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Why Should You Care For Hindu American Advocacy?

Sheetal Shah

Why Should You Care for Hindu American Advocacy?

What is the only organization focused on advocacy for the two million strong Hindu American community, to which you belong?

The Hindu America Foundation (HAF), a 501c3 non-profit, is unique in its ability to provide a national voice for Hindu Americans that is professional, credible and effective.

What, you may be wondering, do I mean by "advocacy", and why should you care?

Advocacy is ensuring our community's needs are heard and met by those leaders and elected officials who are making decisions and choices for that affect us.  HAF advocates by:
•    Knocking on Congressional doors to educate and inform our nation's leaders of issues affecting the Hindu American community
•    Developing products like the Media Toolkit to educate members of the media about Hinduism
•    Joining forces with various faith groups in legal battles to ensure religious freedom and the separation of church and state
•    Publishing an annual Hindu Human Rights Report and using it as a resource at Congressional caucus briefings to advocate for change
•    Ensuring Hinduism is fairly and accurately represented in school textbooks, as achieved through successful litigation against the CA State Board of Education in 2007

As part of the Hindu American community, you should care about and support HAF's important advocacy efforts because:
•    The laws made by elected officials directly impact you.  For example, had proposed amendments to the religious worker visa requirements, which defined "religious workers" in a purely Judeo-Christian framework, successfully been enacted, Hindus would have found it virtually impossible to staff our temples with our temple's more unique needs such as shilpis or sthapatis.  Thanks to HAF's advocacy efforts, the biased definitions were completely removed, thereby ensuring you and your children can continue to fully staffed temples.
•    The manner in which Hinduism is represented in the media affects American society's perception and treatment of you and your children.  
•    Your children and grandchildren will be ridiculed in school if textbooks depict Hindus only as a curry eating, cow loving, and caste based society worshiping a monkey god.   

You should care because you come from a 5,000 year old religion that has contributed yoga, ayurveda and meditation to the world.  You should care because your children and grandchildren need to know these facts so they too can be proud of their heritage.  You should care because you are a Hindu American.

Join HAF for its second annual awareness event in Boston on February 22, 2009 to learn more about its advocacy efforts on behalf of the Hindu American community and how you can help.  Attendance is open to all.  Details are listed below and available online at www.HAFsite.org.

Date:  Sunday, February 22, 2009
Time:  1:30 – 3:30pm
Location: MATCH School , 1001 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (note: entrance is on Babcock St)
RSVP: office@hafsite.org or 301.770.7835

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