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Chantal


The best way to find yourself

is to lose yourself in the service of others.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

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Chantal


The best way to find yourself

is to lose yourself in the service of others.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

ABOUT CHANTAL 


Chantal was born in Leeds, England on May 1, 1976. Her mother Shahnaz Maghrouri and father Javad Paydar moved from England to Iran early on in Chantal's life and they lived in Tehran, Iran for the first few years of her life before making the move to settle in San Diego, California in 1981. Chantal grew up in La Jolla California surrounded by treasured extended family and friends. She attended La Jolla High School where she was an outstanding student, varsity cross country runner, and prom queen. Chantal attended the University of California at Berkley where she received a degree in Latin American Studies. During her college years, her adventurous spirit took her to a study abroad program in Mexico, where she began a lifetime of exploration and humanitarian work around the world. Her interest in Peace Studies and International Development led her to obtain a Master's Degree in International Relations in 2005 from the University of San Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina as an esteemed Rotary World Peace Fellow. Chantal then embarked on a trip around the world as a chosen delegate on the Ship for World Youth. Following training, Chantal continued her quest to gain knowledge of all cultures outside of her own by spending months and years working with Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), with grass root initiatives, in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Brazil. Her passion to learn of cultures sent her quite literally around the world.

During her career, she also worked for a number of larger profile human rights, advocacy and development organizations, including Amnesty International in New York, and most recently Catholic Relief Services in Kampala, Uganda.

Chantal's career and life were tragically cut short in December of 2010 when she lost her battle against Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after 4 years. Chantal took ownership of her disease and never shied away from helping others understand that this was a part of life. Her experiences in battling cancer led her to many fine medical centers where she touched the hearts of all who met her. Chantal supported efforts of the Lymphoma Research Foundation and was an advocate for research to find a cure as well as humane treatment options and support for people and families living with lymphoma.

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the Foundation


Because things are the way they are,

things will not stay the way they are.

~ Bertolt Brecht

the Foundation


Because things are the way they are,

things will not stay the way they are.

~ Bertolt Brecht

Mission Statement

The Chantal Paydar Foundation was established to commemorate the life of Chantal Paydar and to continue her life’s calling towards establishing equality in the world. The foundation emphases the importance of establishing and fostering human connections amongst people of different backgrounds through education and multicultural exchange. The foundation seeks to establish a humanitarian approach towards addressing ethnic, gender, and political inequality in the world community.

Our Vision

The Chantal Paydar Foundation intends to establish an endowment to fund numerous Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution (PJCR) initiatives within the United States and abroad. The Foundation takes a three tiered approach towards building a better world and contributing to the global PJCR movement.  The Foundation's approach is through: Education, Relief, Advocacy (ERA)

With our partners in academia and Non-Governmental Organizations world wide, the Foundation adds great value to the PJCR movement by supporting and foster the next generations of peace-builders.

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Who We Are


If there is effort, there is always accomplishment.

~ Jigiro Kano

Contact US

Who We Are


If there is effort, there is always accomplishment.

~ Jigiro Kano

Contact US

BOARD MEMBERS


Remo Moomiaie-Qajar, M.D., President

Remo is the the Founder and current President of the Chantal Paydar Foundation. As a trained surgeon, medical technology innovator and social entrepreneur, he understands the need to impact lives through a mixture of innovation, creativity and philanthropy. Remo serves to improve, expand, and ensure that Chantal’s memory and contributions to the world community continues through the charity that bares her name. Remo and Chantal were cousins, and he happily served as care taker for Chantal in her final years. Remo lives in Columbus, Ohio with his loving wife Laura.

Vickie Ramirez Nesbitt, Secretary

Vickie received her BA from UC Berkeley in Comparative Literature and her MA in Medical Anthropology from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. While she is currently taking time from work to raise the baby Chantal convinced her to have (thankfully!), her work usually focuses on health equity and public health in indigenous and multiethnic communities, particularly those in the lower socio-economic income levels. Her work history has ranged from promoting grassroots initiatives, coordinating applied research projects, conducting clinical trails, and evaluating government interventions projects.

Vickie was raised in San Diego, CA and has been friends with Chantal since age 9, having gone to elementary, middle, high school and Cal together with Chantal. She is dedicated to continue the work Chantal so fiercely worked for.

