Press Release by Pars Equality Center (PEC), San Jose, California
- New San Jose-based Community Center for Iranians is first of its kind in the United States -
San Francisco, CA (March 2, 2015) - In honor of the 5th anniversary of Pars Equality Center (PEC)- a Bay Area-based non-profit organization providing social and legal services to the Iranian-American community-there will be two seminal celebratory events: the 5th Annual Nowruz Gala at San Francisco’s Marriott Waterfront Burlingame Hotel on Saturday, March 14, 2015, and the highly anticipated Official Opening of the Daryabari Iranian Community Center-the new permanent home for PEC-on Thursday, April 16, 2015. The Center is the first to offer the most comprehensive slate of community programs and resettlement services available to the U.S. Iranian and Persian-speaking population.
Bita Daryabari, PEC executive director and founder, comments, "Looking back over the past five years, we are extremely proud of the success we’ve had in our community, and beyond. Pars Equality Center has reached many milestones, including the imminent establishment of our new Community Center in San Jose. For all of these reasons, this year's Gala is particularly significant. We have so much to celebrate, and I believe that the best is yet to come."
From education to women’s health, job placement, immigration, career development and computer training, the organization has supported thousands of recent refugees and asylees in accessing mainstream opportunities and resources. The San Jose office fielded over 9,000 phone calls last year alone, as well as providing 10,000 units of service. There are additional PEC locations in Los Angeles and Menlo Park. (Note: Services are available to all Persian-speakers, including immigrants from Afghanistan, India, Ozbakistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.)
The 5th anniversary festivities kick-off on Saturday, March 14th at 7:00 p.m., with the Pars Equality Center’s 5th Annual Nowruz Gala in honor of the Iranian/Persian New Year. Funds raised at this popular event ensure the future of social and legal services, primarily in California, which has the largest Iranian population in the U.S., and also targeted strategic services in other states. The 2014 event sold out-raising nearly $500,000.00-and was attended by over 800 influential guests, including San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Daryabari will host the 2015 event, starting at 7:00pm, joined by Master of Ceremonies, Iranian-American comedian and actor, Maz Jobrani. The evening will include catered Persian cuisine, dancing, auctions, surprise guests, and a special live musical performance by Iranian pop singer and musician, Sepideh.
The Ribbon Cutting
On Thursday, April 16th, the Daryabari Iranian Community Center, the first-ever dedicated community center for Iranians in the United States, celebrates its official opening in San Jose with a private Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Reception, featuring local officials and dignitaries, including remarks by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. Located in San Jose at 1635 The Alameda, the center spans 13,000 square feet, and will house the San Jose PEC offices-becoming the organization’s central office-while also offering extensive community programming. The new Senior Citizen Program includes yoga, meditation, cooking, backgammon and philosophy classes.
Daryabari comments, "This Community Center, open to people of all ages, is dedicated to creating a shared proud sense of identity with its programs that attend as much to education and job training as to the ways of citizenship and entrepreneurship in this country."
The center is also proud to boast an incredible roster of VIP Founding Members that were honored in a special private event. PEC is seeking additional Founding Members, which entails a $15,000.00 initial contribution, plus a yearly commitment of a $7,500.00 tax-deductible donation.
Daryabari adds, “Our goal is to open a community center in Los Angeles next, since that is where most of the Iranians in California reside. We have already started helping Iranians in Southern California and other states, and our long-term vision is to have satellite offices in all the U.S. cities with large Iranian populations.”
About Pars Equality Center
Founded by Bita Daryabari in 2010, the Pars Equality Center (PEC) is the first non-profit organization of its kind, supporting the full integration of people of Persian (Iranian) origin in the United States. PEC provides social and legal support for all members of the Iranian-American community, including refugees, immigrants and the American-born. The Center advocates for more positive perceptions of Persians in the U.S. media, while offering services and programs that help establish, integrate and support Iranian-Americans so that they are able to function responsibly and productively in American society. Daryabari’s aim is to create a more just and compassionate community in which Iranians of all cultures and beliefs participate. Based in Menlo Park, PEC opened its second office in San Jose in April 2012, and a third location in Los Angeles in September 2013. PEC is headquartered in the new San Jose-based Daryabari Iranian Community Center, opening April 2015, making it the first and most comprehensive non-profit legal, social and community support center, providing direct services to Iranians in the United States.
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