When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer. Didn’t know what kind, but a strong notion of fighting on behalf of people who’ve been wronged.
A social cause you care deeply about and why?
Young children involved in the child welfare system. Infants and toddlers are a huge proportion of children who enter the system and are placed outside their home; this disrupts attachment, creates further trauma, and can even affect their brain development. We know that 90% of a child’s brain develops by the age of 5, so early childhood is a huge window to intervene and create healthy opportunities for development and growth. And yet, more than 50% of young children in foster care shows signs of developmental delay, and many have socio-emotional concerns, and these children are often the ones who do not get connected to much needed services. I spent some time working in this space and cannot think of a more compelling population to advocate for. I truly believe if we work to prevent and heal trauma from an early age, we are setting all of us up for a better future.
If you could earn a living doing anything else, what would it be?
I’d open a perfume shop with interesting scents from around the world – or collect Persian, Kurdish, and Afghan rugs.
You can invite 3 people from either present day or history to break bread with, who would it be and why?
Roxane Gay, my aunt who recently passed, and my grandfather who passed before I was born in Iran. Those are people I’ve wanted to meet, see again, and have a conversation with, in that order.
In 5 words, describe yourself? (must use all 5….no more…no less)
Five words are not enough.