Mana is the Executive Director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), a 501(c)3 national nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen the Iranian diaspora community and empower its youth. IAAB has been featured on CNN and CNN International, The Washington Post, Huffington Post and PBS Frontline's Tehran Bureau.
IAAB strengthens the Iranian diaspora community through leadership and educational programming that encourages collaboration and solidarity across various borders and multiple communities. IAAB addresses issues of the Iranian diaspora by facilitating community building, developing ways to better understand what it means to be part of a diaspora community, and empowering members of the Iranian diaspora community to enhance connections with their new communities as well as maintain connections with their root community.
Under Mana's leadership, IAAB has grown into the largest grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the Iranian diaspora community through community-building and youth empowerment. IAAB responds to community challenges through various programs and campaigns while also empowering local communities to support their most vulnerable members. IAAB leads youth leadership camps, community conferences and university programs bringing together experts and student leaders from vibrant communities around the world including Europe, the Middle East and North America. IAAB also holds the only convening of Persian school directors and educators from the United States and Canada, with more than 30 participating schools.
IAAB and Camp Ayandeh, its groundbreaking high school leadership camp, were also featured in The Limits of Whiteness; Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race, an insightful work about shifting racial status in the United States. IAAB is also the lead organizational plaintiff in IAABvTrump, a legal challenge that won against Muslim Ban 3.0 in the Fourth Circuit in February, 2018, and succeeded in obtaining in October, 2017.
Mana has served on committees for many community initiatives including as steering committee member of the Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition (ICCC), the Iran Earthquake Coalition, and as a Language Representative with the Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools.
Mana was a Field Organizer at Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), Amnesty International's biggest section and part of its global movement of more than seven million people fighting injustice and promoting human rights. Amnesty International is the largest grassroots international human rights organization investigating and exposing abuses, educating and and mobilizing the public, and helping transform societies to create a safer, more just world. Amnesty International received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for its "campaign against torture" and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.
Mana campaigned and organized in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as various other critical areas in the South. Mana focused on Amnesty International USA's campaigns to end the death penalty, maternal mortality, torture and indefinite detention, and harsh and restrictive anti-immigration policies. Mana also supported AIUSA's campaigns supporting human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience. Much of Mana's work while at AIUSA focused on ending domestic human rights violations. The South is the hotbed for most domestic human rights violations, including 80% of all US executions. As such, the South is integral to movement-building and domestic human rights campaigns.
While at AIUSA, Mana served as a member of the Southern Human Rights Network's steering committee, co-organizing the Youth Summit as part of 2010's Southern Human Rights Organizers' Conference. Mana assisted in organizing the 2009, 2010 and 2011 AIUSA Southern Regional Conferences, Leadership Training Institutes, State and National Conferences. Mana was a member of AIUSA's Southern Regional Office, advocating on behalf of Troy Davis, and helped coordinate actions in Savannah, Georgia during his evidentiary hearing in federal court. Mana also led numerous trainings and workshops, participated in panels at universities throughout the South and organized events with coalition partners such as the ACLU, NAACP, and other various human rights and social justice organizations.
Mana also served as the Educational Director of a Greek refugee organization and co-developed the first comprehensive educational program for youth in Greek refugee camps. Mana implemented the program and trained volunteer teachers at Elpida camp, navigated Greek bureaucratic structures, and worked with partner NGOs to serve the needs of Syrian, Iraqi, and other refugee populations in Northern Greece.
Mana was recognized as a ‘Progressive Women’s Voice’ of the Women’s Media Center and a 2018 Ford Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project. Mana was also featured as a changemaker in education by Neda Nobari Foundation’s ‘West of Middle East’ podcast series.
Mana is an inspiring speaker and seasoned educator with over 15 years of experience in social movement work. Mana has given dozens of dynamic speeches at rallies, conferences, universities, and companies to audiences of all ages. Weaving together first-hand experiences and case studies through a historical lens, Mana provides practical advice in engaging workshops, talks, and panels at institutions throughout the United States and internationally.
“All we want is the right to exist, the right to share the most important moments of our lives with our loved ones, and to no longer feel like we’re pawns in some political agenda. We are tired.” (Maryland federal court - October 17, 2017).
#RepealtheBan Petition Delivery, December 8, 2018
#RepealtheBan Live Panel Discussion, October 18, 2018
Constitution Day Rally, September 17, 2018
No Muslim Ban @ U.S. Supreme Court (decision day), June 26th, 2018
No Muslim Ban @ U.S. Supreme Court (hearing day), April 25th, 2018
IAABvTrump Hearing @ U.S. Fourth Circuit, December 8th, 2017
IAABvTrump Injunction Hearing @ U.S. Fourth Circuit, October 17th, 2017
Women in Education Panel, August 2016
Aberoo Nabar Conference, September 2013
International Conference, March 28-30, 2019
National Geographic HQ Panel, January 22, 2019
CodePink Summit, December 1, 2018
AirBnB HQ Panel, October 4, 2018
Constitution Day Rally, September 17, 2018
SCOTUS Verdict Rally, June 26, 2018
No Muslim Ban Healing and Reflection, April 25, 2018
SCOTUS Oral Arguments Rally, April 25, 2018
And Then They Came For Us Screening and Panel, April 16, 2018
Facebook HQ Workshop, April 5, 2018
Nowruz at Seattle, March 18, 2018
No Muslim Ban Ever Rally, December 7, 2017
Harvard Iran Earthquake Relief, November 30, 2017
Addressing the Muslim Ban Panel, October 19, 2017