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Our three featured panelists for today!
Author Mina Khan , originally from Bangladesh, lives in West Texas. She writes fiction dealing with identity, feminist issues and multicultural influences. She’s also worked for about 20 years as a journalist, covering business, technology, politics, and government in Bangladesh and the U.S. (Texas and Pennsylvania). Now she writes a weekly food column for the San Angelo Standard-Times, part of the Scripps Newspapers Group, for her day job.
Mina was invited to share her literary short story, The Storyteller, at the ASU Writers’ Conference’s in 2010. Her first published work, The Djinn’s Dilemma, won the novella category of the 2012 Romance Through The Ages (published) contest. A Tale of Two Djinns won the
2013 Readers’ Crown for best paranormal romance. Wildfire, her most recent release, is a finalist in the 2014 PRISM and 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence.
Also in 2012, Mina was featured as the Lady Lennia in April for Miss Millennia Magazine. Their mission is to inspire, encourage and empower young women. As Lady Lennia, she wrote a series of articles about her writing and community service for the magazine. She is the 2014 president of the Association of Asian-American Women and a founding member of the Peace Ambassadors of West Texas (an interfaith volunteer organization).
Kavita Das worked in the social change sector for fifteen years on issues ranging from homelessness to public health disparities to most recently, racial justice. She now focuses on writing nonfiction and creative nonfiction and her work has been published in The Aerogram, The Feminist Wire, Quartz, The Rumpus, Colorlines, Thought Catalog, and The Sun. She is at work on a personal biography about Lakshmi Shankar, a Grammy-nominated Hindustani singer who was part of the movement that took Indian music beyond the borders of India. Connect with Kavita on Twitter: @kavitamix
Preston Merchant lives in the Bay Area, California. He teaches photography as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York. He is completing INDIAWORLD, a book-length photo essay, about the Indian diaspora communities of North America, the Caribbean, Britain, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. A selection of his images are featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute called, “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation.”