Desi Talk - page 12

From Chicago Bureau
– CHICAGO
ore than 150 South
Asian Americans repre-
senting a cross-section
of the community ral-
lied in support of Jesus
‘Chuy’ Garcia’s bid for Chicago
mayor against incumbent Rahm
Emanuel at Holiday Inn by O’Hare
airport, March 28. Hosted by
Federation of Indian Associations’
leader Iftekhar Shareef, the rally
included the Indo American
Democratic Organization repre-
sented by its president Ram
Villivallam, and AmericanMuslim
Task Force On Civil Rights headed
by Pakistani American Akhtar
Lakhani.
Garcia vowed that his adminis-
tration will offer robust represen-
tation to South Asians both in the
city and in the sister-city agencies
to reflect the rainbow coalition
that is coming together and be
responsive to their concerns not
only from his office, but also
through his cabinet, his depart-
ments and other sister agencies
which he would preside over if
elected mayor.
Shareef said the Indian-
American community is excited at
Garcia’s prospects because of the
rainbow coalition he has galva-
nized.
Noting that the entire nation
would be watching this election,
Shareef pledged to put together a
large contingent of volunteers
fromDePaul University headed by
Fahad Zuberi, and actively deploy
them in the neighborhoods to
ensure that every vote cast for
Garcia is counted. Shareef’s young
son Azhar also spoke at the event
outlining the urgent need for lead-
ership change at City Hall.
Another youthful NewYork profes-
sional Kareem Lakhani also gave a
rousing introduction to Garcia as
an able leader.
Garcia had earlier walked
through Devon Avenue and
received a rousing reception from
retail businesses as he assured
them a business-friendly environ-
ment by promoting the sort of
small community establishments
that are the soul and character of
the City of Chicago.
Other prominent faces present
were Mansoor Lakhani, Sheila
Lakhani, Mohammed Gilani, ATA
founder president Hanumanth
Reddy, Kanti Patel, Babu Patel,
Bhailal Patel, Balvinder Singh, Dr.
Jaychand Pallekonda, Harish
Kolasani, Sher Rajput, Syed
Hussaini, Manoj Patel, Shabbir
Patel, Keerthi Ravoori, Shakir
Hussain, Shabbir Patel, Sabhat,
Jamal, JimRaim, David Shaffer
and Geneva Baker.
– that’s all you need to know
12
April 3, 2015
CITY VIEWS
M
Desis Continue to Join Garcia’s Rainbow Coalition for Mayor
From Chicago Bureau
– PALATINE, Ill.
C
ook County State’s
Attorney Anita Alvarez
visited the Sikh Religious
Society here March 22 to show-
case her “Hate Crimes Advisory
and Prosecutions Council” ini-
tiative. The councils goal is to
build relationships and develop
partnerships with the especially
vulnerable Sikh community
which will have a voice in the
council to recommend preven-
tive measures. She has named
Amrith Kaur Aakre to the
HCAPC and Rajinder Singh
Mago, a Sikh American commu-
nity outreach and public rela-
tions activist, to her Asian-
American Advisory Council.
Aakre, an Assistant State’s
Attorney, handles diversity pro-
grams, trains law enforcement
about the Sikh community.
Sikh Religious Society
President Jasbir Kaur Saluja,
community leaders and more
than 500 congregation members
were at the meeting with
Alvarez. A presentation on “Who
Are the Sikhs?” apprised Alvarez
and her staffers on how post-
9/11 Sikhs bore the brunt of bul-
lying and hate crimes. Efforts to
stop these crimes were dis-
cussed.
Alvarez was visibly moved
after watching the video of a 12-
year-old Sikh boy in Georgia
being taunted and bullied in a
school bus by his peers for
wearing his turban. “This boy is
actually my grandnephew. He
came home crying many times
saying that his classmates
mocked him daily,” Kuldip
Singh Makker said, and suggest-
ed educating youth at an early
age about diversity through
school curriculums.
Satnaam Singh Mago con-
tended it was the Judeo-
Christian mindset which was
hesitant of teaching about other
cultures.
Alvarez told the congregation
her office is working to educate
the public and local law
enforcement about the Sikh
community which suffered the
Aug. 5, 2012 massacre at the Oak
Creek,Wisconsin gurdwara.
“So we’re always worried that
something like that may happen
here, so we want to be ready…it
is my job to reinvigorate efforts
to raise awareness. Hate crimes
go unreported and have a ripple
effect on the entire community,”
Alvarez said. Despite FBI track-
ing, the rate of reporting has
lessened perhaps due to embar-
rassment, Alvarez said.
“There has been a significant
amount of negative media post
9/11, and there is still that per-
ception that many turban wear-
ing individuals in the U.S. are
Muslims, Middle Easterners
somehow connected to terror-
ism,” Aakre said.
“We do not mean to say that
since we are not Muslims so
leave us alone and go after
them. Our stand rather is that
no innocent person, no matter
what faith they belong to,
should be the target of hatred or
violence,” Mago said.
Statistics from the Sikh
Coalition show that more than
two-thirds of Sikh students are
victims of bullying, Aakre said.
From Chicago Bureau
– CHICAGO
T
he Indo-American Christian
Children of Chicago and
North America enacted the
universal message of seven words
of Christ on the Cross in their 30th
live presentation of the passion
play “Our Children, Our Good
Friday” at Bay Hope Lutheran
Evangelical Church inWhitefish
Bay,Wisconsin, March 28. The
play, dedicated to the late Dr.
Nikhil Siony, was co-organized by
BHLEC, India Christian
Fellowship of City ofWhitefish Bay
and the City of Milwaukee. The
BHLEC pastor Rev. Norene Smith,
conducted opening and closing
prayers. Siony, who was tragically
killed in a car accident in
Naperville, Illinois, this year, was a
strong IACC supporter. He served
with “DoctorsWithout Borders”
and in Afghanistan. Smith per-
formed special prayer for his wife
Nuthan Siony, who was present.
Regi Paul of IAAC is the founder
and producer of the passion play.
He and his wife Rita have built a
grassroots children ministry and
the hard work has paid off when
children performed to near per-
fection, Paul said. The children
received thundering applause and
a standing ovation from the jam-
packedWisconsin audience.
Cast members from different
backgrounds and church denomi-
nations of Chicago, Naperville and
surrounding suburbs came
together to enact the story of
Christ, an activity the organization
has been staging since 1998.
More than 150 staunch supporters gathered at Holiday Inn by O’Hare airport, March 28, with the shared objective
getting Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, rear row with mustache and black suit, elected mayor of Chicago.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who visited the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine, Illinois, March 22,
to showcase her “Hate Crimes Advisory and Prosecutions Council” initiative, is seen here in a blue jacket, with
Amrith Kaur Aakre to her right, visiting the Sikh Sunday School. Rajinder Singh Mago stands second from left,
Sikh Religious Society President Jasbir Kaur Saluja is third from left. The pictures at the back were drawn by the
school children to commemorate EcoSikh Day during the week of March 14.
Cook County Attorney Visits Gurdwara
to Promote Anti-Hate Crime Initiative
Children Enact Christ’s Passion to
Promote Peace and Non-Violence
Indo-American Christian Children of Chicago and North America performed their 30th live
presentation of the passion play “Our Children, Our Good Friday” at Bay Hope Lutheran
Evangelical Church in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, March 28.
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