Farideh Kioumehr

Daily Point of Light # 1245 Nov 11, 1998

Dr. Farideh Kioumehr, an epidemiologist, is the founder and executive director of The International Health and Epidemiology Research Center, an organization whose mission is to prevent violence, especially gun violence in children and youth. One of the major initiatives of the organization is its Anti-Violence Campaign, which consists of various Anti-Violence Days.

Working under the motto, "violence will kill society tomorrow, if we don't do something today," Dr. Kioumehr encourages kids to bring in their toy guns in exchange for another toy, such as a teddy bear. Dr. Kioumehr's first Anti-Violence Day was held in Orange County, CA in 1995. Children made artwork out of toy guns at the local children's museum and received t-shirts with a crossed out gun on the front. Last year, there were five of these days held in San Jose and San Diego.

Dr. Kioumehr also conducts presentations and workshops in schools, universities and churches to raise awareness about the danger of guns, toy guns and violence.

Dr. Kioumehr's efforts are endorsed by various senators and Vice President, Al Gore. Among other awards, she has recently received the "Outstanding Anti-Violence Advocate Award" given by the Network of Iranian Professionals of Orange County.