At veza, we honour the work of inspiring leaders every single day. Not just the known and notable but rather, everyday women who are drawing upon and celebrating their culture while making a lasting difference in their community using their gifts. From authors and teachers, CEOs to entrepreneurs, not-for-profit directors, artists, and more, these women are changing the face of leadership.

These are truly women to watch and veza community is so pleased to share their brilliance.

May their stories inspire YOU to rise.

Meet Mita Naidu.

After an early career in academia, and more recently at Ballet BC, Paromita Naidu is now the Director of Development and Communications at WISH Drop-In Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Trained in bharatnatyam and ballet, she performed at the Winter Olympics in 2010, and taught dance for many years.

Her story is one that is deeply embedded in the arts, athletics and advocacy.

Now focused on youth and community engagement – she also sits on several prominent boards including the Vancouver International Jazz Festival Board, The Vancouver International Children’s Festival and has recently left the the city-appointed Advisory Board on cultural communities (CCAC)- after 6 years. Previous Board experiences include: the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society & The Indian Summer Festival and the Diwali Celebration Society. She was also recently appointed by Heritage Canada & the Royal BC Museum, as a consultant on the “South Asian Canadian Historic Places Project”.

Published in academic journals, as well as major mainstream media publications- her voice and perspectives are sought by those looking for insight into Canadian social & educational issues. Paromita is the recipient of two BC Arts Council grants, and was named one of “12 Remarkable Women in Vancouver” by the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Parks Board in 2012. She is often asked to speak in classrooms and formal panels about volunteerism, community engagement, social justice, diversity, intersectionality and diasporic issues.

Born in Kolkata, India, she grew up in Canada; and keeps her life balanced through politics, boards, sports, dance, writing and youth movements.

A single mother of two remarkable and revolutionary children (11 & 15), she also cares for her elderly parents. The entire family resides in North Delta. Her education includes a BA, an MA and an MHA (New York University and University of British Columbia).

Tell me in 100 words who you are? How would you describe yourself.

So tell us, Mita: What inspires you most? What motivates you to get up every morning?

My family, community engagement, and connection.

What is it that you feel that you teach others through how you act/show up each day?

To stand in your truth. To stand against oppression. To stand for others.

What is one change you’d like to see in the world?

Equity… as it pertains to access, opportunity and success.

Which of your contributions to date have given you the greatest sense of pride?

If you know a leader we should feature please invite her to share her story with us here.