Jaya, YKB Director

I am a lover of stories, whether it be in the form of a book, a Moth podcast or a riveting Netflix crime drama. My story began in Chennai, India and now continues to blossom in the Pacific Northwest. I work as a mental health therapist and live with my two delightful boys and my supportive and funny husband.  I was drawn to YKB first as a community member in the audience and then inspired to participate in 2012. I knew back then directing was a dream and am grateful to have been presented with this opportunity!

If I had a superpower it would be the ability to talk to animals.  

Motto: Breathe!

Cats or Dogs: Dogs!

Pronoun – She/her

Director’s Note



Title: Making Waves

I am a 20-something nonprofit event manager focused on living in the present. I love all things soul-nourishing: grandma’s cooking, bookstores and dancing till my feet ache.  

I chose to participate in YKB this year because I wanted to dive deeper into my roots and examine the effects of my socialization in a setting that is culturally specific and sometimes challenging because it goes against South Asian social norms. I’m at a pivotal period of my life and want to be able to understand where and what I come from to get to where I am going.

I hope that by sharing my story, I can disrupt the cycle of narrowly defined South Asian womanhood in my own family and in my community.

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be: teleportation!

My personal motto: everything happens for a reason- the universe finds a way to give you what you need.

Cats or dogs: Cats  

Pronoun – She/her



Title: Unbecoming

A poet, an artist, a music and nature lover, a dreamer. Wife, Mommy to a 11 year old and a teacher who teaches technology and art to kids.

Choice of participating in YKB was prompted by the calling to explore living life undefended and as an authentic expression of true self. I hope to create curiosity about how it might change things if we could cultivate a safe, sacred environment of relating to one another in ways that are non-judgemental and non-restrictive.

Superpower – Seriously, just getting laundry done with a snap of my fingers would make me very happy!!! Teleportation would be fabulous too. Wouldn’t mind weekend getaways to sunny places during Seattle winters.

Personal motto: You can only paint with colors that you have stirred up inside you.

Cats or dogs: Dogs

Pronoun – She/her



Title: Inherited Silence

I am a Floridian who moved to the Pacific Northwest for the vegan food. I work as an audiologist and recently started my own practice. Having been a fan of YKB for many years, I loved witnessing the healing, strength and support between YKB sisters at each performance. This year seemed the perfect opportunity to participate now that I have more time for myself.I think it is important for our community’s identity to be based on truthful, shared experiences rather than myths or expectations. I hope by telling my story I can help us get there.

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be flying.

Personal motto: Mottos suck.

Cats or dogs: Cats!

Pronoun – She/her



Title: Clouds Do Part

I am a kind and fiercely loyal woman who loves everything Desi- from Garba and Bhangra to Bollywood to Desi Khana. I call Tasveer my home and chose to participate in YKB this year after being profoundly inspired by last year’s stories. Through my story I hope to inspire changes in family dynamics in our culture and encourage people to have open dialogues around difficult subjects.

If I were a superhero, my power would be to bring comfort and calm to people in trouble.

My personal Motto: This too Shall Pass  

Cats or dogs: I love dogs, hate cats – think they are the devil reincarnated.  

Pronoun – She/her



Title: Slavery to Bravery

I am a bold, confident decisive leader who joined YKB 2019 to enlighten our community on the hidden  crime of human trafficking. I am a mom, sister and friend, motivational speaker and chef. I hope by telling my story that I can inspire the humanity in us all.

If I were a superhero, my super power would be to have the ability to FLY because airplane tickets cost too much to travel and see the beautiful world.

Personal motto: BE BOLD. BE KIND.

Cats or dogs: NO PETS FOR ME

Pronoun- She/her



Title: Calm After Storm

I am a single  mom to an amazing and handsome son Eshan. By profession, I am a newbie Real Estate Assistant and loving it! I chose to participate in YKB this year because I am ready now than ever before to celebrate myself differently today. I am here to tell my story because its my story of courage, wisdom, and strength I have gained through the journey of suffering

If I were a Superhero, my Superpowers would be to heal people in ailments and diseases.

My Personal Motto: Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% on how you react to it.

Cats or dogs : dogs

Pronoun – She/her



Title: Grief & Gratitude

I’ve borne witness to stories shared at YKB for over a decade. I have been moved by the courage and authenticity of the participants and the community that shows up to support them and to reflect on its own condition.

I grew up all over India and the Pacific Northwest has been home for 17 years. At work, I operate in the niche between HR and Technology. At home, I apply systems thinking principles to decode the human experience. I am mom to two energetic nine-year-old boys and love travelling and exploring life, with my husband.

Seeing and being seen through our stories has the power to transform the listener, the storyteller, the story and the community. It was time to speak my truth.

My story has helped me re-frame old narratives around primary relationships and pivotal events in my life. The light I shine on my past, gives me clarity for the future. I hope my story adds to the voices that bring a positive change in our community.

Superpower: The power to help people see the sacredness of their soul.

Personal motto: Follow your highest excitement!

Cats or dogs: Both, but dogs like me more 🙂

Pronoun – She/her


Cynthia (Mumtaz)

Title: The Weight of a Decision

I am a mother of two sons, a center-fielder, a wife, an auntie, and a sister.  A maker of tatertot casserole, and an Academic Adviser in the Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) Department at UW.

I signed up for YKB to be in community. To be brave. To be vulnerable.  I’m a Pakistani woman and a mother of mixed-race children. I realize how important having a strong sense of identity is for me and my family.  That begins with sharing my story. The love, the joy, and the pain. I hope others will find connections to the echoes of who I am.

My superpower is being a mom.  It’s that simple. It’s that incredible.  

Personal motto: Surround yourself with passionate people.  

Cats or dogs:  I’m allergic to both but I like cats

Pronoun – She/her



Title: Rage

I am  a daughter, a sister and an Aunt, working in luxury fashion, a world traveler and a lover of people. I  chose YKB as I wanted to find a platform to share my own journey of pain and betrayal and in turn grow from it.

Life isn’t only about the destination but the extraordinary connections you have along the way.  2019 is a year that I did not want to sit back. There was something missing in my life and I just felt I was going round and round on that hamster wheel.  Today, I am here because I learnt the art of forgiveness through YKB and my sisters.

If I had a Superpower, it would be to be able to ‘unbreak’ the hearts of parents who have lost their children to death because to me, losing your child has to be the most painful experience ever and raising a child has to be the toughest job in the world.

My motto – Find your tribe and do what makes you happy.

Cats or dogs: A dog lover always   

Pronoun – She/her