Today, Joya Dass, producer of the DEVI STORY LAB, shares WHY ITS IMPORTANT FOR US AS SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN to be sharing our stories.
My mission statement with LadyDrinks has always been to create a space for us, as professional South Asian women, to share our cultural hurdles. Because let’s face it, we had to overcome some of them in order to succeed in our professional lives too. My friend and colleague Marina Romashko had long been talking to me about hosting a story-telling workshop for LadyDrinks.
I heard her. I filed the idea away in the back of my brain to let it germinate. Marinate. Percolate for the better part of a year and a half. I just couldn’t picture it. I couldn’t wrap my head around how story telling led to the growth of South Asian professional women.
But a couple things happened.
I delivered my first TedTalk on the subject of ‘Re-thinking Failure’ In the most polished way possible, I told my own story of leaving a home mired deep in Indian conservative tradition. I told a story of leaving behind a home of domestic violence. And I told a story of having a dream, and becoming a television anchor, despite it all. I told that story 6 more times in subsequent years. At galas. At schools. At small women-only gatherings. And you know what happened? I underwent a transformation. All the anger I had been harboring against my parents for years, finally dissipated. Not overnight. But gradually. I forgave them. I saw them for their limitations as human beings. They were doing the best that they could.
I get it.
SO. In 2016. As a following to the raging success of STARS OF STEM, we are hosting THE DEVI STORY LAB. A 10 week storytelling workshop, where under the guidance of actress and playwright Nadia Manzoor and her team, six women share their stories of being a South Asian navigating a western culture.
Our six storytellers are so brave to have undergone this process and raised their hands to tell them on stage. Please applaud them for their courage. I know I do.