Parichehr Shahabi Nabavi was instrumental in the establishment and growth of NCORE from its initial conference in 1987 through our 25th Anniversary in 2012. Her commitment to social justice was life-long.
Pari was born in Tehran, Iran in 1951 into a family with prestige and status. Her father, educated in Holland and Russia, was president of a bank and her mother a housewife and stay-at-home mom. From a young age she was taught to respect and embrace all individuals regardless of their background, culture, or religion.
Although planning on studying art in Italy, Pari moved to the U.S. in 1970 when her husband was admitted to a university in the US. Pari pursued her education and graduated with her degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1979.
While Pari and her husband were in Oklahoma, a revolution took place back in her home country of Iran. The 1978-79 Iranian Revolution was a populist, nationalist and Shi'a Islamic revolution that replaced an ancient monarchy. The revolution was in part a conservative backlash against the westernization and secularization efforts of the Western-backed Shah, and a not-so-conservative reaction to social injustice and other shortcomings of the ancient regime. The Shah was perceived by many Iranians as beholden to — if not a puppet of — a non-Muslim Western power (the United States) whose culture was contaminating that of Iran.
As a result of the revolution, she and her husband decided to remain the United States. She began work at the Southwest Center in 1982.
Through her work at the Southwest Center and her mentorship by a director who was in an inter-racial marriage she developed a deep understanding about the issues of diversity, equity, and social justice. In addition her move to the US where she was no longer a member of the affluent or dominant culture was a real eye-opener. Facing issues of discrimination because her culture she grew even more committed to the cause of social justice. She has tirelessly stayed abreast year after year of cutting edge issues in the areas of diversity and inclusion. For 25 years Pari’s imprint was on every NCORE conference.
For her years of dedication and commitment to social justice for all and her efforts in helping to make NCORE what it is today a fund was established to accept contributions to further the mission of the National Conference Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE). The 501(c)(3) foundation is to be used to provide assistance to cover all or part of an individual’s conference registration fees or other NCORE related expenses for a selected candidate.
It is our intention to provide this award to young professionals beginning their careers in those areas that are addressed by NCORE programming.
How to Donate
Checks made payable to The OU Foundation will be accepted. On the memo line include the note: Parichehr Shahabi-Nabavi Memorial fund.