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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
August 16, 2011

  • Congresswoman Judy Chu Discusses Sikh Coalition Concerns in Congress

    On July 20, 2011, California Congresswoman Judy Chu discussed Sikh Coalition concerns about racial and religious profiling at a meeting of the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the request of the Sikh Coalition and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Congresswoman Chu introduced a civil rights amendment to a proposed federal law known as the See Something Say Something Act of 2011 (H.R. 963). In her remarks, Congresswoman Chu mentioned the experience of Sikh Coalition advocates who were racially profiled on Capitol Hill earlier this year and noted that, in its current form, H.R. 963 could make Sikhs and other minorities more vulnerable to racial and religious profiling.

    Click here to watch her remarks on YouTube
    Click here to read our blog essay about H.R. 963

    Congresswoman Chu chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).

Sikh Presenter's Course Comes to the Washington, DC Metro Area

Last month, the Sikh Coalition successfully completed its fourth Sikh Presenter's Course in the DC Metro Area. Participants spent three days during the course practicing how to deliver Sikh Awareness presentations. These trained presenters can now make presentations in schools and at places of business in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. From July 9 - 11, attendees participated in a series of workshops led by the Coalition’s Education Director, a Coalition Board Member, the Coalition’s summer Education intern and Fred Polirer, an experienced facilitator in the field of public speaking. The Coalition has now trained over 50 community members across the country, who have pledged to deliver at least two presentations per year going forward.

The Sikh Presenter’s Course graduates have both the skills and the passion to educate their neighbors on the Sikh faith. This means that through these presentations, thousands of people across the country will not only understand basic Sikhi concepts, but will also have a positive association with Sikhs going forward.

To see photos from the DC SPC, please click here. If you would like to sponsor a Sikh Presenter's Course in your area, please contact us at education@sikhcoalition.org.

  • Coalition Joins Anti-Bullying Alliance in New Jersey

    The Sikh Coalition has joined with several other organizations and experts in an effort to provide accurate information about recommended methods for preventing and responding to bullying and bias in New Jersey K-12 schools. Together, they form the Alliance for Comprehensive and Effective Strategies for Bullying Prevention, or ACES, which is comprised of credentialed individuals and educational, private and non-profit organizations tasked with creating effective anti-bullying programs in New Jersey schools. The alliance was formed in light of the recent “Students’ Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” in New Jersey, which was created to help guide schools in their efforts to lessen and prevent future bullying.

    The Coalition has been working closely with the co-founder of ACES for Bullying Prevention, Dr. Paula C. Rodriguez Rust, and contributed an article entitled “Sikhism: The Religion and the Needs of Sikh Children in School” to the ACES Resource Guide titled Effective Strategies for Complying with New Jersey Laws Related to School Bullying: A Resource Guide for Schools. The Resource Guide is being distributed to schools at conferences and workshops on bullying prevention in New Jersey, and is available for free download at www.ACESforBullyingPrevention.org.  

    “ACES for Bullying Prevention is grateful to the Sikh Coalition for its contribution to the Guide, and looks forward to continuing collaborative efforts to make schools safe and welcoming for all children.” – Dr. Paula Rodriguez Rust, co-founder of ACES

  • Sikh Coalition Youth Co-Hosts Punjabi Talk Show

    Sikh Youth of New York, a youth group associated with the Sikh Coalition, is continuing to do groundbreaking work to raise awareness and mobilize community members to take action against the bullying of Sikh students. On July 13, two of the group’s members - Amrita Kalicharan and Gurwinder Singh - appeared on Jus Punjabi, a national American-Punjabi television channel. Invited personally by Gurmeet Sodhi, host of the Jus Punjabi talk show GS with GS, Amrita co-hosted the show with Sodhi and interviewed Gurwinder on his experiences as a victim of bullying. Speaking both English and Punjabi, Gurwinder recounted his stories of being bullied and provided resources for other youth who are encountering bullying in schools.

    Amrita and Gurwinder’s appearance on GS with GS is a reflection of the leadership skills that youth develop through participation in SYNY. The group is very proud of Amrita’s and Gurwinder’s work, and hopes that with the help of SYNY even more youth will be able to partake in similar opportunities and continue to spread awareness about America’s Sikh community and the issues it faces.

    As always, we urge Sikhs everywhere to fearlessly practice their faith. If you or your children are being bullied, teased or physically hurt at school because of your Sikh identity, please contact us immediately at legal@sikhcoalition.org.

    A Call for Fall 2011 Interns

    The Sikh Coalition is currently accepting applications for Fall 2011 Interns in the following areas: Education, Social Justice Advocacy, Legal, Community Outreach and Video & Media. The Internship Program allows students pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies to gain hands-on experience in promoting the civil and human rights of all individuals. Throughout the years, interns have worked to further the mission and vision of the Sikh Coalition by helping to achieve legal victories, by working to educate and empower the community and by contributing to the growth of the organization. Our interns are given real responsibility and have the opportunity to effect noticeable change in the Sikh community through involvement in the Coalition’s ground-breaking work.

    All spring and fall internships are unpaid and require a minimum of 10 hours a week for 10 weeks, unless otherwise noted. A work-study option can be discussed if applicable. For more information, please click here or email internships@sikhcoalition.org.

    Sign Up Now for Our 5K for the 5Ks!

    The Coalition is hosting a 5K walk/run to support our work in Sunnyvale, CA on September 17th! Sign up now to participate in this landmark event. Register your team and join us – don't wait, take the initiative and invite your family and friends now!  

    Save the date: September 17th @ 9 am. Whether you want to walk or run, the choice is yours. Come have fun with friends, family, music, games, and other activities! We look forward to seeing you in the Bay Area as we all Walk 5K for the 5K’s.

In this Issue

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