Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2007!

And, don't forget to mark your calendars for the next International Festival. We move into the West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the next edition, to be held Nov. 15-18.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Indy Artist Designs 2007 Calendar

The 2007 Interfaith Calendar features the artwork of Indianapolis artist K.P. Singh.

According to an editorial page column by Andrea Neal in The Indianapolis Star, "Accompanying each month of the calendar is a description of a religion; a piece of art by Singh connected to that faith and excerpts from Sikh scripture or other inspirational text. The holidays of the major religions are listed.

The oversize calendars are available by mail for $20 (including tax and mailing). For more information, visit the Punjabi-American artist's website.

The calendar is sponsored by Bicky Singh,CEO Future Computing Solutions, Inc., and Sikh Center of Orange County California.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bluffton Mayor to head International Council of National League of Cities

According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Ted Ellis, mayor of the northeast Indiana town of Bluffton, will serve as chairman of the National League of Cities’ International Council.

The National League of Cities represents 19,000 U.S. cities, towns and villages.
Made up of about 30 to 35 members, the International Council helps develop policy recommendations addressing international issues significant to American cities and towns, according to the Journal Gazette article.

The mission of the International Council is to educate cities about the benefits of international engagement and work to ensure that international trade and investment agreements enhance and do not adversely impact local governance, according to the NLC website.

NLC’s International Council is a permanent standing committee whose chair, vice chairs, and members, are appointed by the NLC President. Leaders and members of the Council are selected because of their expertise in areas of international commerce and trade, sister cities, cultural and educational exchanges, or international development and technical assistance.

NLC's international programs focus on helping city leaders respond to global change and on building linkages between U.S. municipal officials and their counterparts abroad.

The international program's three primary objectives are to:

1. Educate municipal officials about their critical leadership role in strengthening the local economic region in order to be competitive in a global market;
2. Facilitate and support opportunities for U.S. local officials to establish and sustain relationships with local officials outside the United States, and
3. Develop and advocate policy statements on international issues.

For an example of its work, see: "Global Connections Lead to Local Advantages".

Now that Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson is president of the National League of Cities, and he has appointed another Indiana Mayor, Ted Ellis, as chairman of the International Council, perhaps this state can benefit from the collective wisdom of NLC and make better use of Indiana's already existing international links -- such as the Nationalities Council.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

NCI elects officers and directors

New officers and directors were elected during the 13 November 2006 meeting of the Nationalities Council of Indiana.

Tapped as officers for one-year terms during the calendar year of 2007 are:
President: Ahmet Fer
First Vice President: Allen Galloway
Second Vice President: Robert Yang
Secretary: Talha Uzun
Treasurer: Josef Laposa

Elected to two-year terms on the board of directors (2007-8) are:
Gunta Beard (rep., Latvian Community Center)
Dagrun Bennett (rep., Sons of Norway, Circle City Lodge #5-614)
Ahmet Fer (individual member)
Allen Galloway (individual member)
Ray Mitchell (individual member)
Frances Russell (individual member)
Fred Schramm (rep., Indiana German Heritage Society)
Talha Uzun (rep., American Turkish Association of Indiana)

Board members with one more year (2007) to serve on their two-year terms are:
Tokiko Gilson (rep., Minyo Club of Indianapolis)
Jim Weinmann (rep., Swiss Club of Central Indiana)
Marlon Alfonso (rep., Barangay Club of Indiana)
Leonard Coppola (individual member)
Robert Yang (rep., Indianapolis Chinese Community Center)
Cheiko Jacobs (rep., Indianapolis Minyo Dancers)
Josef Laposa (rep., Slovenian Cultural Society)
Bill Callahan (individual member)
Chuck Workman (individual member)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Latino Immigration and Higher Education Study

Lumina Foundation for Education has awarded the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research a $226,800 grant to study the current and possible future effects of Indiana’s immigrant population on the state’s higher education system. The study will pay close attention to the Latino population, especially the portion of the immigrant population that is undocumented, according to an item in the Sagamore Institute's recent progress report.

