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March 18, 2011 > 10th Annual Unity Dinner

10th Annual Unity Dinner

By Jessica Noel Waymire

In the months following 9/11 many eastern peoples felt a dire need to strengthen the bonds within their American communities. It was during this time that the Indo-American Community Federation (IACF-USA) found the inspiration for a unity dinner - a community event that would celebrate both diversity of cultures and unity of purpose as fellow Americans. The first dinner was held in 2002 and has become an annual event.

This month the Indo-American Community Federation hosts its 10th annual "Unity in Diversity Dinner."

In 1994, Jeevan Zutshi, resident of Fremont and Indo-American community leader, perceived a need for Indo-Americans to become more involved in the life of their adopted country. As a result, he founded the IACF, a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to bringing diverse peoples together, "to address serious issues facing the community at large."

In the years since its foundation, the IACF has hosted numerous fundraisers to benefit youth, victims of terrorism, and an orphanage in India. Mr. Zutshi, as part of the IACF, participated in an oval office briefing with President Clinton regarding his trip to India in 2000. The IACF regularly participates in charitable acts that benefit the community. This organization has done much to promote a sense of understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures within the community.

The focus of this year's unity dinner is "The Future of America's Seniors." The evening opens with a social hour, followed by a dinner of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare served by the Fremont Marriot. There will be complimentary wine at each table. One feature of this year's dinner is "United Colors of Dance," performed by Bay Area dance company Dance Identity. Following the dance presentation, the IACF awards committee will present Community Catalyst awards to "individuals who have been actively involved in social, political, and business arenas." The remainder of the evening will be open dancing hosted by Absolute Vibez.

Former Channel 4 news anchor Jim Wieder serves as the Master of Ceremonies this year. Mo Qayoumi, President of Cal Sate University East Bay, is the keynote speaker. Other speakers include Suzanne Shenfil, Fremont's Director of Human Resources; and Dr. Basil Besh, Orthopedic Surgeon, speaking on "Unity and Diversity: Lessons from Abroad." Congressman Jerry McNerney will be in attendance as the Guest of Honor. Approximately 65 public officials at the state, county and local levels are expected to attend. This event is usually sold out, so reserve your ticket today!

Tickets must be reserved in advance. More information is available at

10th Annual Unity Dinner
Friday, March 25
6:15 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
Fremont Marriot
46100 Landing Parkway
(510) 589-3702
Tickets: $85 per person; $800 per table of 10

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