Shakti: Powerful Feminine: Navarātri 2020 Speaker Series

Shakti: Powerful Feminine: A Navarātri 2020 Speaker Series featuring impactful South Asian women occurred in October 2020. From professors and activists to chefs and social media stars, the speakers came from different realms but are united by their energy and boldness.

Co-Sponsors: Georgetown Hindu Student Association, Georgetown University’s Women’s Center, Georgetown University’s Dharmic Life, Yale University Chaplain’s Office, and Princeton University Hindu Life Program

October 17: Hetal Vasavada (above)

After competing on Season 6 of Masterchef, Hetal has had her recipes featured in countless magazines and also has a blog on Indian cooking! Hetal’s new cookbook, Milk and Cardamom, blends together her Indian and American identity by sharing dessert recipes inspired by both cultures.

October 18: Professor Shareen Joshi

Professor Joshi works as an applied micro-economist, and other than teaching at Georgetown, researches various topics such as maternal health, pollution, and women’s programs in rural Indian communities. She has been published in various economic journals as well as a consultant for the World Bank, the UN, and even the Government of India.

October 19: Professor Lakshmi Krishnan

Professor Lakshmi Krishnan MD, PhD is a medical historian, and focuses primarily on diagnosis and clinical reasoning. She currently is writing a history of diagnosis and notes how this very practice parallels an investigation done by detectives. Professor Krishnan also studies the relationship between medicine and health equity and the history of health disparities. This work promotes the need for better medical practices which can help marginalized communities receive more personalized care.

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October 20: Jikaria Sisters

The Jikaria Sisters – Omika, Rishika, and Aashika Jikaria – are known for their viral Tik Tok dance videos, each gaining hundreds of thousands of views and have over 575 thousand followers on the app. They use both their American and Indian identities to create fun fusion dances, incorporating classical, contemporary, and even Latin dance styles in their videos. The sisters are also each pursuing different career paths; Omika is studying at the Tuck School of Business, Rishika is attending Fordham Law School, and Aashika is pursuing a degree in engineering at Georgia Tech.

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October 21: Badal Patel

A great creative design mind, Badal Patel’s work has been used by numerous brands, including Corona Extra, Kashi and many others. A proud first-generation Indian-America, Badal often draws upon her experiences growing up as an influence for her designs. She has been recognized by industry forces such as The One Club, Communication Arts, Under Consideration-Brand New, and Print Magazine as well as many others for her amazing work and her powerful perspective.

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October 22: Shiva Subbaraman

Shiva Subbaraman serves as the Executive Director of the Women’s Center, and founding director of the LGBTQ Center Georgetown University. Shiva is a feminist activist and serves on the board of several local community organizations. Shiva also has great expertise in African American, and American literatures; and feminist, and queer literatures and theories. Shiva brings decades of deeply intersectional understandings of work with gender, race, and sexuality to Georgetown.

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October 23: Diipa Khosla

Diipa Khosla is an influencer and cofounder of Post for Change, a non-profit dedicated to bringing together social media influencers using their platforms to drive change. Diipa has as many as seven international magazine covers, and the earned title of Influencer of the Year for three consecutive years by Vogue, Elle and Grazia. She was the first Indian influencer to walk the Cannes Film Festival and has been ambassador for brands like Estée Lauder.