Association of Kannada Kootas of America
AKKA is a 501(c)(3) registered Educational, Linguistic and Cultural non-profit organization to integrate, coordinate, network and unite the activities of all Kannadigas and Kannada Kootas for promotion and preservation of Kannada language and culture in North America. Over the years, AKKA has evolved into a platform to connect NRI Kannadigas and those back home in Karnataka for both cross-border cultural activities and business enabler. Through its 40+ chapters spread across USA and Canada, AKKA reaches over 150,000 Kannadigas in North America.
AKKA is Non-profit organization formed to integrate, coordinate, network and unite the activities of all Kannadigas and Kannada Kootas to promote and preserve Kannada language and culture in North America.
AKKA was born in February 1998, at the World Kannada Sammelana-98 held in USA at Phoenix, Arizona. A group of prominent Kannadigas who believed in the need for a central organization. The first AKKA World Kannada Conference was held in Houston, Texas hosted by Kannada Vrinda of Houston in the year 2000. Since 2000, across the United States of America, AKKA has successfully conducted eight World Kannada Conferences with 4000+ attendees per conference from across the US and around the world. Due to AKKA’s contribution to Kannadigas in North America, State of Karnataka has recognized AKKA with Rajyotsava Award.
In the past 17 years, AKKA has consistently developed and executed year round programs to promote education, language, culture, business and provided a platform to engage Kannadigas of all age groups to participate in activities that have made them proud of their roots. Listed below are the various activities AKKA has undertaken
Youth Forum: AKKA has constantly strived to enable Kannada youth in North America with social and leadership skills via various programs and initiatives which has helped them in their academic programs. At the youth forum during several AKKA conferences, AKKA has provided opportunity for youth to share and discuss topics such as entrepreneurship, importance of volunteering, community involvement, college admission process and others.
Business Forum: During the previously held AKKA conferences, Business Forum has consistently been a huge attraction for the attendees. These forums has provided opportunity for Kannadigas to network with entrepreneurs, seek mentorship, generating business leads. Many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders such as Kumar Malavalli, Jerry Rao, Gururaj Deshpande, KirthiMelekote, BN Bahadur, B.V. Jagadeesh and many others were keynote speakers during these business forums. Dignitaries from Karnataka including Chief Minister, Industries Minister, members from Industries and Commerce have addressed these forums. These forums have enabled US private and public entities in exploring business opportunities with business in Karnataka. AKKA in collaboration with Govt. of Karnataka – Commerce and Industries Department held successful Global Investors Meet Roadshow in various US Cities to set up business in Karnataka.
Education Forum: AKKA has awarded scholarships to US Kannadiga high school students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, community involvement. AKKA has partnered with Overseas University of Mysore Alumni Association for the University’s centennial celebrations.
Charitable Foundation: AKKA has involved in various charitable activities including providing books, clothing to needy school children in Karnataka. Some of the funds have helped primary schools across Karnataka in improving building infrastructure. AKKA has made significant financial contribution to Sankara Eye Foundation Hospital in Bangalore, and for the flood relief – Chief Minister’s fund for rebuilding efforts.
Culture and Language: AKKA through the several World Kannada Conferences and other events has provided opportunities for thousands of artists from all over Karnataka to demonstrate their talent here in USA. Doing so, AKKA has created a platform for these artists who otherwise wouldn’t have exposure to perform in the North American region. Eminent Kannada writers, poets have participated in AKKA conferences such as S.L. Byrappa, Nissar Ahmed, ChandrashekaraKambara, JayanthKaikini among others. Many books and CDs have been released during AKKA conferences.