HSS celebrates Black History Month

During February 2024, volunteers of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) engaged with and honored African-American community leaders to commemorate Black History Month. HSS chapters in Buffalo Grove, IL, Chandler, AZ, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Cincinnati, OH, Columbus, IN, Parsippany, NJ, Plainsboro, NJ, Sacramento, CA, and Woodbridge, NJ invited distinguished African American personalities as a part of the Black History Month celebration.

Calisa Horton and Marvin Francis from General Electric’s (GE) African American Forum (AAF) participated in the HSS event in Cincinnati, OH. They shed light on significant milestones in Black History, including the reconstruction era, Civil Rights era, and modern times. They also discussed the impact of the Indian freedom struggle on the Civil Rights movement.

Public Speaking Champion and Author Ant Blair delivered a powerful speech at the HSS event in Columbus, IN. Reflecting on his experience, Blair expressed appreciation for the warm welcome from the local Hindu community, emphasizing the universal language of humanity.

In Chicagoland’s HSS chapter, Aurora City’s diversity, equity, and inclusion, (DEI) officer Clayton Mohammad presented the ‘Annual Black History Month Lecture.’ HSS members found alignment with Mohammad’s emphasis on the importance of authentic cultural connection beyond formal settings. At the Buffalo Grove, IL Chapter, State Senator Adriane Johnson highlighted the significant contributions of the African American community to American society.

Mrs. Twiana Armstrong, a small business owner and community leader, participated in the Black History Month event in Sacramento, CA. She gave a very inspirational speech on Martin Luther King Jr. and how we can take his inspiration into our lives.

Willie Flaming, President of the International Minority Coalition, joined several other Black leaders at the HSS events in Charlotte, NC. Almost everyone from the panel talked about what ‘Black History Month’ meant to them. Some of the keywords from their speeches expressed the common theme of ‘Understanding one’s history is critical to forging a path forward with love, kindness, empathy, peace, belonging for the whole community’.

Pastor Loretta Hall, African American parent support group president, and Board of Education DEI advisor Ms. Latoya engaged in conversations with HSS members at separate Black History Month events held by the HSS New Jersey Chapter.

In the North Phoenix chapter, Ms. Bella Denise, President of Padres Unidos AZ, and Ms. Monika, an independent political consultant, shared insights about the significance of Black History Month in America today. In Chandler, AZ, City Vice-Mayor Honorable OD Harris and Marcel Wright, a leader supporting DEI, were invited as chief guests. Vice Mayor Harris emphasized the importance of celebrating Black History Month and encouraged the younger generation to develop leadership skills and help those in need, drawing on his childhood experiences.

These events served as a platform for celebrating the rich history and achievements of African Americans while fostering understanding and collaboration between the Hindu and African-American communities. The focus on dialogue and shared experiences aligns with the spirit of Black History Month, encouraging education, remembrance, and a commitment to building a more inclusive future.

About Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS):
HSS, a 501(c)(3) voluntary non-profit cultural organization, boasts over 230 chapters nationwide. Through service activities and community outreach, HSS nurtures qualities such as discipline, teamwork, and selflessness, fostering a robust Hindu-American community anchored in civic responsibility and pride in heritage. Visit to learn more.


Vikas Deshpande
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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