IACF recently hosted its 16th annual Unity Dinner on Friday, March 24th at India Community Center in Milpitas. The main topic of discussion during this dinner meeting was “Renewing our Commitment to Promoting Unity in diversity”. In spite of rainy evening, all the guests have arrived ahead of the meeting time and eagerly waited for the start time. There were over 300 guests attended the event, and most of them have been attending this annual unity dinner for many years. The main stage was well decorated with large banner of Unity dinner along with large flags of India and USA.
This unity dinner event was attended by many high-profile elected officials that included Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Consul General of India Venkatesan Ashok, California State Controller Betty Yee, California State Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma, AP Special Representative to North America Jayaram Komati, California State Assembly Members Kansen Chu, Bill Quirk and Ash Kalra, Mayor of Fremont Lily Mei, Ex. Mayor of Milpitas Jose Esteves, Mayor of Cupertino Savita Vaidhyanathan, Fremont City Council Members Raj Salwan, Rick Jones, Vinnie Bacon, Dave Bonaccorsi, Board President of Cupertino Union School District Anjali Kausar, Fremont Unified School District Board Trustee Dr. Yang Shao, Alameda County Water District Director Aziz Akbari, Union Sanitary Board Trustee Anjali Lathi, Fremont Police department Captain Kim Peterson, and many others.
Among the honored speakers, the insight views from the Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Consul General of India Venkatesan Ashok, California State Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma, Former Congressman Mike Honda, California State Assembly Members Kansen Chu and Ash Kalra, Chris Moylan from Congressman Ro Khanna’s office, Fremont Police department Captain Kim Peterson and other officials were enlightening and inspiring, and gave a good direction and built confidence for unity in diversity which is the fundamental goal of the IACF. The messages from all the speakers very motivating and inspiring to promote and foster the unity and diversity.
Speaking at this occasion, “In wake of recent unfortunate hate crime against Indo-Americans we feel proud that our ancient culture and spiritual wisdom have something unique to offer, even today, to reinvigorate nonviolence in America. We need to put more effort to share our cultural strengths with the broader diverse population in this time of suspicion and fear that will take down the wall of ignorance that keeps distance between our cultures and our neighbors. India’s sages, thousands of years ago, referred to the whole world as one human family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam,” said Jeevan Zutshi, Chairman and Co-Founder of IACF.
“It is important for minorities to internalize and carry forward the unique traditions of this great country including the inalienable rights enshrined in the Constitution. The Unity Dinner is a celebration of these rights as extended to all Americans. Let us all pursue our life, liberty and happiness together, and fight the threats to them together as well”, said Dr. Subhash Garg, President of the IACF.
Ramesh Konda, Board of Directors of IACF, stated that “it is important that we promote diversity and unity to set role model to the future generations in view of the world is becoming smaller and smaller in terms of reachability, communication, and appreciation & respect to different cultures.”
The program was started with a social hour at 6:00pm and went until 11 pm which included key note speeches by the invited dignitaries, IACF annual awards presentation, and followed by an enthralling multi-cultural musical program.
The event is supported by Association of Indo-Americans (AIA) (Conglomerate of 23 non-profit organizations) and Global organization of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO- Silicon Valley). The Grand Sponsor of the event is IDC Technologies, Milpitas, CA. The Silver Sponsors are: Deepak Ganju (Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management), Ginny Bedi, Esq., and Godrej Properties.