The idea behind this non-profit is the journey of our founder Dina Asna.
She has lived at the intersection of being a woman, an artist, and an entrepreneur, with multiple identities and labels: disabled, immigrant, divorced, single mom, and mother of a child with learning specialty. This intersectionality created overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage while living in three countries, Iran, Germany, and the United States. In weathering multiple storms in her life, Dina became stronger through each of them. Dina not only triumphed over these challenges in her personal and professional life, but also empowered many others sharing her wisdom and knowledge gained along the way.
Dina’s life philosophy is that every crisis is an opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.
From childhood to her first pregnancy leave, Dina had no opportunity to explore and express herself through art. The path was often rough and tough. As she started to participate in some art activities in a children-parents group, she realized just how much this desire to express herself had been held back in her soul. She started to paint and participate in art activities. Creating art was truly satisfying, unlike other experiences. That was an new opportunity to heal, to find herself and to connect with the world around her.
Today art is one of Dina’s passion projects, she offers her art on Etsy, participates at few art exhibits or shows around the SF/ Bay Area throughout the year.
In 2015, Dina established IWIN–Iranian Women In Network–a platform to share her gained knowledge and wisdom with like-minded women in the San Francisco East Bay. IWIN uses art as the touchstone to provide workshops, lectures, networking opportunities, consultations, and programs to empower, support, and connect women who seeks art and healing.
One of the first workshops created in IWIN was watercolor, followed by acrylic painting and many other online workshops (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) with well known artists across the world. IWIN also held two online art exhibitions to honor the international elimination of violence against women 2021 and the international woman’s day 2022 with participations of 40 Iranian artists from 4 continents.
Through these programs, many more “Dinas” were discovered.