UNIITE - Understanding the Need for
Interfaith / Intercultural Togetherness & Education

Sartell News - Thursday, November 2, 2006
Healing festival slated



A Cultural Healing Festival will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud.

The event is free and open to the public.

Participants will learn, explore, enjoy and celebrate diverse cultural healing methods of various cultures. There will be demonstrations, music, cultural performances and ethnic foods.

The cultural healing methods that will be explored include those of many ethnic groups living in the greater St. Cloud area, such as South Asian Hindus, Lao Buddhists, Hmong, Latino Christians and Somali Muslims.

It is sponsored by UNIITE and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.

The list of presenters and demonstrators at the Nov. 11 conference will include people from all of the ethnic cultures in greater St. Cloud.

Chandra Prakash will share insights about yoga and meditation followed by a hands-on participatory yoga session. There will also be sessions about Native American Dakota medicine, Pranic healing, drumming as healing and cultural performances.

UNIITE stands for “Understanding the Need for Interfaith/Intercultural Togetherness and Education.” Its vision statement is “to recognize, respect and celebrate the religious and cultural diversity in the greater St. Cloud area through social interaction and educational opportunities.”

The event is culmination of previous UNIITE meetings that focused on minority populations and health-care methods.

UNIITE was founded in 2002 in St. Cloud under the guidance of its current executive director, Malcolm Nazareth and his wife, Mariani. Many area churches and health-care organizations are associate members or supporters of UNIITE, including the St. Cloud Hospital, the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls and St. John's Episcopal Church.

Anyone may join UNIITE. To find out how, visit its website at:


UNIITE has been trying to help eliminate disparities and cultural misunderstandings in health-care delivery. This year, it started a three-year series of seminars to educate health-care professionals and the general public about the sometimes widely varying attitudes and methods of health care and healing among diverse immigrant cultures.

In recent months, UNIITE has sponsored seminars entitled Lao Buddhists and Health Care,” “South Asian Hindus and Health Care” and “Latino/a Christians and Health Care.” The next seminar, “Somali Muslims and Health Care” is slated for 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. The next one is “Hmong and Health Care,” which will take place from 8 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Nov. 21. Both will be presented in the Hoppe Auditorium at the St. Cloud Hospital. For information about how to register, call (320) 291-7124.

Copyright 2006 TheNewsLeaders