Action Project: Caring Across Borders

Action Research Project: Caring Across Borders

1. Focusing on the problem: cultural misconceptions exist between U.S. and Iran that have turned into deep-seated strife between the governments—and sometimes the people.

I am hoping that the new administrations (Iran will have one soon as well) will seize commit to re-examining the possibility of positive relations. Everyone is a stakeholder in this conflict, more especially the American and Iranian people. Better relations between these two countries might pave the way for better relations with Israel and may well inform peace efforts in the Middle East. America’s standing in the world will certainly be improved. On a local level, this will affect the way we view people of Middle Eastern, Persian origins. My friend L, won’t have to feel ashamed when she flashes her Iranian passport on her way into the States. Our Congressman, Representative Keith Ellison held a forum on this last summer to engage our community.

  1. Challenging the Process. Looking for help to design a survey/process that takes a read on what people think of Persians, Iranians. What would Minnesotans think of a restorative justice process on reconciling the truths and falsifications between the two countries? Interviews! What is their feedback, when they know the real situation? Can one mobilize change through a band of mini-informants on frayed relations?

  2. What solutions can one propose from the community’s feedback?

  3. A chance for Minnesota’s community to offer their own voice on changing the way we relate to conflict.

  4. Why? There are forums, groups—Iranian-American—that have it as their purpose to inform, educate the public and one may question the need for such an effort. It is a good question, especially since I’m not of Iranian heritage—Nigerian—what, then is the relevance? For me it is about stopping the cycle of demonizing people we know little about. I’m hoping values of American ideals can guide this change.

Thank you for reading! ;o)

Comments

Part of the research could be discovering what other groups in Minnesota do already focus on Iranian-American relations.

Barbara

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs