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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
February 11, 2012

Take Action: Tell the FBI to Track Anti-Sikh Hate Crimes

As the Sikh community rightfully condemns the desecration of a Sikh Gurdwara building by vandals in Michigan, the Sikh Coalition notes with disappointment that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) refuses to track and document hate crimes against Sikhs.  We therefore call upon the entire Sikh community to sign a petition to the Justice Department demanding that crimes against Sikhs be accurately documented.  

Currently, the FBI treats all bias crimes against Sikhs as anti-Muslim hate crimes.  In addition, the Sikh Coalition has learned that some agency personnel erroneously believe that Sikhs are members of a Hindu  sect.  For these reasons, the federal government has no means of tracking hate crimes against Sikhs.  To learn more about this issue, read our latest blog article.  

If you believe that the federal government should track hate crimes against Sikhs, please spare one minute of your time and sign our petition today.  Please forward this email to your family and friends.

New Bullying Survey Results from Fresno, California

As part of its ongoing effort to promote bullying awareness and prevention, the Sikh Coalition and its volunteers recently concluded a community survey of 139 Sikh youth in Fresno, California.  The survey found that 36% of respondents have been teased at school because of their religion or ethnicity.  By comparison, a recent U.S. Department of Education report suggests that approximately 28% of all students in American school sexperience bullying.  The Sikh Coalition survey also revealed that 18% of Sikh youth respondents in Fresno have experienced hitting or unwanted touching, including pulling of their hair and patkas.  The Sikh Coalition looks forward to working with the Fresno Sikh community on using these survey results to develop strategies to combat school bullying and promote safer schools for all children.

In recent months, graduates of the Sikh Coalition Advocate Academy and community volunteers have completed school bullying surveys in Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Tennessee, with additional results expected soon from Texas.  These simple, anonymous surveys  are important because they focus community attention on a serious issue facing our youth.  In addition, the survey results can be shared with government officials and school administrators to promote stronger policies and programs against school bullying. (Click here to watch a video highlighting a success story from Sikh community volunteers in Maryland.) 

There are many ways for you to get involved.  If you wish to express support for the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a proposed federal anti-bullying law, you can click here to send an automatic letter to your members of Congress.  If you wish to partner with the Sikh Coalition on a survey in your community, please send an email to rajdeep@sikhcoalition.org.

Internal TSA Documents Exposed by Sikh Coalition; New Blog Article Highlights TSA Miscalculation

An internal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) memorandum concluded that the agency can successfully audit its screening practices to guard against racial and religious profiling. The memorandum, released by the Sikh Coalition, was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed with the assistance of the law firm Covington & Burling  LLP. The TSA memorandum is significant because it validates the longstanding  demand of the Sikh Coalition and other civil rights organizations --- that the TSA combat profiling against Sikhs by auditing its screening practices. Written over 2 years ago in response to concerns raised by the Sikh Coalition and other prominent civil rights organizations, the memorandum discusses eight “strategic options” that the TSA could implement to “address racial profiling concerns” and “improve internal business controls as they relate to secondary screening procedures.”

Significantly, TSA also appears to have miscalculated the effectiveness of new screening technologies as a solution to profiling concerns.  To learn more about this issue, please read our latest blog article.

The Sikh Coalition is Accepting Applications for Summer Internships

The Sikh Coalition Internship Program allows students pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies to gain hands-on experience in promoting the civil and human rights of all individuals. Through the years, interns have worked to further the mission and vision of the Sikh Coalition by helping to achieve legal victories, as well as educating and empowering the community and contributing to the growth of the organization.

Internships are available in the following program areas:

                       Advocacy  -  Community Outreach  -  Education
                   Legal  -  Video & Media  -  Operations & Development

Our interns are given real responsibility and have the opportunity to effect meaningful change in the Sikh community through involvement in the Coalition’s ground-breaking work.

For more information about the internship program, please click here or email internships@sikhcoalition.org.

Follow Us on Facebook

You can follow the Sikh Coalition’s work on Facebook.  We post new videos and articles on Facebook every week, and we encourage our readers to share these items with their Facebook friends to help create awareness about Sikh civil rights issues.  In recent days, we have posted an inspirational short video by Sikh Advocate Academy graduate Saranjit Kaur, a news article about the educational work of Sikh Coalition presenter Savraj Singh, and a new blog article about TSA’s mixed messaging about the impact of whole-body imaging machines on Sikhs and profiling.

In this Issue

  • Donation Now!
  • Visit our website.
  • Connect with on Facebook
  • Watch our videos
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