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Community Voice

April 10th, 2006

Chet 28, NANAKSHAHI Samvat 538

UNITED SIKHS Joins Efforts to Build a Coalition for Katrina Recovery Efforts

New Orleans, Louisiana: UNITED SIKHS attended a meeting in February to build a coalition of organizations to run a recovery and renewal program in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The meeting was an interactive planning session to discover common ground, organize working groups and begin partnerships between faith communities and other civil-society organizations. All parties involved were committed to identifying the issues and needs, building strategic alliances, and linking partners with resources.

Everyone here has to be accountable for their words as this gathering of the minds will only come to fruition if our words are backed by strict and swift action,

Gurvinder Singh, director UNITED SIKHS told the meeting.

The basic aims of the meeting were to:

The meeting was held at the Trinity Church , founded in 1837 and well known for its community programs and outreach. It featured presentations on direct assistance, national faith and service movement, citizen engagement and the building of a city-based interfaith coalition modelled after post 9/11 New York City . Then, working groups were divided into national response and collaboration and local outreach and assistance and were instituted to fit the presentations given beforehand.

The product arrived at the end of the meeting was greater collaboration and fluid communication to eliminate duplication. Case management was also discussed in detail and it was noted that case managers are well trained professionals and that they must remain so.

The organizations that took part in the meeting were:

Andrew Cader Foundation
Anti-Defamation League
Beaches Chapel
Buddhist Congregation of Mississippi (Chùa Van Ðuc)
Christ Church Cathedral
Church World Service
Empowerment Consultants International (ECI)
Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana
Food For Life (Vaisnava Hindu)
Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA)
GRACE Community Services
Holy Comforter Church
Imani Temple
Interfaith Youth Core
Interfaith Works
Islamic Center of Baton Rouge
Jeremiah Group (Industrial Areas Foundation)
Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans (JFGNO)
Kingdom Fellowship International
Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy
Louisiana Interchurch Conference
Mary Queen of Vietnam Church
National Alliance of Faith and Justice (NAFJ)
National Alliance of Vietnamese American Service Agencies (NAVASA)
New Talavan (ISKCON MS and Gulf Coast – Vaisnava Hindu)
New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS)
Points of Light Foundation (POLF)
Service for Peace (SFP)
Ten Thousand Buddhas Summit Monastery
Trinity Episcopal Church
United Religions Initiative (URI)
Universal Peace Federation (UPF)
Volunteer Ascension (affiliated with POLF/VCNN)
Volunteer Baton Rouge ! (affiliated with POLF/VCNN)
Volunteer Center National Network (VCNN – affiliated with POLF)
Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana (affiliated with POLF/VCNN)
Washington Episcopalians Responding to Katrina (WERK)

Issued by:
Gurvinder Singh
Tel 1 469-222-6288 (Toll Free: 1-888-243-1690)

Our Mission

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.