Conference Speaker for the Gandhi-King Global Initiative (GKGI) Conference: The Uplift of All: Gandhi, King, and the Global Struggle for Freedom and Justice; October 11-13, 2019
Manjula Kumar is an educator, actor, director, filmmaker and activist with a strong belief in the arts as an agent to bring social and political change. After over 30 years of working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. as Program Director in the Office of Education. she is now working as an Independent Arts Consultant and Programmer. At present she is the President and Executive Director of Global Performing Arts. Through numerous academic projects and public programs she has worked tirelessly to build bridges of cross-cultural understanding between diverse communities. A two-day symposium on SUFIism, a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore and a retrospective of the entire work of the internationally acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray, are considered ground-breaking projects. In 2009 she was awarded the Fellowship Peace Award by the Gandhi Memorial Center in Bethesda, MD for her research and creative work and dedication to the understanding and appreciation of the Arts to promote Peace, Harmony and Understanding and Tolerance across religious, political, socio-economic boundaries. In 2016 she was recognized and given an award by Montgomery College in MD for her special Achievement in the Arts and Humanities. She works with the WDC International Film Festival as a program consultant and Member of a Jury. Currently she is working on her film - An Ode to Washington: Celebrating Multiculturalism. Born in Kolkatta, India, educated in Delhi and London, England, now in her third incarnation, she continues her work as a Cultural Catalyst with the hope of creating a better world for all.