CYDC Youth Conference

Who Are We?

A Virtual Conference Activating Youth Voices in South Asian Diaspora

The first-of-its-kind leadership conference organized by young Kathak artists, cultivating South Asian American dialogue on identity, racism, and cultural norms. Join us for engaging youth guest speakers, North Indian classical dance lecture-demonstrations, and panel discussions to elevate the next generation of voices in shaping our future.

Under the direction and mentorship of renowned Kathak artist Rachna Nivas and assistant direction by Ahana Mukherjee.

Featured Guest Speakers:


Apoorva Handigol

(Age 23), Princeton in Asia Fellow, Mellon Mays undergraduate fellow in Black and Brown solidarity




Angel More

(Age 18), youngest to complete the California Triple Crown in marathon swimming, raising $1 million for children in poverty through Children International.


Saturday, July 11, 2020 “We are not a single story”

9:30 - 11AM              Closed Round-table Discussion: Being A Kathaka: How it shapes our identity as South Asian Americans (CLOSED TO PUBLIC)

12 - 1PM


Guest Speaker Angel More

Interviewed by Namita Nair followed by audience Q&A

1 - 3PM Kathak Lecture Demonstration

Mallika Parulekar, Graduating Senior of Chhandam Youth Dance Company

1:30 - 3PM Panel Discussion

South Asian Culture in the West: Breaking the monolithic view of our community

Panelists: Samika Saxena (18), Sharra Kutty (15), Diya Chatwani (15), Samika Agarwal (15), Kaavya Venuturupalli (14); Moderated by Ahana Mukherjee 


Sunday, July 12, 2020 “Finding the Ally Within”  

9:30 - 11AM              Closed Round-table Discussion: Black lives matter and the roles of South Asian youth in the fight for justice (CLOSED TO PUBLIC)

12 - 1PM


Guest Speaker Apoorva Handigol

Interviewed by Maanibha Sengupta followed by audience Q&A 

1 - 1:30PM Kathak Lecture Demonstration

Samika Saxena, Graduating Senior of Chhandam Youth Dance Company

1:30 - 3PM Panel Discussion

Having the Difficult Conversation: How South Asian cultural biases lead to racism and colorism

Panelists: Asha-Baudart Gehlawat (15), Mallika Parulekar (17), Himani Mishra (15), Saanshi Panigrahi (15), Monishka Tanwani (14); Moderated by Rachna Nivas 

Samika Saxena Dance Photo

Free Livestream Event


Presented by Chhandam Youth Dance Company in partnership with Leela Academy and Sureela Academy, supported by: