The Hindu Community Relations Council (HCRC) celebrated its first anniversary at the Bloomfield Township Public Library on June 26th, attended by the representatives of various partner organizations, community leaders and other supporters.
Narayanaswamy (Nasy) Sankagiri, president of HCRC welcomed the distinguished gathering and the program started with a traditional Hindu musical invocation, rendered by sisters, Rithivika and Sathvika Uttaradi.
Nasy introduced the current board members of HCRC and briefly recounted the background in which the group had come together and launched HCRC on June 21 (International Yoga Day) in 2021 through a zoom meeting that was hosted by Roop Raj, the host of Fox2 Evening News. He recalled that Governor Whitmer issued a letter of congratulations to HCRC on that occasion.
Harita Vadari, a member of the HCRC Executive Board, presented the vision and mission of HCRC. She explained the items that HCRC defined as the priority action plan.
» Advocate on important issues, educating internal and external groups on them, and work with our elected officials;
» Serve as a source of credible, reliable, authentic information to media and others, about Michigan’s Hindu community, dispelling stereotypes and misconceptions
» Develop intra-Hindu network, facilitating conversation among HOWs, Hindu organizations and leaders;
» Partner with other faith groups and organizations on interfaith activities, aligned with our values of seva (service) and pluralism;
» Develop and establish support systems for Hindu students on college campuses.
Lakshmi Vadlamudi and Suril Patel, the secretary and treasurer of HCRC respectively, recounted the significant events and projects that HCRC took on during the past 12 months. Some of these dealt with tough social issues like opposing discrimination and (anti-Hindu) hate speech (for example, the anonymous online conference titled Dismantling Global Hindutva) while other activities celebrated Hindu religious pluralism, culture and unity. There were also several special programs that HCRC organized in partnership with other nonprofit organizations in the area that shared their values, as well as other programs at which HCRC board members presented the broader Hindu perspective. Recognizing that Hindu identity transcends beyond those that practice or not, those who believe in specific deities or no deities, across languages or countries of origin, HCRC shared its unique advocacy engagements with elected leaders and public officials.
Several guests spoke about their interaction with HCRC during the past 12 months, recalling the discussions, collaborations and joint programs. Kevin Hrit, Regional Director, Office of U.S. Senator Gary C. Peters, presented a commendation certificate on behalf of the Senator.
Distinguished religious and interfaith leaders such as Rabbi Asher Lopatin (JCRC/AJC), Dr. Paula Drewek (Bahaii), Rev. Stancy Adams (IFLC), Imam Arif Huskic (MASCH), Michael Hovey (Aspirations) and Ed Chezick (TIG) offered their congratulations.
Representatives of Hindu service organizations, Sreekanth Basserkode (HSS) and Savithri Raman (AIM for Seva) spoke about the value of the work HCRC has started from a Hindu perspective.
The formal program concluded with remarks from Dr. Anil Kumar (Member, BoT, Wayne State University). Visit https://www.mihindu.org
for more info.