First off, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for giving us the opportunity to serve as your Chicago Tamil Sangam (CTS) board members. It has been a fulfilling experience and we are deeply indebted to all the past presidents, ex-board members and countless volunteers for building an organization with the objective of keeping the Tamil language, culture and its rich heritage an integral part of our daily life.
Over the years, CTS has driven continually towards becoming a community organization by:
Establishing a community presence by getting directly involved in charitable and social activities, in addition to the cultural and literary activities.
Mentoring younger generation and teaching them the value of giving back to the community.
Developing the customer-first attitude and effectively communicating with our patrons.
As a team, we have constantly deliberated on “what really matters to our Chicagoland Tamil community?” We strongly believe that five essential components (as listed below) would help us achieve the objectives of our Sangam:
**Objectives For 2018-2019 Term**
1. Unite and be organized: As the oldest organization that represents the Tamil community in the Greater Chicago area, we witness a steady increase of several Tamil-related focus groups. Our primary aspirations would be to bring together the fragmented community members across the Greater Chicago area, to work on common issues
Joint programs: Collaborate with other local non-profit focus groups to conduct events viz. Education Forums, Sport events, Service days etc. Also, jointly conduct fund-raining events with charity organizations like Tamil Nadu Foundation (TNF) – Chicago Chapter
Sub-committees: Form sub-committees and empower them to independently conduct focused programs and special events (within the boundaries of CTS Constitution)
New members: Identify first time attendees (from ticketing system) and extend them a warm welcome. Provide pertinent information and introduce to fellow members to ease their entry into our community.
2. Continue to diversify: Provide high quality services through delivering best programs that benefit our community such as cultural and literary programs, charity events, wellness sessions, educational & career enhancement opportunities, youth committee, women empowerment, etc.
Women’s Forum: Solicit women patrons to organize focused events on empowerment, parenting, new moms etc.
ATEA: Connect Tamil business owners in Greater Chicago area; build business directory; and conduct quarterly ATEA (American Tamil Entrepreneurs Association) meetings
Education & Job Guidance: Create mentorship programs for youth to assist in career selection, internship and job placements. Also, empower youth Committee to conduct CTS Children’s Day program and Annual Picnic. Also, conduct Ilakkiyam Workshops and Thirukural classes for adults and children
3. Establish transparency: Establish transparent administration, what we like to call the “Glass Tube” approach in all activities viz. financial status, lessons learnt and successes that follow an event.
Surveys: Send surveys and solicit feedback on overall CTS activities and after every program for continuous improvement
Balance Sheet: Publish quarterly balance sheet on the website
Participation: Open and standard process in selecting performers / participants for CTS programs.
4. Expand our ecosystem: Gain concurrence to build an emotional commitment to care for things important to one and all
Plugged in: Work with other community organizations in the Greater Chicago area. Also, participate and establish relationship with other Tamil Sangams in Midwest.
Helpline: Create emergency helpline to help patrons in immediate need; and elder care services jointly with non-profit groups
Website: Revamp with responsive web design and allow moderated classified ads, blogs and wiki content
5. Work with the existing CTS team: A strong minded and service-oriented leadership and a cohesive team is what we need for hosting a successful CTS Golden Jubilee celebration in conjunction with the World Tamil Research Conference and FeTNA Thamizh Vizha in 2019.