Honoring Asian Voices for Heritage Month!
Join us in honoring and amplifying Asian voices for heritage month! Our speakers share poignant perspectives on navigating the diasporic voice – help us amplify their contributions, achievements, and important cultural analyses of the pan-Asian identity. Their works, spanning fiction, nonfiction, and poetry alongside their advocacies, offer so much to teach readers, writers, and listeners of Asian stories.
Book any of our speakers today by emailing Rob Firing at speakers@transatlanticagency.com!
Highlighted Speakers
Catherine Hernandez
Catherine Hernandez (she/her) is an award-winning author and critically acclaimed screenwriter. She is a proud queer woman who is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent and married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, Scarborough won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for several awards including Canada Reads 2022. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and made the CBC’s Best Canadian Fiction. Her current novel, The Story of Us, was published earlier this spring by HarperCollins.

Speaking Topics
– What Would Ms Hina Do? Building sustainable and sincere community relationships like Ms Hina in Scarborough
– Embodied Allyship: Creating a Daily Practice Towards Sincere and Sustainable Change
– Adapting Books to Film and Television
– Public Readings for Authors and Artists
To find out more, please visit Catherine’s personal website HERE

To book Catherine for one of your events, email speakers@transatlanticagency.com.
Robin Ha
Robin Ha (She/her) is a Korean American cartoonist based in Winchester, VA. She is the author and the illustrator of Almost American Girl, a 2020 Harvey Award nominee and 2021 Walter Award honoree memoir, and Cook Korean!: A Comic Book With Recipes, a New York Times bestselling cookbook graphic novel. Her comics and illustrations have appeared in various publications including The Washington Post, and LA Times, as well as in anthologies highlighting Asian American culture including RISE: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now, New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei, and Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities).
Speaking Topics Include:
– Comics Career Talk 
– Tasty Colors: The Creativity of Cooking & Drawing
– Asian American Identity: Are You Korean? American? Or, Both?
– Korean Food Adventures

To find out more, please visit Robin’s personal website HERE

To book Robin for one of your events, email speakers@transatlanticagency.com.
Manjushree Thapa
Manjushree Thapa is the author of fiction and literary nonfiction books inspired by her country of origin, Nepal. She also translates Nepali literature into English. Her book on the massacre of the royal family and the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy, was a finalist for the Lettre Ulysses Prize in 2006. In 2008 she won the Canada Council for the Arts’ annual Joseph S Stauffer Prize in Literature. She has received several other recognitions, including a PEN/Heim grant for literary translation and a Fulbright fellowship.

Speaking Topics:
– Politically Engaged Literature
– Identity, Rights, and Writing
– The Movement for Democracy in Nepal
– Literary Translation

To find out more, please visit Manjushree’s personal website HERE

To book Manjushree for one of your events, email speakers@transatlanticagency.com.
Kamal Al-Solayle
Kamal Al-Solaylee is the author of the national bestseller Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, which won the 2013 Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the CBC’s Canada Reads and the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His second book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Nonfiction, the Trillium Book Award and won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From was published in 2021 and was a Globe and Mail and CBC Best Book of the Year.
Speaking Topics:
– Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From
– What being brown in the world today means (to everyone)

To find out more, please visit Kamal’s speaker page HERE

To book Kamal for one of your events, email speakers@transatlanticagency.com.
Sharon Bala
Sharon Bala’s best-selling debut novel, The Boat People, won the 2020 Newfoundland & Labrador Book Award and the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, was short listed for several awards, and is in translation in four languages. In 2017 she won the Writers’ Trust/ McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for her short story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and had a second story on the long-list. Sharon is a member of The Port Authority, a St. John’s writing group. She’s currently working on a second novel and writing a play.

Speaking Topics:
– Politically Engaged Literature
– Arrivals: Timing and Luck in Canada’s Refugee System and the Two Faces of Nationalism

To find out more, please visit Sharon’s personal website HERE

To book Sharon for one of your events, email speakers@transatlanticagency.com.
Yusra Ahmad
Dr. Yusra Ahmad, MD, FRCPC, is a community & academic psychiatrist in Toronto with specific expertise in trauma, mood & anxiety disorders as well as SPMI (severe & persistent mental illness) populations. She believes in the power of psychotherapy to address the struggles that spring from the human condition and is dedicated to community work & advocacy around diverse issues such as marginalization, poverty, homelessness, refugee mental health, gender-based violence and the struggles of Muslim youth & families. A poet at heart, Dr. Ahmad loves to live in between the lines because she believes a lot of power & beauty springs from these liminal spaces. She cares deeply about people and their stories. She was awarded the 2019 Breakout Community Psychiatry Advocacy Award by the Ontario Psychiatric Association.
Speaking Topics:
– The Stories We Hold: Sharing Perspectives from the Intersection of Faith, Race, Gender & Mental Illness 
– Mindfully Muslim Workshop: An Experiential Journey
Broken Geodes: Sacred Meaning, Healing & Poetry

To find out more, please visit Dr. Ahmad’s speaker page HERE

To book Dr. Ahmad for one of your events, email speakers@transatlanticagency.com.
Uzma Jalaluddin
Uzma Jalaluddin is a bestselling author, playwright, and educator. She writes nuanced and entertaining stories about South Asian, Muslim, first and second generation immigrants in Canada. Her debut novel, Ayesha At Last, was featured on The Today Show, and was a Cosmopolitan UK Book of the Year. Her second novel, Hana Khan Carries On, was named a Best Romance by the Washington Post and has been optioned for film by Amazon Studios and Mindy Kaling. She is also the author of the forthcoming novels Much Ado About Nada and Three Holidays and a Wedding, a multi-faith holiday romcom she co-wrote with NYT bestselling author Marissa Stapley. Her debut play, The Rishta, is a farcical family comedy which premiered in Montreal at the Centaur Theatre, produced by Silk Road Institute, North America's first professional Muslim theatre company. In addition to writing, Uzma has taught public high school in Ontario for almost two decades. She lives in the GTA with her husband and two teenage sons.
Speaking Topics:
Countering Islamophobia through empathy and story
Why Stories Matter: teaching diverse texts in the classroom
Save Our Schools, Save Ourselves: the impact and importance of public education on marginalized communities

To find out more, please visit Uzma’s personal website HERE

To book Uzma for one of your events, email speakers@transatlanticagency.com.

All speakers can be booked for in- person, or specially formatted for remote conferencing.

For more information on any Transatlantic speaker, visit Transatlantic Speakers

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