Rochelle Arms, Treasurer

Rochelle is a Project Manager for Global Insights Consulting.  Prior to this, she served as the Restorative Justice Coordinator of the New York Peace Institute where she managed mediation and restorative justice initiatives with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Justice Courts, schools, and community agencies in Brooklyn and Manhattan. She has trained or coached hundreds of mediators in facilitative interventions, and developed conflict coaching curriculum for at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated people, and community agencies. In the last 12 years, she has worked in the U.S. and abroad in collaborative processes and restorative justice projects, with a variety of groups, including civil society organizations in India, indigenous peoples in Argentina, immigrants and refugees, and homicide offenders and victim survivors in Kentucky.  Rochelle has a B.A. in Religion and Peace Studies from Swarthmore College, and an M.A. in International Relations through a Rotary Peace Fellowship at Universidad del Salvador in Argentina, where she was first blessed to know Chantal. She is currently a PhD student at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in George Mason University, focusing on mediator learning and practice. 

Ryan Kellman, Visual Media Director

Ryan Kellman was born in New Jersey was, raised in Western Massachusetts and went to school in San Francisco. He holds a BFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute where he was selected from his graduating class to receive the Paul Sack Photography Award. As a photographer Ryan is a Fulbright Grant recipient, has received the John Collier Award in Documentary photography, and has recently been published in Humble Art’s Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photographers. Commercially, Ryan’s work has been supported by clients such as WESC Clothing, KCET, and ASA Entertainment. He is currently working on numerous multimedia project for National Public Radio (NPR).

Sister Pauline Acayo

Sister Pauline Acayo is head of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Uganda’s Northern Region. Among her many accomplishments, Sister Pauline helped to reintegrate into the community over 5,000 child soldiers and 2,500 formerly abducted people through traditional reconciliation methods. Sister Pauline joined CRS in 1998, after witnessing the daily suffering of her people in northern Uganda. In her own life, Sister Pauline has narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), and lost family and friends to killings and abductions. Her work has centered on helping children and young adults who have escaped abduction to overcome the profound psychological trauma of their experience. Sister Pauline coordinates a radio program for a Community Resilience and Dialogue peace building project. Sister Pauline’s most recent initiative focused on mitigating land conflicts in Northern Uganda. In 2005, she was selected as the woman peacemaker of the year by the Institute for Justice and Peace at the University of San Diego. Sister Pauline is the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Leadership Award from the International Development Committee of the Association for Conflict Resolution.

Paul Bancroft

Paul was born and raised in Lake Tahoe Ca. he completed his undergraduate work at Montana State with a bachelors in Spanish and Education. He received his Masters in Latin American Studies with and Emphasis on Adult Literacy Instruction from UC Santa Barbara. Paul is currently the Client Services and Prevention Director at Tahoe SAFE Alliance, a Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse non profit in Lake Tahoe. Paul is currently serving on a Statutory Rape Awareness Steering Committee for the state of Nevada which a developing a social marketing campaign that will target young men around awareness and the prevention of Statutory Rape throughout the state of Nevada. In addition, Paul is a community organizer around Immigrant’s Rights and equal access to educational opportunities. Paul is the recipient of the 2012 Truckee Tahoe Peace Award …read on.

Walter A. Wright

Walter A. Wright is an associate professor in the Legal Studies Program of the Department of Political Science at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He teaches courses in law and alternative dispute resolution, and his primary research interest is mediation. He is a published author in the United States and several Latin American countries. An attorney, mediator, and arbitrator, he received B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Houston and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University. He is former president of the Texas Association of Mediators and the Association of Attorney-Mediators, and he recently completed his term as Chair of the International Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). From 2003 to 2009, he was Chair of the Newsletter Editorial Board of Alternative Resolutions, the newsletter of the ADR Section of the State Bar of Texas. Currently, he serves as editor-in-chief of El Acuerdo, an ADR newsletter published in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he is co-Chair of ACR’s International Expansion Work Group.

Pamina Firchow, PhD.

