Pars Equality Center, in Coordination with PAAIA, Visited Capitol Hill the Week of Nowruz

Key Congressional Officials Briefed on Civil Rights Issues in Iranian American Community

April 20, 2011, Washington, D.C. – Pars Equality Center (Pars), in collaboration with Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), briefed key congressional officials on discriminatory and civil rights violations facing the Iranian American community, in particular the adverse impact of the unintended consequences from the new Iran sanctions regulations. Pars is a new community-based legal organization. Its mission is to protect the human and civil rights of Iranian Americans and those of Iranian descent in the United States.
While on The Hill, president and CEO of Pars, Ms. Banafsheh Akhlaghi, and Pars staff attorneys and legal advocates, introduced the organization as the legal arm for the Iranian American community. Pars outlined its advocacy platform, including the launch of the nationwide Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign and invited members from both sides of the aisle to partner in such efforts. 
“With a collaborative and non-adversarial approach, Pars provides the critical legal advocacy needed at this time to highlight the civil rights issues facing Iranian Americans,” explained Mr. Morad Ghorban, acting executive director of PAAIA. “While PAAIA does not take a position on U.S.-Iran related matters, we believe it is important for members of Congress to hear firsthand from the experiences of Pars clients of how policies and regulations affect the everyday lives of their constituents.”
During the weeklong visit to Washington, D.C., Pars staff met with offices from the California delegation as well as members serving on the House Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Oversight and Government Reform committees. 
“We have reached a point in our history where educating lawmakers on critical civil rights matters facing Iranian Americans and forging productive relationships with government officials are vital to the best interests of our community ,” said Ms. Akhlaghi. “PAAIA opens the doors on Capitol Hill, allowing our community’s voices and needs to be amplified.”
Pars and PAAIA plan to meet with other members of Congress and their staff in the fall of 2011. Said Ms. Akhlaghi, “we extend our gratitude to the members of Congress and their staff for their time and attentiveness as they serve all of their constituents as servants to the public.” 
About Pars Equality Center
Pars Equality Center (Pars) is committed to engaging the Iranian-American community in reigniting the promise of the United States.  Pars Equality Center is the first–and currently only–organization of its kind dedicated solely to the rights and dignities of Iranian peoples in the United States.. With a non-partisan, collaborative approach, Pars raises public awareness and amplifies Iranian-American perspectives in law, policy, and the media. 
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonreligious 501(c)(4) membership organization that serves the domestic interests of Iranian Americans and represents the community before U.S. policymakers and the American public at large. PAAIA works to foster greater understanding of our community and its cultural heritage and to expand opportunities for the active participation of Iranian Americans in the democratic process at all levels of government. 

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