Fremont, U.S.A offers a glimpse of religious diversity on the local level: Fremont, California is a city transformed by new immigration. A rajagopuramThe “royal gateway” of a temple is called a rajagopuram. In South Indian temple styles, the tallest tower or spire is over the gateway of the temple, not over its inner sanctum. Many large temples have a series of gopurams that rise over a successive ... rises in a tidy suburban neighborhood, announcing the vital presence of the Hindu community. The diversity of the global Buddhist community is also in evidence, as Thai, Chinese, and Burmese temples—and a women’s monasticA monk is a man who renounces worldly life and is ordinarily a member of a monastic order or community, thereby undertaking a special commitment to study, service, asceticism, prayer, or disciplined spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, fully ord... retreat center—dot the landscape. Fremont is home to Peace Terrace, where Muslims and Christians have built side by side, and GurdwaraThe gurdwara, “the gateway of the Guru,” is the place for community gathering and worship in the Sikh tradition. The Guru is the Adi Granth, the sacred scripture of the Sikh tradition. Each center will include a chamber where the Adi Granth is kept, a... Road, where a large SikhSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob... community engages in creative forms of outreach.
Through civic engagement and interfaith action, strangers have become neighbors in this American city. Yet Fremont has also faced real challenges, especially after 9/11. When Alia Ansari, a Muslim woman, is murdered, some wonder if it was a hate crime: Was she killed because of her headscarf? How will the wider community respond?
Produced and directed by Rachel Antell and Elinor Pierce. Narrated by Dr. Diana L. Eck.
The film, Fremont, USA is now available on Youtube.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the DVD, please download and complete the order form [.pdf].
“Filmmakers focus cameras on personal stories, societal issues,” Dover Post
“A Round of Applause for Fremont, USA,” East Bay Express
“Religious Diversity Explored at the Local Level,” Harvard Gazette
“Fremont’s Story Hits the Big Screen,” The Argus
Screenings of Fremont, U.S.A.
In addition to Fremont, USA East Coast premiere at Harvard University on March 5, 2009, the film has been screened in the following places.
- Ann Arbor Public Library, Michigan Community Scholars Program, Ann Arbor, Michigan, November 19, 2009
- 14th International Metropolis Conference, “Migration and Mobility,” Copenhagen, Denmark, September 15, 2009
- Culture & Cultures Intercultural Film Festival, Château de Padies, Lempaut, France, September 13, 2009
- “Living Faithfully in a Multireligious World,” Northern California Religious Leaders in Conversation, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, California, September 8, 2009
- Globians Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, August 13, 2009
- North American Interfaith Network Connect, Kansas City, Missouri, June 27, 2009
- Hearts and Minds Film Festival, April 4, 2009, Dover, Delaware
- West Coast premiere: Fremont Alliance for a Hate-Free Community/Niles CongregationalThe congregational form of Protestant Christianity has traditionally affirmed the autonomy and authority of the local congregation in calling and ordaining its ministers and organizing its affairs. In the 17th century, the English Puritans introduced cong... ChurchThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ..., Fremont, California, February 7, 2009,
- Preview screening: October 31, 2008, American Academy of Religion Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
- Since Fremont, USA was released in December 2008, the film has also been shown at high schools, universities, senior centers, houses of worship, community centers, conferences, and interfaith centers.
Introduction The mayor, city council members, and police chief offer a brief introduction to the City of Fremont, California as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
New Religious Landscape As Fremont’s religious landscape has been transformed, new relationships are being forged in this multireligious city.
Civic Engagement The City of Fremont responds to its growing diversity, creating an innovative program for the elderly and responding to hate violence.
New Challenges After 9/11 After 9/11, Fremont faces new challenges and develops unprecedented outreach and bridge-building efforts.
Alia Ansari When a Muslim woman is brutally murdered while walking to school with her young daughter, the Fremont community is called upon to respond.
Fremont Moves Forward Amidst challenge and change, citizens in Fremont look to the future.
About the Music
- Pluralism Project Links
- City of Fremont Links
- City of Fremont, California Website
- City of Fremont: Demographics/Ethnicity
- Fremont’s Human Relations Commission
- Fremont Human Services Department
- 50th Anniversary of Fremont: Celebrate Fremont
- Museum of Local History
- Selected Houses of Worship and Organizations
- American Buddhist Cultural Society-Fremont (Buddhist)
- Dhammadharini Vihara (Buddhist)
- Mettananda Vihara (Buddhist)
- Wat Buddhanusorn (Buddhist)
- Centerville Presbyterian Church (Christian)
- St. Paul United Methodist Church (on Peace Terrace) (Christian)
- Fremont Hindu Temple/ Vedic Dharma Samaj (See also Pluralism Project center profile) (Hindu)
- Temple Beth Torah (Jewish)
- Masjid-e-Mohammedi (Muslim)
- Islamic Society of East Bay (on Peace Terrace) (Muslim)
- Islamic Center of Fremont (Muslim)
- Gurdwara Sahib Fremont (Sikh)
- Afghan Coalition
- Citizens for Better Community
- Indo-Americans for Better Community
- Jewish Community Relations Council
- Irvington High School
- Abode Services (formerly Tri-City Homeless Coalition)
- Community Ambassador Program for Seniors (CAPS)
- Beyond Fremont: Regional Resources