Iranian Community of the Northeast
Alwan for the Arts
Sep 10, 2017
12:00 – 4:00 PM
This report summarizes the main discussions and decisions of ICON volunteers’ meeting on Sep 10, 2017, in New York.
ICON volunteers organized a meeting at Alwan for the Arts on September 10th, 2017 to have a collective discussion about the structure and principles of ICON and also brainstorm a few projects that were proposed to ICON volunteers by the other community members, the Mayor’s office, and the Brooklyn Borough President’s office.
From its inception, ICON has emerged as a loose network of volunteers active within the Iranian community of New York metropolitan area without a specific set of guidelines and a rigid structure, in the hope that over time and with recruiting more volunteers, ICON active members would democratically decide on the future of ICON and its structure. The September 10th meeting was the first in a series of meetings to collaboratively decide on ICON’s shape, values, priorities, and get more involved by signing up for leading specific projects.
The first half of the meeting was allocated to a facilitated discussion around a few important ideas and questions to define ICON. Detailed documentation of the discussed material will be made available soon via IconAct.org. Main highlights included structure of and membership in a community, decision making processes, rules of consensus building, and internal and external communication methods.
During the second half, we broke into groups and discussed certain projects that have been proposed to us, either by our own members or by external agencies and organizations. Below is the list of those projects, and a brief summary of tasks, decisions, and next steps for each.
- Legal Education and Information
This project aims to hold workshops to increase the community’s general level of legal knowledge, and support those in need.
Volunteers decided to meet within 2 weeks from the Alwan event to discuss the structure of the workshops, and creative ways to engage members.
Volunteers: Shervin Abachi, Amir Fadavi
- Iranian Heritage Festival
This project means to follow on Brooklyn Borough Hall’s suggestion for an Iranian event with arts and culture content.
Volunteers decided to meet on Sep 24, 2017, to discuss their proposals and come up with a preliminary structure of action. They aim for end of October to have a polished proposal, and need to recruit more volunteers to do so.
Volunteers: Mohammad Golabi, Saman Sarraf, Mina Rafiee, Ali Zareian, Nima Farzaneh, Noushin Farnoud, Mehrsa (Atiyeh) Sadeghi, Vida Tayebati, Sina Zarabin, Mastoureh Sadeghnia, Mona Kayhan, Anoush Saboktakin
- Mental Health
This project revolves around empowering members of the Iranian community and providing them with a safe, secure, and friendly environment for support and advocacy.
Volunteers discussed ideas for creating programs to support women in particular, to start a series of open group discussions, and to reach out to other networks to facilitate workshops. They decided to meet the week after the Alwan event.
Volunteers: Mohadeseh Adabi Mohazab, Maryam Ataei, Maryam Alikhani, Setareh Shohadaei, Melody Safavi, Negar Taymoorzadeh, Kiana Mashayekh, Sara Hosseini, Hossein Kalantari, Vida Tayebati, Mahsa Mehrdad, Shirin Barghi, Babak Hedayati, Siavash Karimzadegan, M. Rahmati, Shayda Hemmati, Saman Sarraf, Hengameh Fallah, Keyvan Dastmalchi, Marzieh Farzad, Niloofar Alishahi, Shirin Malaki, Ameneh Astaneh
- Reading Sessions
This project aims to develop a network of history/literature/theatre lovers who crave to engage with the Iranian community on a Farsi-oriented basis.
Volunteers decided to have the first reading session within a month from the Alwan event. The history group is holding regular biweekly sessions, currently focusing on the 1979 era. They are going to use volunteers’ help in both event setup and reading parts.
Volunteers: Mahsa Mehrdad, Reza Roodsari, Hengameh Fallah, Vida Tayebati, William Mehrvarz, Pourya Sadeghi, Maedeh Soleimanifar, Arash Golab, Kiana Mashayekh, Niloofar Alishahi, Nasim Farahmand, Noushin Farnoud, Shirin Barghi
- Engagement with City of New York
This project aims to connect ICON’s activities with the NYC Mayor’s Office, and facilitate partnerships on a variety of issues on a project-oriented basis.
Volunteers discussed potential proposals, including topics such as the travel ban and other similar channels to work on response measures in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office.
Volunteers: Hanif Yazdi, Nasim Farahmand, Ava Riazi, Hamideh Naghizadeh, Maryam Alikhani, Sheyda Hemmati, Hengameh Fallah.
- ICON Logo
This project aims to come up with a procedure, and eventually design a logo for ICON.
Volunteers shared preliminary material/literature about similar projects. They decided to meet towards the end of September to brainstorm the ideas that they will be compiling along the way.
Volunteers: Kazem Guccani, Atefeh Zand, Ahmad Koleini, Shirin Barghi, Zak Mohammadi, Sheida Varshabi, Mazdak Jafarian, Elaheh Taherian.
- Job Hunting Assistance
This project aims to help members of the Iranian community navigate through the professional job market, and familiarize themselves with job search techniques and tools.
Volunteers decided to gather more information from candidates to fine-tune assistance with needs. They will decide on the date and location of their first workshop.
Volunteers: Babak Hedayati, Sheidah, Mastoureh Sadeghnia, Nahid H., Vida Tayebati, Maryam, Kiana Mashayekh
In addition to the projects above, a group of us discussed potential avenues for future collaborative projects within ICON.
Thank you for joining your peers in a lively meeting, and for those who weren’t able to attend, see you next time.