Members from the Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Caucasian communities exchanged views and ideas at the fifth annual ‘Unity Dinner’ hosted on March 24 by the Indo-American Community Federation at the Newark-Fremont Hilton in Fremont, CA. United States Representative Mike Honda, California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, Assembly Members Alberto Torrico and Johan Klehs, County Supervisors, Mayors, and City Managers of Fremont, Newark, Union City, and Hayward were among the clost 80 public officials at the event.
The evening was meant as an occasion to bring together various ethnic communities in California to celebrate the amalgamation of diverse cultures that has become a unique symbol of the region. The sell-out event was originally set for January to coincide with the birthday celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. but was postponed to March to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the City of Fremont.
“After 9/11, I saw a need for an event like this which can bring diverse public officials together with diverse community leadership. It gives the community an opportunity to understand different cultures come closer and also meet their elected representatives in a social setting.” Jeevan Zutshi, founder of the IACF.
“We need to look at things that are happening in our backyard,” Zutshi pointed out. He stressed the need for Indians to be more involved in issues like homelessness, hospitals and schools that need community cooperation. “Holding Unity dinners is a way of reminding us that we need to be involved in this community.”