Happy Persian New Years and start of spring, coming at you straight from Tehrangeles, California, the location of the largest Iranian diasporic community in the world!

Last week I was on Instagram Live giving updates and doing a quick Q&A on projects we're working on behind the scenes, but I've been getting consistent messages asking for a written update for those who missed the live session (or who are not on Instagram) so I'll share that all below.

(psst, did you know subscribers to the JooJoo Azad Insiders List actually get these updates regularly,  monthly, as well as access to other behind the scenes details and first looks at projects and opportunities? Just saying, ;) )  

Nowruz, or "New Day" is one of my favorite holidays that marks the new year and start of spring across the Persian world! You can peep last year's post to learn more about what the tradition entails for Iranians, (or tune into my snapchat / Instagram stories today)! 

In the meantime, let's hit you with these updates:

Radical Reading Club

This virtual, international reading club is a new project launching in response to community demand, aimed at raising our awareness and understanding of politics, history, race, gender, religion, culture, colonialism, etc in ways that disrupt normative narratives. 

13 days of celebrations to mark the start of spring and new life means 13 days of community input leading up to the launch of the Radical Reading Club at the end of Nowruz! Follow along on Instagram or Twitter to get involved in making this book club happen according to what you'd like to see! We'll be launching at the end of the month with a major giveaway of the first book of the month! We're also collaborating with libraries/universities, influencers, and others internationally to host in-person meetups so stay tuned for the launch (and be sure to subscribe to the Insiders List to make sure you're with us when we launch!)

Refugee Sewing Co-Operative

Complete with childcare, translation, pro-bono legal and social services, and weekly classes and programming, the Refugee Women's Sewing Co-Operative is about to change the game for independent fashion designers nationally. And the lives of a team of refugees and recent immigrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

I'm so excited. We've secured a location (which will be released soon!), childcare, pro-bono legal services, translators, and could not be more excited. (Did I mention that I'm really excited?)

Currently, we're working with community organizations to setup meetings with refugee and immigrant women interested in joining the team -- we're hoping to finalize the membership by the end of April! We're also starting outreach to designers to build potential client bases (if you're a fashion designer / managing production for a clothing line / manage a design incubator and are interested in working with us, please get in touch!)

We'll also be launching our website and fundraiser by the end of the month as well, so keep those eyes peeled!

JooJoo Journal

The JooJoo Journal is the community-written, multi-lingual companion to JooJoo Azad serving as a platform to publish and share the voices and work of subaltern, marginalized, and diasporic people of color around the world. The JooJoo Journal will be home to the intersections of spiritually-centered radical politics, provocative art, organizing, and collaboration.

Toronto & NYC we're coming for you! We'll be hosting pop-up fundraising events showcasing local artists and creatives while I'm on speaking tour (see below)! If you're in town, keep you calendars open!

We're starting outlining the details for our first major project, and will also be launching our online crowd-sourced fundraiser and Patreon in April as well! In the meantime, if you'd like to donate to support this work paying radical creatives internationally to create content, our lines are open!

Spring Speaking Tour

Ayy I'm back on the road! Excited as always for the opportunity to meet so many of you in-person and discuss everything from fashion to the War on Terror to Tehran Streetstyle (and how they're more related than you might guess)! Below are a list of my upcoming public events -- can't wait to see you! 

+ March 8: panel conversation, International Women's Day, Global Encounters (virtual)

+ March 8: panel conversation, International Women's Day, DePaul University, Chicago

+ March 24: keynote, Women's Day Conference, Loyola University, Chicago

+ March 26: panel conversation, "Using Muslimahs to Sell Stuff: Panel on Hijab Commercialization", University of Toronto

+ March 27: JooJoo Journal fundraising party, details TBA

+ April 7: keynote, Envisioning Liberation Conference, Skidmore College, New York

+ April 14: panel conversation, iHeartHalal festival, Chicago Navy Pier

+ April 16: workshop, Northern Illinois University College of Law

+ April 21: lecture & workshop, Creating Justice Symposium, Chicago

+ April 24: workshop/lecture, University of Wisconsin

+ April 26: workshop/lecture, Morton College, Illinois

(full list here)


P.S. I'm giving away signed copies of my Tehran Streetstyle book on Instagram right now in honor of Nowruz -- don't miss out!

Tehran Streetstyle is the first-ever collection of modern (mostly underground and illegal) fashion photography from the streets of Tehran, Iran! This book challenged Western Orientalist misrepresentations of Iran as well as domestic Iranian dress code regulations! I've photographed designs and streetwear from the top underground fashion designers and the young people who are setting the bar in fashion and design in Iran! You can read more on Tehran Streetstyle here, or listen to my interview about it on NPR, here