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#RedefineAtoZ: Samhita Mukhopadhyay's leap of faith led her to journalism and Teen Vogue

As the executive editor of Teen Vogue, Samhita Mukhopadhyay said she's inspired by activism and young people speaking truth to power.
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NAME: Samhita Mukhopadhyay

AGE: 39

HOMETOWN: Putnam Valley, NY

TWITTER: @TheSamhita / INSTAGRAM: @TheSamhita

How do you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Samhita and I'm an author, speaker, and professional feminist. I'm currently the executive editor of Teen Vogue.

What inspires you?

So many things: I'm inspired by beautiful art and fashion, specifically street wear and anything that bares the soul of women of color. I'm inspired by activism and activists and young people speaking truth to power. I'm inspired by love and my friends, my family, and, of course, my cats!

What challenges you?

Oppression, racism, classism, sexism. Perhaps not as much me specifically as they are social experiences I think about and grapple with constantly because of the impact they have on large swaths of people. Also, stress — stress really challenges me.

Tell us about the biggest risk you ever took.

The biggest risk I ever took was to quit my day job and commit to writing. I can say now that it was the right choice, but at the time I just had an internet connection and a dream (lol, sorry). I have now written two books, countless articles, and this is my third job running a newsroom so I'm glad I did it, but I was late to the game (27) and it was a big leap of faith and everyone thought I was crazy including myself.

What are you reading/watching/listening to these days?

I read books written by women and people of color. The last few books I read and loved were Jaclyn Friedman's "Unscrewed," Morgan Jerkins' "This Will Be My Undoing," and currently working through the galley of Michael Arceneaux's soon to be released "I Can't Date Jesus." And of course: "NASTY WOMEN."

I watch a lot of TV: currently watching the fourth season of "Being Mary Jane" but also have recently binged through "The Good Place," "Jessica Jones," and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."

I'm obviously listening to the new Cardi B.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what career would you want to pursue?

I'd be a fashion designer or stylist.

What’s your motto?

Everyday I'm hustlin'.

I celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month because…

…it gives us the opportunity to reflect on being Asian, Asian American and the ways our racial and ethnic identities have been used to divide us and how we can talk across those differences.

NBC Asian America Presents: A to Z aims to celebrate the emerging voices and breakout stars of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. These individuals aren’t just reading the dictionary of what it means to be Asian American and Pacific Islander in America; they’re writing new definitions every day.

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