Chosen for her nonprofit work, Supna Jain gave MLK address to large audience
Feb 02, 2016
Supna Jain, North Central College adjunct instructor of communication, was a featured speaker on Jan. 16 at the 40th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Luncheon sponsored by the Human Relations Commission of Bloomington-Normal. She spoke to some 450 members, including the mayors of Bloomington Tari Renner and of Normal Chris Koos.
Jain was chosen to give the address because of her work as founder and artistic director of the nonprofit, volunteer-based dance troupe Aavegh, and because she was the 1996 recipient of the Youth “I Have a Dream” award, which is presented each year at the luncheon.
Aavegh’s mission it is to provide an artistic outlet for young professionals while giving back to society. In June 2015, Jain directed and choreographed a production themed “tyaag,” which means “letting go.” Attended by more than 400 members, including the Consul General of India and Pakistan, the production brought awareness of issues surrounding the act of “letting go” and Aavegh donated $3,500 to the American Nepal Medical Foundation toward its efforts to provide support to victims of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Through Aavegh’s productions, the nonprofit has raised more than $15,000 to support local and international charities. Aavegh recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary.
At the luncheon, Jain spoke on the importance of having compassion and learning skills to be empathetic as a means to overcome inequality. Addressing the benefits of social media and the challenges young adults face as critical consumers of information, she stated that social media can often confirm our existing biases, making it difficult to understand the issue. She said, “Inequality is still present; it’s just resurfacing in different ways. We have to take a stand on these issues.”
In addition to teaching classes in Speech Communication, Group Process and Interpersonal Communication at North Central College, Jain is conducting research on the identity construction of Indian daughters-in-law. She remains active with Aavegh and teaches Indian dance through the Naperville Park District.
Click here to view Jain’s faculty profile.