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Sheetal Shah

Why Hindu Americans Should Care about Advocacy

About seven years ago, I found myself in the rather awkward situation of having to describe advocacy to my Hindu friends. I had just left a consulting job to join the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) as a fulltime staff member. Speaking with Jewish or Christian friends was easy: they generally nodded their heads in understanding when I explained that HAF is an advocacy group for the Hindu American community. But the response from most of my Hindu friends was a blank stare. And my attempts to explain the breadth of HAF’s advocacy efforts – from education and curriculum reform to media outreach to human rights – barely did anything to alleviate their confusion.