Dharma Ambassadors Program: Become your community’s expert representative of Hinduism
The Dharma Ambassadors program is an initiative to train community members to become effective and confident representatives of Hinduism - regardless of sampradaya - in the broader community.
Join the community of over 50 certified Dharma Ambassadors! In states from California to New Jersey, Texas to Michigan, a DA is an active participant in their local community. As a Dharma Ambassador, you will be equipped to handle the ins and outs in talking about Hinduism. You will be prepared to promote an authentic narrative from within the Hindu community to ensure that our religion is taught accurately and on par with other religions.
By the end of the program, you will:
- Gain simple and effective techniques on how to present Hinduism to non-Hindus
- Learn how to handle questions about sensitive topics
- Get access to visually engaging, professionally created presentation materials from HAF
- Find out how to get plugged into your local community for speaking opportunities, including schools, interfaith discussions, and other community gatherings
- Alert HAF to inaccurate teaching materials used in local schools and work with HAF in remedying such issues
As a Dharma Ambassador, you will have the opportunity to speak at local schools, interfaith gatherings, and other public events based on your availability. You will be able to speak about Hinduism within a very limited amount of time, either through a presentation or with talking points. Usually speaking engagements can range from few times a month to just a few times a year, all depending on your availability. You will be able to:
- Speak in front of school audiences, tailoring your presentations to be age appropriate and within the boundaries of the First Amendment
- Serve as a Hindu community representative in interfaith settings, and if needed, provide a Hindu perspective in community dialogues
- Serve as a point of contact on education issues in your local community
- Volunteer when necessary on school committees, including on ways to promote diversity
Session 1 - Introduction (1.5 hours)
This session explains who the Dharma Ambassadors are, including their importance and the need for community engagement. The session will include discussion of challenges from within and outside the Hindu community on presenting a credible, cohesive, and culturally competent narrative about Hinduism. Reading materials for the next session will be assigned.
Session 2 - How to Discuss Hinduism, Part 1 (1.5 hours)
This session will consist of a slide presentation that focuses on how to speak about Hinduism in a succinct and simple manner through personal storytelling. This will show how to explain 3 out of 6 key philosophical concepts in a limited amount of time. The session will illustrate how to make Hindu concepts relevant and explainable to different sets of audience, while also helping to explain sensitive social issues in a proactive and credible manner.
Session 3 - How to Discuss Hinduism, Part 2 (1.5 hours)
This session will show to explain the remaining 3 key philosophical concepts and include the same focus as Session 2.
Session 4 - Final Presentations (1.5 - 2 hours)
This final session before certification involves participants making a full presentation by discussing key philosophical concepts through their personal narrative. The participant will have read DC Rao’s Understanding Hinduism by this time and will field several “mock” questions from session organizers.
Pick a track that works best for you
- Conducted online
- Four weekly sessions over one month
- Small group, limited to 12 participants
- Cost: $65
- Click here to see East and West coast dates and to register
Independent - Launching February 2019
- At your own pace
- Cost: Free
- One full day of in-person training
- Cost: Determined based upon region and number of participants
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate
- February/March: Bay Area, CA
- June: Washington, DC Region
Can’t find a time to suit your schedule? Click here to let us know of your interest and availability.
After completing any of the tracks, you are a Dharma Ambassador! You have the knowledge and tools to be able to speak eloquently and accurately about Hinduism. You will receive a certificate of completion.
If you complete the Interactive or In-Person track, you are invited to join the DA Index, a database of qualified public speakers on Hinduism. You will have first access to inquiries from schools and groups for speaking engagements and presentations.
For any questions or comments, contact HAF’s Associate Director of Programs, Aesha Mehta, email@example.com.