Stand Your Ground with
Victoria Christopher Murray
January 27, 2018 – 3:00 pm

National bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray’s brings her novel, Stand Your Ground, to the BATC stage in our first Speaker Series of the season.  Ms. Murray speaks to the themes of her book, race, motherhood, marriage, and vigilante justice, in this forum to bring a deeper awareness of the fragile relationships facing families of color and civil enforcement.

Victoria Christopher Murray always knew she would become an author, even as she was taking an unlikely path to that destination.  A native of Queens, Victoria first left New York to attend Hampton University where she majored in Communication Disorders. After graduating, Victoria attended New York University where she received her MBA.  Victoria spent ten years in Corporate America before she tested her entrepreneurial spirit. She opened a Financial Services Agency for Aegon, USA where she managed the number one division for nine consecutive years. However, Victoria never lost the dream to write and when the “bug” hit her again in 1997, she answered the call.  Victoria originally self-published her first novel, Temptation and in 2000, Time Warner published that novel. Temptation made numerous best sellers list and remained on the Essence bestsellers list for nine consecutive months. In 2001, Temptation was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in Outstanding Literature.

Since Temptation, Victoria has written over twenty other adult novels, including JOY, Grown Folks Business, The Ex Files, The Deal, the Dance and the Devil and the popular Jasmine Cox Larson Bush series of which she recently partnered with ReShonda Tate Billingsley to co-author the last in this series entitled Blessing & A Curse, released April 18, 2017.  Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being a pioneer in African American Fiction.  Since 2007, Victoria has won nine African American Literary Awards for best novel, best Christian fiction and Author of the Year — Female.   After four nominations, Victoria was honored to win an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for her social commentary novel, Stand Your Ground.  Several of Victoria’s novels have been optioned to become movies, including The Deal, the Dance and the Devil and the Ex Files series.  With over one million books in print, Victoria is one of the country’s top African American contemporary author.  Victoria splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington D.C.  In Los Angeles, she attends Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church under the spiritual tutelage of Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford and she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

 Mindfulness & Meditation
with Farahana Surya Namaskar
June 30, 2018 – 3:00 pm

Local author and speaker, Farahana Surya Namaskar, uniquely blends her cultural diversity and experiences to aid other to find their “center and balance” through the art of meditation.  Explore techniques for creating a peaceful mind and environment.

Farahana Surya Namaskar is a published author and speaker located in Dallas, TX. Born in Vancouver, Canada, raised in Nairobi, Kenya and of Indian, Asian roots, Namaskar uniquely blends her cultural diversity and real-life experiences into her written and spoken work.

Much of her written and spoken work addresses controversial topics that she is passionate about which she believes must be brought to the forefront of our society’s awareness. Living in the US has exposed Namaskar to witnessing first hand, the stereotypical attitudes and perceptions towards Muslims. Society’s constant need to categorize individuals in all ways possible has further exposed Namaskar to the wrath of her minority status as a woman, a divorced woman and a divorced Muslim woman.

Breaking away from these attachments, stereotypes and labels has become Namaskar’s entry into her purpose driven life. She describes herself as a dreamer, and idealist, a seeker, a visionary and a game changer.  Some of her most passionate topics she brings to the forefront include but are not limited to; “Mastering Fear”, “The Mask We Live In”, “Brands and Labels”, “Seeking Validation” and “Judgment”.

Her 6 year old son is her earth angel who inspires her every day. Her most recent written work is a children’s book called “Doing and Being” which teaches children and parents the importance of mindfulness; our ability to use our breath and five basic senses to stay anchored in the present moment. She reminds readers through her book that “Doing is important, but don’t forget about being”.