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04/29/11

NIAC Ambassador - Defending the Iranian American's Voice

By Sarah Ravani, National Iranian American Council (NIAC)

Sepideh Mortazavi Irvine, CA--- “Did you know there are more Iranians than Cubans in this country? Yet, the Cuban community is so well represented in both Florida and DC. Through awareness and education, a lot of discrimination will stop. The more people know Iranians, the less likely to be discriminatory,” said Sepideh Mortazavi, NIAC Ambassador.

Growing up in Arcata, Calif., Sepideh said she was the only Middle Easterner in her hometown, “Although, Arcata is a very liberal and open-minded place, it was difficult being the sole voice for so many, which is why I chose a university that is the most ethnically diverse in the country.”

Now, a defense lawyer in Irvine, Sepideh has been continuously active in the Iranian community since attending college at the University of California, Los Angeles where she received a degree in political science. As an undergraduate student, Sepideh was a member of UCLA’s Iranian Student Group where she met with fellow Iranian students to organize culture shows and other various cultural events on campus. While attending law school at UCLA, Sepideh was still engaged with the Iranian community by serving as a board member on the Near Eastern Law Student Group.

“I went to law school because I always wanted to help people. It often makes me sad that other minorities are so well-represented and the Iranian American diaspora has no cohesiveness,” she said.

As a board member on the Iranian American Bar Association, Sepideh said she wanted to become more involved in the community by also joining NIAC as an Ambassador.

“IABA has many activities that are co-sponsored by NIAC. Since NIAC is an already established group to help Iranians, I thought I would join and make it stronger,” Sepideh said.

Sepideh added that she hopes to educate Iranians more about the political process in order to make the Iranian American community’s voice heard clearly before political decisions are made.

“I think California and U.S. politics should turn to our community before making a decision affecting us rather than ignoring us. A U.S. Senator from California should not so easily make anti-Iranian statements,” Sepideh said. “Have a voice and you will be heard.”

About NIAC

The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. We accomplish our mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision making by lawmakers. (read more)

National Iranian American Council
1411 K St. NW  Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20005 
ph: (202) 386-6325

Webwww.niacouncil.org
Blogwww.niacINsight.com
Facebookfacebook.com/niacouncil
Donatewww.niacouncil.org/donate

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