Pamina Firchow is an Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University. She works on reconciliation and transitional justice in developing contexts and is interested in the dynamic exchange between elites and local grassroots communities in the peacebuilding process. She was a Rotary World Peace Scholar with Chantal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information, please visit her website at: http://paminafirchow.wordpress.com/

Dawn Fraser

Dawn J. Fraser is a humorist, performer, and speaker from San Jose, California. She is one of the Co-Founders of the Oakland based nonprofit ‘Art in Action’, currently a division of United Roots Oakland, and has worked on leadership, arts and cultural advocacy programs in countries including Brazil, Jamaica and Ghana. She currently teaches storytelling to students through The Moth and independently teaches workshops to students, entrepreneurs, and businesses nationwide to develop stories that engage and inspire. Dawn performs her personal stories and comedy nationwide and has been featured on shows including The Moth, Story Collider and RISK! She received her Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University, where she was the recipient of the Barbara Jordan Award for Women’s Leadership. Dawn and Chantal were introduced as roommates through a study abroad program for University of California students to Mexico and from their bond and friendship continued to blossom to include journeys to other countries including Brazil and Uganda. She is honored to serve on the Board of an organization that continues Chantal’s work to establish and foster relationships amongst people of different backgrounds worldwide. Read on…

George Gacharar

George Gachara is a youth worker, an author, and has led numerous initiatives for the United Nations Development Program, the British council. George’s community work has been recognized by many national and international organizations. He has addressed the World Economic Forum, Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as the International Peace and Security Institute. George continues to be involved in numerous other initiatives in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. George is a co-convener of the “Plan B” national movement with a daily radio program discussing national and international social issues in Kenya. In addition, he is a fellow of the International Youth Foundation, and the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Leadership Award from the International Development Committee of the Association for Conflict Resolution. Read on…

Sara Hirad

Mei Lyn Lantz

Romanus Moomiaie

Romanus and Chantal are first cousins and lifelong friends. Like Chantal, Romanus traveled the world extensively as a youth and experienced cultural diversity from a very early age. Romanus has an Bachelors degree in Political Science and a Masters from SUNY Stony Brook University in Public Policy. Romanus has a 17 year career working in the NYC TV media market.

Shahnaz Maghrouri

Loving mother of Chantal. Lives in Cardiff California.

Nazie Meghani , DDS.

Nazie Meghani was born in Tehran, Iran. Her family moved to California when she was 3 months old. Nazie graduated from UCLA with a bachelors in biology. She graduated from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry and currently practices in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, Faizal. Nazie and Faizal have two children, Kamron and Kylah. They also have a little black pomeranian, Sasha. Nazie met Chantal when they were 9 years old and instantly became friends. Chantal continues to be an inspiration to her everyday as she strives to share the importance of giving that Chany was so passionate about.

Javad Paydar

Loving Father of Chantal. Lives in Tehran Iran.

Perth Rosen

Chantal and Perth were destine to be friends when they connected over a love of Spanish in High School, following a kindred passion and curiosity about how to address global structural injustice and poverty they were reunited through the study of Peace and Conflict Resolution as Rotary World Peace Fellows. On this path Perth has spent over 10 years working in community health focused pro-poor development interventions worldwide. Perth currently works with International NGO, Freedom from Hunger, as a Technical Advisor designing and implementing training curricula focused on dialogue-based, behavior-change education and supporting in-country partners to manage social performance. She holds a BA (University of Colorado, Boulder) in International Relations and an MA (University of Queensland, Australia) in Peace and Conflict Resolution and speaks Spanish and German. Most importantly, Perth is a lifelong student of life learning to weave her inner and outer yoga practice for the benefit of all beings.

Thomas Valenti

Thomas P. Valenti a lawyer, certified mediator, arbitrator, and facilitator. His services include mediation, arbitration, and facilitation relative to business disputes, community disputes and community dialogue facilitation, family/interpersonal conflict, personal injury disputes, and matters of employment. Mr. Valenti is a former Board Member of Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI]. He led the Hurricane Katrina Project in New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MS to dialogue with area NGO’s to improve their skills and to develop community mediation programs. Mr. Valenti was also involved with the Middle East Peace Initiative working with an Israeli Jewish and Palestinian peace village, Neve Shalom Wahat Al Salam (NSWAS) and its Pluralistic Spirituality Center Project to develop an Israeli-Arab and Jewish co-mediation approach and service to mediate community dialogue. He was co-leader of the Athens Migration Dialogue Project, which trained facilitators and conducted dialogues on Migration issues in Greece. He is Co- Chair of the ABA’s U.S. Lawyers Practicing Abroad Committee; on the Executive Committee - ADR Section of the Indian Bar Association. Amongst others he is a Member of UIA, International Association of Lawyers and a, Member, Advisory Board – AMATI - Association of Mediation Assessors , Trainers and Instructors (UK). He is also an International Mediation Institute’s-Mentor to Youth.