Iranian American Writer and Human Rights Activist
As the daughter of Malek o' Shoara Bahar, Parvaneh grew up amidst the intellectual and political turmoil surrounding this famous but persecuted writer, academic and politician involved in the democracy movement in Iran. Suffering through his imprisonments, sharing his exile, and accompanying him to Switzerland to seek a cure for his tuberculosis, she absorbed his teaching and his passion for the freedom and dignity of all people. These themes became a template for her own life, and she carried them with her when she came to the US in the 1950s as the young wife of a diplomat, learning the ropes as a Washington hostess while throwing herself into the Women’s Movement and marching behind Dr. Martin Luther King in Alabama.
Parvaneh's memoir portrays the Iran in the early and mid 20th century and the vital role her father played as the "King of Poets". He is still revered as the greatest poet and visionary of the 20th century. In street protests in 2009 street demonstrators sang his poems of freedom. Her life has been dedicated to fighting for social justice for all including equal rights for women. She has given talks at Harvard University, Cornell University, Stanford University, Berkeley and others. She was pleased to be one of the keynote speakers at the Iranian-American Women's conference in Washington D.C. and Irvine, CA.
Emmy Award winning director
Civil rights activist and teacher
A native of Tennessee, Dorothy Lawson receive her undergraduate degree at Tennessee State University and her graduate work at Memphis State University and California State, Los Angeles.
A devoted wife, mother and grandmother, Dorothy remains a tireless
humanitarian. As the wife of one of the nation's most prominent leaders, Dorothy opened her home to many--friends and strangers alike, lobbied for better treatment of women and people of color, boycotted and participated in sit-ins.
As an example, during the 1960 Voter Registration Campaign, known as "Mississippi Summer," the NAACP Legal Defense Fund could not find office space in Mississippi. Dorothy opened an office in Memphis, Tennessee, coordinating the schedules of volunteer attorneys from throughout the country who offered their services during this historic period.
Dorothy's passion for peace and justice continues through her volunteer work with adult literacy, Holman United Methodist Church, and other community groups. She has received numerous awards in recognition for her services
Scholar and community activist
Dr. Michelle H. Raheja is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches courses in Native American and early American literary and visual culture studies. Dr. Raheja earned a PhD in English at the University of Chicago and received a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA’s Institute of American Culture/American Indian Studies Program.
Dr. Raheja has served as Director of the California Center for Native Nations at UC Riverside, co-organized a milestone conference on Native American stage dance, and organized one of the first Indigenous hip hop symposia and concerts. In recognition of her work in global Indigenous media, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on Sami hip hop and visual culture at the University of Tromsø/Romssa universitehta, Centre for Sámi Studies/Sámi dutkamiid guovddás, in Norway/Sápmi.
Additionally, Dr. Raheja is the author of numerous articles and Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans, a landmark study of the Native American filmmakers, actors, and spectators who helped shape, contest, and complicate Hollywood’s representations of Indigenous peoples from the silent film era to the present.