAC Board Member Siobhan Amin presented Congressman Waters with the award for her commitment to peace, equality, and justice. In today’s political environment, she has been an oasis of the sound policy needed to ensure our children and all future generations can live in a more peaceful world. We are fortunate to call Congresswoman Waters our friend and ally and to have had such an amazing keynote speaker captivate the room with her story about fighting for the foundational values of this country.

All of us at NIAC are so grateful to have the incredible support of our community. Even in the hardest times, we find strength through solidarity. This year has been marked by a flurry of politics that have impacted our community in undeniable ways. Only together—and of course assisted sometimes by good food, amazing friends, and powerful words—can we build political power for the Iranian-American community and ensure our voices are heard all across the country, from Los Angeles to New York to Washington DC. 

And make sure to check out our events page to learn more about our upcoming galas in Washington DC and San Francisco!

Responding to Omar Navarro’s Slanderous Attack on NIAC and Rep. Maxine Waters

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, responds to Omar Navarro’s slanderous attacks on the National Iranian American Council and Rep. Maxine Waters:

“Omar Navarro’s accusation is an outrageous and slanderous attack, which is all the more deranged at a time when Rep. Maxine Waters and her office have been targeted by political violence. Our event was a fundraiser for NIAC to build our community’s power, not for Rep. Waters. We call on Navarro to immediately delete his tweet, issue a formal apology to both Rep. Waters and our organization, and withdraw from the race. The Republican Party should also make it clear that they find Navarro’s tweet completely unacceptable.”

“This proves that Omar Navarro is not fit to even run for office. If it wasn’t clear when he posted a fake letter on Twitter, prompting queries by the FBI and Capitol Police, it is certainly clear now that he is engaging in outright demagoguery in a desperate bid to gain attention.”

“NIAC is a voice for Iranian Americans who support peace and diplomacy, civil rights, and equitable immigration policies. Attacks like this seek to deprive our community and other immigrant communities a voice in the political process and we will not tolerate them.”