"We will focus on three interrelated issues," Senior Fellow John Clark explains in the report. "First, we will examine the most important workforce needs that must be met for Indiana's economy to remain globally competitive. Second, we will look at the children of immigrants who are currently in college or who might enroll in the next 10 to 15 years. Third, we will examine the present and future impact of immigrant children on the state's higher education system."

The grant will support an 18-month project, including original research, three Policy Papers and several roundtable events. Clark will serve as the project’s senior researcher. He is well suited for this role, given his work on Sagamore Institute’s 'Connecting Mexico and the Hoosier Heartland' study in 2005-2006. Associate Fellow Justin Heet, who played a key research role in the Connecting study, will also be partnering with Clark on the Lumina project.

SIPR also received a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to continue and expand its community-leadership and policy-research mission in Indianapolis and beyond. The $300,000 award will support a full year of research, programming activity and general operations from December 2006 through December 2007.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Indiana Host Families Needed for Two Brazilian Students Arriving in January

Indiana Partners of the Americas, a nonprofit sister state organization with the southernmost state in Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, seeks an Indiana host family for a Brazilian Youth Ambassador for the 8-week high school youth exchange that Partners sponsors from Jan. 6-Mar. 2, 2007.

The students are one male and one female, 15 and 16 years old, with strong English and academic skills. The boy plays the piano and has musical interests; the girl has experience assisting and mentoring younger children and likes shopping, theater and film.

Both have allergies to cats and, for this reason, require a change of previously-assigned host families.

If you are interested in helping with hosting a Youth Ambassasdor, please contact Jhani Laupus, Partners Youth Ambassador Coordinator, by email or telephone (317/257-2333).

Indiana Partners of the Americas is a member of the Nationalities Council of Indiana.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

NCI makes the Cincinnati!

The article in today's Cincinnati Enquirer is upbeat: "Indy has what Cincy wants: Vibrant downtown has stores, arts, residents - and cooperation".

There, in the last few paragraphs, the reporter, Jon Newberry, talks to the newly elected treasurer of the Nationalities Council of Indiana, Talha Uzun, under the subheading of 'I LIKE IT NOW'

"At the Rathskellar Restaurant in the historic Athenaeum building, Talha Uzun had come downtown for a meeting of the Nationalities Council of Indiana Inc., a group that celebrates the area's ethnic diversity. The Athenaeum is a 19th century theater, now home to the American Cabaret Theatre, in the Massachusetts Avenue (known locally as "Mass Ave") arts and theater district.

"Uzun, 29, works and lives in the northern suburbs but comes downtown often on business and to shop. He likens downtown Indianapolis, with its wide avenues, museums and monuments, to Washington, D.C., which is where he relocated from about two years ago.
"'When I first came here I was seriously bored,' said Uzun. 'I like it now.'"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Indy's Favorite German-American

Check out The Year of Vonnegut events.

2007 has been proclaimed "The Year of Kurt Vonnegut" by Mayor Bart Peterson, the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission and the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library to honor Indianapolis' most famous German-America, the writer Kurt Vonnegut.

We'll be noting key events on our calendar, of course.

Added on 3 January 2007:
Check out "Remember the Panic Bar" by David Hoppe. It's a good introduction to the Vonnegut family and to the author himself.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Welcome to the World in Indiana!

Welcome to the world in Indiana!

It's more than a slogan, it's who we are.

The Nationalities Council of Indiana Inc. is the oldest and largest pan-ethnic organization in the Hoosier state.

Membership in the Nationalities Council of Indiana is open to all individuals, groups and corporations interested in celebrating Indy's diversity.

Our calendar spotlights international and multicultural events in the Hoosier state.

Our newsletter, The Ethnic Hoosier is emailed once a month, free of charge, to thousands of subscribers.

Our annual celebration of diversity, the International Festival, introduces thousands of schoolchildren and adults each year to the wide range of Indy's culinary, historical, social, ethnic and linguistic heritage.

Check out our website to learn more about the world in our own backyard!