For us, writing is our form of activism and a way to educate people about anti-racism. Rooted in evidence-based practices of racial socialization, we wrote The Proudest Color to help parents and caregivers immerse their children in learning how to counteract negative and harmful messages of discrimination. When Zahra experiences discrimination at school, her parents remind her of all the incredible people that share her skin tone and who have done incredible things in the world. Research has shown that when parents instill cultural and racial pride in their child it can serve as an effective buffer against the impact of discrimination. The goal of The Proudest Color is to be an engaging, gentle, and creative way of teaching children about race, racism, and emotion identification.
For more information and ways to help children address racism check out our resources here
As Middle Eastern Americans (Iranian and Palestinian) and as clinicians, Dr. Sheila Modir and Jeff advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and work toward building resilience in children. Dr. Modir is a pediatric psychologist at a children's hospital. She obtained a combined doctoral degree in Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and her master’s degree in social welfare at UCLA. Dr. Modir has presented at conferences, spoken on podcasts, and published articles on the impact of racial trauma on mental health and risk and resilience factors. Jeff is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a manager of clinical product and service design for a mental health tech company. He has his master’s in clinical psychology from Pepperdine and was previously on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Together they have advocated at the state and federal level for better mental health care policies, in addition to doing international work at a Red Cross refugee asylum in Belgium. They also consult on film and television productions, including for Disney and Freeform, to ensure that mental health is portrayed responsibly, and have been judges for the annual Sentinel Awards. They are happily married, living in sunny Southern California, and enjoy spending weekends perfecting the recipe for chocolate chip cookies and finding fun places to hike.
An interview with Dr. Sheila Modir on racial trauma and identity within the Middle Eastern North African (MENA) population. Curt and Katie talk with Sheila about how MENA individuals are impacted by racial profiling, prejudice, and the lack of data on the MENA community. Also, typical coping strategies as well as how therapists can support MENA clients.
Clown of Slipknot connects with Marriage and Family Therapist Jeffrey Kashou for a conversation about the importance of mental health and well-being. Sharing personal losses and break through moments, the worlds of international musician and mental health professional intersect in a very illuminating way.
From tech leaders and business gurus, to athletes and artists, Iranian Americans have made an enormous impact on our community and country. NIAC is proud to launch its first ever “40 under 40” campaign to recognize 40 Iranian Americans under the age of 40 who have inspired others with their work.