Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center
This is the internet version of the Kerala Center News letter. Vol.1 2000
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E. M. Stephen
President, Kerala Center

As all of us are aware, the strength of our community living in the United States of America is highly remarkable. We have come from a poor country and a state which is one of the world's most densely populated regions. At the same time, due to the voluntary, patriotic and moral contributions of our people from different fields and the high priority emphasis we place on literacy, our region is very advanced in terms of the living standards. Therefore, our community here is well established in every field it has chosen to enter except in political system

It is necessary for us to look back on how we achieved this much. It is also necessary for us to think about our financial security and what is in store for the future. Should we will have the financial security without the security of political system?. We must think about these things because we live in a society where all different ethnic groups are trying to preseve their culture and heritage. We as a group must also maintain our professions, financial security and our cultural heritage. We must ask ourselves if we are ready to face these obligations in a professional way. The specialized needs of our community must be accounted for. This is the responsibility of each and every member of the community. In order to tackle the problems and needs of the community in a well organized and planned manner we need Community Centers.

With a long outlook in the specific and primary purpose of the above, the Indian American Kerala Cultural & Civic Center( The Kerala Cener ) was establised on April 28, 1990. The IAKC&CC ( The Kerala Center) is an independent, public service, non-profit and tax exempt institution. It is proud to mention here that it is the first and the largest asset establishment for and by the community as a whole.

This Civic Center ( The Kerala center ) is serving all the members of the community irrespective of the religion, language, caste, tribe or organization of entire Indian Americans. Center is providing a place to have programs for the community conducted by local organizations. The Center is providing information to the community about business groups in all fields. It is giving full support and assistance to the writers forum in the community. The benifits of such action include mitigation of crimes, drug abuse, employment discrimination, biotry, lack of discipline among the youths, destruction of the environment, child abuse and all other areas of social decay. With the help of State and Federal agencies, Center will expand services to Senior Citizens of our community. In this way, not only we anble to produce a deciplined society but also projecting our ideals to the mainstream of this country politically, culturally and economically. Thus we are being appreciated, accepted and recognized by the entire society.

In conclusion, I appeal to each and every member of the community, please try at your own possible way to support and take part of the activities of the Kerala Center. We must not loose sight of the fact that our aims can only be met through a commitment to the ideals of volunteerism and patriotism. Let us make our motto " LIVE AND LET LIVE".

KERALA CENTER --Playing a Larger Role to the Indian American Community and America

Dr. Thomas Abraham
Chairman, Board of Directors

The 1,500,000 strong Indian Americans and immigrants have found a congenial atmosphere for preserving their cultural identity while joining the mainstream of American life. In contrast to other ethnic groups, we Indian Americans are unusual in our higher levels of education and our relatively dispersed settlement patterns although we have large concentrations in big cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco Bay Area.

Among the various Indian American communities, Kerala community is the second largest community in the U.S. after the Gujarati community. The community has established over a couple of hundred religious institutions with more than half of them having their own biuldings. With the enormous growth of the community in the U.S. and in the New York area in particular, the Kerala community felt the need for a community center. The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center was born in 1990 with the inititative from its founder president, Mr. E.M. Stephen. With hard work by many dedicated volunteers, the Kerala Center came to fruition in September 1993.

The Kerala Center has now become a focal point to coordinate activities and services not only to the Kerala community but also to the larger Indian community. It has organized many educational seminars social, political and economic issues. Several day-long conferences have been held at the center. One such conference on Indian American Senior Citizens resulted in the formation of National Indian American Senior Citizens Association, which has been providing great services to our community. The senior citizens group has become an association member of the Kerala Center. Another affiliated member, the Global Organization of People of Indian (GOPIO) has also based its activities at the Kerala Center.

The Kerala Center now hosts language, music and dance classes. As a civic center, it has hosted meetings with several political leaders from India and the U.S. The center has made a great impact and image for the community in the New York Metropolitan area and in particular in the Nassau County of New York. The Kerala Center has also hosted meetings with delegations from India as well as from Kerala.

For Keralites living in the New York area, this is a great opportunity to be involved in a set up to provide service to our community as well as to build a good image of our community. We are looking for your support to enlarge Kerala Center’s activities so as to make greater impact among our communities – Kerala, Indian and American.