Born in the beautiful twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago…. (two islands, one country) Growing up in such a culturally diverse location afforded me the unique opportunity to immerse myself in a variety of traditions and religions different from my own. Despite being from a Muslim family, I attended Presbyterian school and Sunday school, spent time at a Methodist church, and observed the colorful sights, sounds, and sumptuous delicacies of numerous Divali celebrations. This kaleidoscope of humanity fed into my passion for community and service to others from an early age.
“In Trinidad, we celebrated and embraced everyone’s traditions,” and it is in this same spirit that I infuse this trademark warmth and enthusiasm into every aspect of my life.
Growing up, I was inspired and influenced by strong women, such as Maya Angelou, Princess Diana, and Hillary Clinton. One of my favorite childhood pastimes was “playing Oprah,” where I would conduct live interviews with countless fascinating pretend guests.
In my late teens, I set off on a new adventure, moving to the United States. Later on, I was offered a job opportunity at the legendary FriarsClub, a home base for a Who’s Who of some of the greatest entertainers, covering every aspect of entertainment from stage and screen and everywhere in between.
I instantly fell in love with it and the Friars became my second home. I am grateful for the sense of belonging, as well as the learning experience that graced my time there. On any given day, I would be the first person to welcome notable figures to the Club, one such moment which I will forever hold in my heart was meeting one of my childhood inspirations – writer and activist, Maya Angelou – it was emotional.
I lend my time to supporting survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and workplace sexual harassment with the goal of ending the stigma, shame, and silence survivors have come to endure.
I volunteer for various causes, such as New York Cares, City Harvest, and various other programs which focus on assisting with social issues; I served as a visiting coach with CWOP, a child welfare project for children affected by the child protection system in New York City.
In 2018 I was given the opportunity to be one of many writers featured in the book You Are Not Alone: True Stories of Sexual Assault, Abuse, & Harassment From Around the World by Jessica Schwartz, and with Alyssa Waugh on I AM STRENGTH an anthology by everyday superwomen, of which proceeds will benefit girlsinc.org and nomeansnoworldwide.org. I was also one of 10 survivors featured in the second issue of Survivors Magazine using fashion and photography to empower survivors of sexual violence and raise awareness of sexual assault.
I joined the NoMore.org campaign creating a collection of T-Shirts to end the silence, shame, and stigma of women facing sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual assault, and domestic violence. A percentage of the proceeds go to help support the work of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.
My latest project has been establishing Encore Forty One, a performing arts company dedicated to celebrating Broadway and its 40 theatres. Encore supports upcoming Broadway performances & entertainment projects.
I live in Manhattan with my partner and daughter and I’m always on the hunt for my next adventure.
I AM STRENGTH is a collection of true stories, poems, and art created by women from all walks of life, championing our everyday struggles and triumphs. Every woman has a song of strength to sing, and I AM STRENGTH will help amplify it.
Two-thirds of the proceeds from sales of this book will benefit No Means No Worldwide, whose goal is to create a rape-free world, and Girls Inc., inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE shares stories from survivors of sexual abuse and assault around the world. including my own #MeToo piece. 10 percent of book sales benefit @RAINN.
listen to my speech for Survivors Magazine here