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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
March 10, 2012

We're At 54 Members of Congress! Your Weekend Homework...

The Sikh Coalition is pleased to announce that 54 Members of the U.S. Congress have signed a letter initiated by Representative Joe Crowley (NY) in collaboration with the Sikh Coalition urging the Justice Department and FBI to track hate crimes against Sikhs. Thank you to every person who called or emailed their Member of Congress! We have exceeded our goal, but we want you to do more this weekend.

This weekend we need you to make copies of our Guide on Calling Your Member of Congress and distribute it in your Gurdwara, Khalsa School, or local community.  By Monday, we want our supporters to resume calling the offices of their Members of Congress.

-- Call Your Member of Congress
-- Email Your Member of Congress

Remember that direct phone calls to your Congressional offices are most effective.  After you make a call, please send an email to the Sikh Coalition letting us know that you have done so.

CafePress Removes Racist Shirts from Site

Last month the Sikh Coalition urged consumers worldwide to sign our petition to CafePress, demanding that the company stop selling racist t-shirts that promoted bigotry against Sikhs. CafePress, Inc. is based in San Mateo, California and is one of the largest online retailers in the United States. Sadly, the company website was offering for sale a pair of t-shirts that said “No More Ragheads!” and “No More Towelheads!”  These racial slurs are often used to disparage the Sikh turban and have been used against Sikhs in the context of hate crimes.

The Sikh Coalition issued an open letter to CafePress CEO Bob Marino on Friday, February 17.  The SIkh Coalition's online petition  garnered 2,000 signatures in a day.  By late Saturday morning, February 18, the racist images were removed from the CafePress website. In addition CafePress issued a statement expressing "regret" for "any problems or concerns caused by the images in question." In addition, the company encourages you to report offensive content to them by sending an email to cup@cafepress.com.

Sikh Coalition Continues Its Work With Texas Educators

As part of the Sikh Coalition's ongoing effort to equip Texas teachers with resources on Sikhism, we were recently invited to host a teacher workshop in Houston, TX.  The workshop was held at the Region 4 Educational Service Center's Annual Conference for Social Studies on February 4. The  Sikh Coalition's Education Director along with local Houston sangat led a presentation on Sikhism, bullying against Sikh students, and concluded with a patka and turban tying demonstration.  Each attendee was also given a 20-page packet containing lesson plans, information on Sikhism, and a resource list that contained links to books, films, and teacher resources online.  Over three hundred educators attended the conference.  To read more about the Sikh Coalition's campaign to include Sikhism in the Texas state standards, please click here.

Sikh Coalition Holds Annual Staff Meeting

In the beginning of February, staff from the California, Washington DC and New York offices came together for the annual staff meeting. During the 2 day meetings, staff reflected on the events of 2011 and discussed operational plans and strategies for 2012. It was a great opportunity for everyone to be under one roof and renew their commitment to the organization.

In this Issue

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