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

Letter: UNIITE seeks feedback, is pondering its mission
By Malcolm Nazareth, executive director, UNIITE


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February 1, 2007

Is the UNIITE nonprofit of any profit to St. Cloud anymore? Seven years ago, the Center for Interfaith Encounter began formal interfaith work in St. Cloud. Today, our nonprofit UNIITE Understanding the Need for Interfaith/Intercultural Togetherness & Education creatively continues this service. UNIITE's mission: "To foster mutual respect and understanding among people of diverse spiritual paths and cultures in the greater St. Cloud area through social and educational opportunities."

UNIITE has served St. Cloud through multiple series of Jewish Dialogues, Muslim Dialogues, Hindu Dialogues, Lesser Known Faith Traditions and many other activities. UNIITE is sponsoring a seven-month "Health Care and World Religions" series with financial support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation and CentraCare Foundation. The series is "minding the gap" by offering cultural competency training to health care professionals.

It focuses on health care needs of vulnerable new immigrant populations: Somali Muslims, Latino Christians, Lao Buddhists, South Asian Hindus and Hmong. Today, UNIITE's board of directors is asking a strategic question about its continued existence after March: Does UNIITE meet the needs of St. Cloud anymore? By mid-February UNIITE wishes to have seven to 10 new members of diverse religions and cultures, diverse age groups and social strata. During the past two months, UNIITE has tried in vain to gain sufficient new board members. So we're asking, are we not meeting St. Cloud's burning needs? Do you sincerely believe UNIITE should continue to serve you and St. Cloud? Would you, or somebody you know, volunteer to serve with UNIITE?

If so, please contact UNIITE at 291-7124 or e-mail admin@uniite.org. You also can attend UNIITE's annual meeting at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Richard Green House, St. Cloud State.

Copyright 2007 St. Cloud Times