Monday, March 25, 2013

HASC on Capitol Hill Forum: Engaging Diverse Voices of Faith for the Common Good

HASC on Capitol Hill Forum: Engaging Diverse Voices of Faith for the Common Good
Event Airing on TV Asia’s Community Round Up on March 25th and 27th

Washington, D.C.- Faith traditions have strong common values that support those seeking the common good and against extremism around the world. What might be the role of faith leaders in international peace building, and how do we engage diverse faith voices of moderation for more harmonious relationships? 

This was addressed on Wednesday, March 20th  at the Capitol Hill.  Hindu American Seva Communities cosponsored and participated in this Forum: Engaging Diverse Voices of Faith for the Common Good, along with Global Peace Foundation, Nahdlatul Ulama USA, Global Young Leaders Academy, National Vision & Public Engagement, Communities of Peace.

This forum convened a small panel of faith leaders to consi.der how to forge more effective diplomacy, working with and alongside those of diverse religious traditions based on shared values.  Mr. Michael Marshall, Editor Emeritus, United Press International served as the moderator. Speakers included  Dr. Rosa Djalal, President of Muslim Women’s Association USA,   Dr. Shalahudin Kafrawi, Hobart & William Smith College; Chairman, Nahdlatul Ulama USA,  Ms. Anju Bhargava, Founder, Hindu American Seva Communities,  Rev. Mark Farr, Director of the Center for Multifaith Partnerships, Ms. Emira Soleha Ramli, Student, Syracuse University.

Anju Bhargava, Founder Hindu American Seva Communites, presented an overview of the history of Hindu people and the challenges they have faced over the millennia.  She highlighted the many ways in which the Hindu American community faces stereotypes and prejudices.  She discussed the Hindu and the Dharmic community engagement in seva (service) and the Hindu traditional science of healing (suchas yoga and meditation) can serve to augment the peace building effort and diffuse conflict both locally and globally. 

“Many of us who do seva (service as a self realization process), find we are applying the principles of our spiritual practice (sadhana) in many spheres of our lives and are transforming. Our namaste honors Divinity within each of us. We serve understanding the whole world is one single family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam). We find our seva affecting our inner self, and see its experience of ethics in the way we work and play, what we buy, the way we treat people, and how we engage in relationships. Let’s extend that transformative awareness to the decisions we make for our schools, communities and our country, for peace building and the common good”.

Brief Highlights of this event is scheduled for airing on TV Asia Community Roundup program on March 25th at 10:30pm (ET) and repeated for West Coast viewers at 11:30pm (PT). This program will also be repeated on March 26th at 7:30pm (ET).

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