ASC rep attends the FEMA meeting in Philadelphia, PA

Suhag Shukla, Asheq Fazlullah, Susan Gordon, Kavneet Singh and Nicole Diroff at the conference

American Sikh Council (ASC) representative Kavneet Singh attended a FEMA meeting held at the main office in downtown Philadelphia, PA. The summit was on ‘Religious Competency for Emergency Managers’ held on Tuesday February 27, 2018 with a panel discussion, which also included a Q & A.

FEMA management and its employees at various levels are being very proactive in trying to understand the diverse religious traditions of the public they serve in times of emergencies, such as hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, etc.

(Clockwise) Suhag Shukla, Nicole Diroff, Kavneet Singh, Asheq Fazlullah, Andrew Feigenbaum, Susan Gordon

FEMA held a 3 hour meeting in conjunction with the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia (ICGP) so that FEMA management could get firsthand information, which included all types of sensitivities towards people practicing various faith traditions. Part of the program was a general panel discussion which had four different speakers from the Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu faiths.

Part of program included discussing several case studies which had real life scenarios in order to figure out the subtleties and nuances which maybe misperceived by the FEMA employees due to ignorance, so many interesting questions were posed by the attendees.

This type of proactive engagement is a great step in the right direction and FEMA and the Interfaith Center of greater Philadelphia must be commended for hosting and making many faith communities feel more secure and confident that ‘everyone’ is important especially during time of a crisis.

Attendees at the meeting with many others joining via satellite from other FEMA offices

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