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Pratima Kushmani S. Doobay & Karen K. Sonilal

Storytelling Panelists

Pratima Kushmani S. Doobay is an Indo-Guyanese musician (vocalist and instrumentalist), a feminist, Human and LGBTQI Rights and social justice advocate who was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. She is the resident Priestess and Community Liaison for Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus and an active volunteer of the Jahajee Sisters.

As passionate community organizer, in 2018, she organized MataJi Chowki, a semi-annual forum of veneration dedicated to the nine forms of the Goddess through - singing of bhajans (religious high-powered songs), messages of inclusion, empowerment, and community togetherness. The inaugural edition of MataJi Chowki was a historic convening in a Hindu Temple of the Indo-Caribbean community in NYC to focus on social justice issues, which included addressing gender-based violence and uplifting LGBTQ+ issues in the Caribbean diaspora. The event featured two community-based organizations, Jahajee Sisters, a group committed to empowering Indo-Caribbean women, and the Caribbean Equality Project, a group that advocates for Caribbean LGBTQ+ voices in NYC.

Pratima has been openly and actively advocating for LGBTQI rights for many years through volunteerism with organizations like APICHA, HRC, Chutney Pride, Caribbean Equality Project, NYC Pride, and through Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus - as a spiritual platform to discuss LGBTQI inclusion.

Karen K. Sonilal is a Trinidad-born, 24-year-old student of Architecture, Vedanta Philosophy and lover of the arts. She spends her pastimes by singing and dancing classical Indian music, creating artwork, poetry and by participating in a variety of Women Empowerment projects.

At the National Parks, Sonilal serves as the Indo-Caribbean community liaison, where she engages her community in eco-friendly Hindu worshiping and projects that help her fulfill a passion for sustainability and an eco-conscious world. As a member of the Jahajee Sisters Women’s Empowerment Group; she aspires to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence and end the vicious cycle of abuse in her community.