News Column

San Jose Mercury News Sal Pizarro column

February 19, 2014

By Sal Pizarro, San Jose Mercury News

Feb. 19--Great news for Maitri, the Santa Clara-based nonprofit that provides support for South Asian women, especially those in domestic violence situations: Its Feb. 8 fundraiser at Mountain View's Computer History Museum raised more than $500,000.

A sold-out audience of more than 400 people attended the event, "Black and White and Everything in Between," which featured a performance by New York-based Bollywood singer Jeffrey Iqbal and a display of paintings by contemporary South Asian artists that was curated by Bindiya Khanna.

Guests included Arun Kumar, recently a partner at KPMG who has been nominated to be an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce; entrepreneur Kamil Hasan; TiE Silicon Valley past presidents Kailash Joshi and Vish Mishra; and hotelier B.B. Patel.

For more information on Maitri and its services, go to

FOOD FOR THOUGHT AT MACLA: Food, culture and family all came together Saturday at MACLA, the Latino arts center in downtown San Jose, for "Love, Food, Love," an interactive performance featuring Robert Karimi (as his alter ego Mero Cocinero) and the People's Cook.

The show, which has been touring the country, is part theater and part cooking show. And while it sounds like a lot of fun, there are also some serious issues tackled, like the connection between poor eating and health problems like diabetes.

Karimi, an Iranian-Guatemalan artist who was raised in Newark, grew up in San Jose's spoken-word scene in the 1990s. He's been in residence at MACLA for the past week and did a free performance Feb. 8 at San Pedro Square Market.

GUY KAWASAKI'S ANIMAL SIDE: Onetime Apple evangelist and all-around tech guru Guy Kawasaki has joined the board of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. Kawasaki says he saw it as a good way to give back to the Burlingame-based animal welfare group, where he adopted four members of his family -- two dogs and two rabbits.

Kawasaki's isn't the only big name on the board, which also includes Vanessa Getty, Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman and Walt Disney Family Museum Executive Director Kirsten Komoroske.

Contact Sal Pizarro at Follow him at


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