We all know and love M. Night Shyamalan as a world renowned director, producer and actor who was labeled “the next Spielberg” by Newsweek in 2002. His films have grossed over $3 billion globally with cult classics like The Sixth Sense which received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, Signs, The Last Airbender, and The Unbreakable Series.
We may also be fans of Saleka, his daughter who is a singer songwriter and wrote an original song for his recent release, Old, with a voice smooth as silk reminiscent of old school R&B.
But today, I’m honored to interview M. Night’s wife, Bhavna Vaswani Shyamalan, who is the silent strength of the family and is the glue who is keeping it all together.
For more than 15 years, Bhavna Shyamalan, PhD, has served in her role as co-founder and vice-president of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation. The foundation focuses on discovering and supporting grassroots leaders around the world who are moving depressed communities out of poverty and oppression. These global leaders are empowering their communities by supporting social justice, equality, and access to basic needs such as food, water, and education.
A deep belief in human-dignity and freedom as a birthright, as well as in our joint responsibility to become participants in the fight for social equity and justice, have been Dr. Shyamalan’s driving force in creating and steering the efforts of the foundation. With an international upbringing and global perspective, Dr. Shyamalan has developed a keen awareness of the power of poverty to determine the life course of individuals, families, and communities by severely limiting opportunity and choice. The foundation leaders work to eliminate those barriers. More recently, Dr. Shyamalan has focused her foundation on helping the most disenfranchised communities; the forgotten and “disposable’ people entrapped and exploited by modern day slavery and human trafficking.
Although born in India, Bhavna was raised in Hong Kong before her family moved to the U.S. An immigrant herself, Dr. Shyamalan is keenly aware of the challenges posed to immigrants in any new country. Having travelled widely, however, her exposure to different people and cultures has not only reinforced her belief in the gift diversity brings, but also deepened her commitment to valuing each individual life.
Dr. Shyamalan oversees the foundation’s international grants, the implementation of its vision and mission, strategic growth, fundraising, and overall operations.
Additionally, DR. B (as she is known in the fitness world) is co-owner at Vibe Vault Fit, a boutique fitness & wellness studio in PA, and has been teaching Dance Fitness classes since 2011.
Dr.B’s believes working out can be inspired, and should address health and fitness in all aspects, including body, mind, spirit. In addition to teaching dance fitness classes, Dr. B also manages the “mind” and “spirit” side of Vibe Vault Fit, running workshops, and talking about how to uplift our lives through the Vibe Vault Fit podcasts and blogs. Her vision for Vibe Vault Fit is to promote a warm community, that will walk together toward a healthier, more fulfilling, and extraordinary life. Dr. B sees wellness, like happiness, as a mindset. Her goal is to help you make your own wellness a priority and claim the life that is waiting for you.
Earlier in her career, Dr. Shyamalan worked as a therapist in the counseling centers of Swarthmore College and St. Joseph’s University. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Developmental Psychology from Bryn Mawr College and her B.A. in psychology from New York University.
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