As a member of the Hindu American community and an Executive Council member of the Hindu American Foundation cited in the report, I realize the need for advocacy, whether in D.C. or in Detroit. The national Hindu population is almost 2.9 million, a figure obtained by extrapolating that around 80 percent of the 3.6 million Indian Americans accounted for in the last census are Hindu. Kurt Metzger of Data Driven Detroit reported that the combined Asian-American population in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties in Southeastern Michigan grew 37 percent between 2000 and 2010, and a significant number are Hindus. MI Roundtable President Tom Costello, whose organization seeks to foster understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, said "People tend to live where others recommend or where there's a strong sense of community." MI Roundtable constantly seeks representation from the Hindu population since building community—like building bridges—involves finding these voices.
HAF's limited funding is a drop in the bucket of the national advocacy budget, given our limitless goal "to promote tolerance, understanding, and pluralism." Our financial need is paralleled by the need to take leadership roles in organizations around the country like IFLC and MI Roundtable. After all, when one considers representation of the human as divine, finding common ground when there is no single correct viewpoint (and often opposing ones), or a multitude of cultures, a Hindu should easily find a place at the table.