HASC Inaugural Summit
HASC held an inaugural summit on March 27, 2010 at the Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, MD. The Summit generated spirited dialogue about the Hindu American identity, faith and how the Hindu community’s civic engagement strengthens America. The Summit yielded an “umbrella of common principles” to collectively build and sustain healthy American communities.
Augmenting “Umbrella of Common Principles”
The summit panelists and members pinpointed to top issues of concern and developed areas of focus for HASC to move forward. The following summarizes key action areas that were identified during the summit:
  1. Establish a Hindu American Seva Corps: Establish a Hindu American Seva Corps. to spur a sustainable nationwide collective Seva movement.
    1. Empower youths to volunteer and take action in the Hindu community through recognitions (i.e. community service credit, college credit, etc.).
  2. Education: Education should be the theme for a national initiative for Summer 2010 (focus of Summer Seva of 2009 was health and poverty reduction). Under the theme of education the following action items were recommended:
    1. Tutors for high needs population of youths
    2. Address the education needs of youths outside of Hindu American community
    3. Improve youths’ literacy skills, primarily reading ability.
    4. Volunteer resources to close the achievement gap for the low high school graduation rates in the U.S.
  3. Foster technology-based solutions: Foster ways to develop technologically based solution to connect various seva and educational resources and to collect data to provide comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the community.
  4. Establish Full-time Staff: Obtain resources to hire full-time, paid staff to further develop HASC
Speakers included:
  1. Ana Maria Arumi, M.A. Math CenterRuth Baker, Jewish Charities
  2. Kumar Barve, Majority Leader, Maryland House of Delegates
  3. Ruth S. Baker-Battist, Jewish Federation 
  4. Anju Bhargava, Member, President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  5. Ved Chaudhary, Former Assistant Commissioner, NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
  6. Harivilas of the Vedic Cultural Center of Shammamish, WA
  7. Minauti Dave, Former journalist and English teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District
  8. Candy Hill, Senior Vice President for Social Policy and Government Affairs, Catholic Charities of USA
  9. Keshav Khanjjow, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  10. Padma Kuppa, Writer, IT Professional and Co-Founder of the Troy Interfaith Group
  11. Aesha Mehta, Hindu Youth Association at the Allentown Hindu Temple
  12. Shekar Narasimhan, Managing Director of Beekman Advisors and Community Activist
  13. Suketu Patel, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
  14. Dr. Siva Subramanian, Professor and Chief of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Georgetown University and Community Activist
  15. Mara Vanderslice, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  16. Anurag Varma, Public Policy Counsel, Embassy of India to the United States
Conference Highlights
Read about the Conference Highlights
Inagural Summit Reflections - An essay by Padma Kuppa