Sikh Community Presence at UN Day in Dallas

Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa-Michaud

On Tuesday, October 24th, several Sikh activists attended a luncheon hosted by the Dallas Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. The luncheon took place at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law and was held in honor of UN Day – October 24, 2017.


The Sikh businesswoman, Shabnam Modgill, V.P. of FunAsia, presided at the event. She is a highly visible and successful Sikh businesswoman in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She is the Board President for the UNA-USA Dallas Chapter and served as the host for the UN Day – Dallas program. (

The theme of the Dallas Chapter United Nations Day was Global Goals Local Leaders.

Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa  and her husband, Dr. Patrick Michaud, and respected Sikh scholar Dr. Harbans Lal attended the luncheon, as well.


Hugh T. Dugan was the keynote speaker for the event. Mr. Dugan currently teaches as a guest scholar at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations. ( He has served in the U.S. Department of State for 32 years, working at the United Nations under 11 different USA Ambassadors to the UN. Mr. Dugan’s speech focused on President Donald Trump’s interaction with the United Nations this last year, and how the media is not giving the full picture. From Mr. Dugan’s observations, President Trump did signal in many different ways his commitment to the UN and the USA’s continued involvement at the UN. In Mr. Dugan’s view, President Trump may look to redefine that relationship, but he is not abandoning it.

W3Mr. Dugan’s speech offered a fascinating perspective about President Trump’s visit to the United Nations from someone who has been deeply involved in the United Nations for the last 30 years.

Also, Mr. Dugan informed those in attendance that the President of the General Assembly for the UN, Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs Miroslav Lajcák, would be touring the United States next year. The tour would begin with an address at Seton Hall University. The President of the General Assembly is interested in speaking at other universities in the country. Mr. Dugan offered that if any University was interested in hosting the UN President of the General Assembly, to contact him and let him know.

The UNA Dallas Chapter also honored the work of 3 local leaders, who have progressed 3 of the UN’s Global Goals in the Dallas area. Taylor Toynes, founder and Executive Director of the non-profit For Oak Cliff, which focuses on student support and development; Vana Hammond, Chief of Community Relations and GrowSouth for the Office of Dallas Mayor Michael S. Rawlings – helping to promote economic growth in southern Dallas, and Ericsson North America’s Cotishea Anderson for embedding Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility into their business models. Almas Muscatwalla, the Founding Member of Faith Forward Dallas – Nonprofit Organization with 500+ connections is seen in front row left of the photo.·

w5The United Nations Day in Dallas also saw the launch of a new book published by UNA Dallas Board members, Norma Tevis Matthews and Bill (John W.) Matthews. The book details The History of the Dallas United Nations Association 1953-2015. The title of the book is Hope Over Fear. Norma and Bill, both of whom are past presidents of DUNA probed into many events that contributed to the long life and panorama of projects that were initiated in Texas as well as at the UNO Headquarters in New York. Dr. Harbans Lal added a chapter in the book detailing the history of the Sikh participation in the UNO and UNA activities.

UNA-USA Dallas members David and Nelda Reid were the 2017 UN Day Event Co-Chairs. The program also included opening remarks from Derrick Morgan of the UNT College of Law; the reading of the UN Day Proclamation by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins; and Tatiana Androsov, who introduced the keynote speaker, Hugh T. Dugan.

Modified for the Blog from the with acknowledgment.

Send all communications to:

Harbans Lal, Ph.D.; D.Litt (Hons)

Professor Emeritus & Chairman, Dept of Pharmacology & Neurosciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Professor Emeritus, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India.
President, Academy of Guru Granth Studies.


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