PARSA awards $200,000 to 21.
PARSA CF is dedicated to promoting civic participation, volunteerism and public service on a national level. With the grants they provide--which have totaled more than $750,000 during the past four years--PARSA CF hopes to assist in providing the necessary tools to advocacy groups, educational centers, museums, and community organizations with the goal of helping Iranians become a recognized force for good.
Applicants were required to be a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and have missions aligned with PARSA CF's mission. After the initial screening, 27 applicants were invited to submit full applications for grants. All grant applications were reviewed and rated by an independent Grant Advisory Committee. This year's seven member volunteer committee was comprised of: Maryam Ansary, Ladan Behnia, Laya Esmaieili-Zare, Anthony Hay, Forough Hossein, Nema Milaninia, and Shiva Sarram.
Between the 21 award recipients, a total of $380,000 in grants was originally requested; PARSA CF awarded $200,000 in grants.
The grants were broken up into two categories: Arts and Culture, and Civic and Leadership.
The largest award in the Arts and Culture category, $25,000, went to the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute of the University of Maryland. The Roshan Center was established within the School of Languages, Literature and Cultures at the university in 2004 to inaugurate academic programs in Persian language and literature. During spring 2010, the Center offers a Persian Creative Writing course called "Reading Persian Stories."
In the same category, Partner Pictures' Documentary film, "From Texas to Tehran," was awarded $20,000. The documentary is about the true story of Kevin Sheppard, an American basketball player who played professional basketball in Iran. Thirteen other organizations within the Arts and Culture category received grants between $3,000 and $10,000 each.
In the Civic and Leadership category, the largest grant recipient was Relief International's Fellowship Program, which was awarded $29,000. Relief International--active in more than 26 countries--provides emergency relief and development assistance to vulnerable communities worldwide. Relief International will provide a PARSA supported fellowship to qualified Iranian-American and Iranian-British students interested in learning about the root causes of poverty, marginalization and conflict.
The next highest award recipient within the Civic and Leadership category was Camp Ayandeh, run each summer by Iranian Alliances Across Borders. It is a leadership camp for Iranian-American high school students. The rest of the grants ranged from $2,000 to $10,000. The full list of award recipients is at: http://www.parsacf.org/ Page/1.