Padma Kuppa is a Hindu American and community activist working for social justice and understanding. Born in India, she arrived in the U.S. to start kindergarten in 1970 on Long Island. Returning to India with her family in 1981, she finished high school and college while living in a mainstream Hindu culture. Returning to New York in 1988 as a foreign student, she, husband and their two children have made Troy, Michigan their home since 1998. She is a founding member of the Troy-area Interfaith Group, as well as the Bharatiya Temple's Outreach Committee. As a member of the Hindu American Foundation's Executive Council, she advocates on issues pertinent to Hindus in America. Her work with WISDOM, Women's Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Detroit, exemplifies how forming friendships is the way to build peace and promote pluralism. Her faith has been strengthened and deepened through her personal experiences and struggles, while her interest and search for more knowledge and understanding of Hindu philosophy is a family tradition. Whether she works as IT project manager, writer, or diversity consultant, being a mom is the most important! You can also read her blog, A Balancing Act, at padmakuppa.blogspot.com. The views represented in this column are not a reflection of the views of any organization of which she is a part.