Making History, First Sikh Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing
On September 19th, over 400 people attended a Senate subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC to watch Harpreet Singh Saini deliver an emotional tribute
to his mother, who was one of six worshipers whose lives were taken during the August 5th attack on the Oak Creek Gurdwara. Harpreet also made history by being the first Sikh to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing.
Click here to watch the hearing on C-SPAN
Click here to watch Harpreet's testimony
Click here to read Harpreet’s testimony
Click here to read more
The Sikh Coalition Demands NYPD Allow Sikhs to Serve
On September 28th, New York City Comptroller John C. Liu organized a press conference for the launch of a petition urging the City to reform the NYPD uniform and grooming policy to allow Sikhs to serve as police officers with their articles of faith intact. Gurjot Kaur, the Sikh Coalition Staff Attorney, delivered a powerful speech at the press conference demanding the city put an end to the discriminatory policy.
Click here to view the press conference.
Click here to sign Comptroller Liu's petition.
Executive Director Represents Sikh Voice on Fox News
On October 5th, Sapreet Kaur, the Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, appeared on Fox News's weekly program entitled the 'Spirited Debate'. Sapreet brought the Sikh perspective to the live discussion on faith and its role in politics.
Click here to watch the clip
Sikh Coalition Publishes Essay on AB1964 in Washington Post
On September 18, 2012, the Sikh Coalition’s Director of Law and Policy published an article in the Washington Post about AB1964, the California Workplace Religious Freedom Act. The historic new law, which was sponsored by the Sikh Coalition, provides workers in California the nation’s strongest protections against religious discrimination and is the first in the United States to specifically outlaw workplace segregation. AB1964 goes into effect on January 1, 2013. Consistent with the Sikh tradition of promoting human rights for all people, AB1964 will promote equal employment opportunity for millions of Californians, regardless of their religion.
We need your help in selecting the top videos for this year's Diversity Video Competition.
Watch the videos and vote for your favorite today! You have until October 24 at 5:00 pm (EST) to cast your vote. Cast your vote today for your favorite video. Your votes will determine which videos move on to the Expert Judging Round.
Remember the winner of this year's Diversity Video Competition will not only receive a cash prize of $1,500 but their film will be premiered at the Sikh Art and Film Festival in New York City this November! The Film Festival is just around the corner so remember, to get your tickets online today - you don't want to miss out!
How Individuals Can Increase Visibility and Appreciation For Sikhs
In the wake of Oak Creek, the Sikh Coalition sent an email with suggestions on what Sikhs can do in their city to increase visibility and appreciation for Sikhs. This list of suggestions included: participating in charity walks/runs; Inviting local law enforcement, elected officials, and educators to Vaisakhi/Gurpurab celebration; and reaching out to local media to pitch stories about local Sikhs. The Coalition urges you to stay active in your community and use this pivotal moment to spread awareness about Sikhi.
You can read the full list here.
Sikh Coalition Honored by the Indian American Bar Association of Chicago (IABA)
On September 14, 2012, the Indian American Bar Association of Chicago (IABA) honored the Sikh Coalition with its annual Community Service Recognition Award. IABA gave the honor because of the organization’s work in support of the Oak Creek Sikh community after the August 5, 2012 tragedy. The award came with a generous $500 donation. The Sikh Coalition thanks the IABA Board of Directors for their recognition and support.
Advocacy Manager Participates in the Panel, "Building Bridges"
In October, Advocacy Manager Simran Kaur, was invited to speak at "Building Bridges" - a panel discussion hosted by India Currents magazine and the Indian Diaspora Project (IDP) at San Jose State University. The discussion was conceived as a community response to the Gurdwara shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Simran joined Ajit Singh, Ash Kalra, Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, Dennis Akizuki, and Raj Jaydev to discuss the history of violence against minority communities, specifically against the Sikh community, what can be learned from these events and how we can better engage with our government.
Anti-Bullying Workshops Offered to Sikh Youth by Sikh Youth
This summer the Sikh Coalition’s youth leadership group, the Junior Sikh Coalition, developed and launched its ‘Know-Your-Rights-On-Bullying’ Campaign where they presented important information on bullying to over 350 Sikh youth throughout New York and New Jersey.
The workshops were developed by the youth and included information on identifying, responding, and preventing bullying in schools. The workshops allowed Sikh youth opportunities to role play and practice responding to bullying. They also included information on how Sikh youth can support other youth who are experiencing bullying.
Additionally, resources were provided for both students and parents.
Thank You for a Fabulous Office Warming Celebration!
The Sikh Coalition would like to thank everyone for coming out to the grand opening of our new New York City office space this month. It was an amazing opportunity for us to share the "behind the scenes" work of the Sikh Coalition and show our gratitude for all of your support throughout the years. You helped make our Office Warming Celebration
and all we do, a success!
Our Journeys 2012: Inspirations, Explorations, Voice and Practice
The Sikh Coalition is a proud supporter of the Our Journeys 2012 conference taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia on October 27 where more than a dozen papers will be presented by distinguished international scholars, students and community-based practitioners. Our Journeys is the annual academic conference of SAFAR – The Sikh Feminist Research Institute. The conference aims to explore intersections of Sikhi and gender through a variety of lenses and disciplines; and further, to inspire critical thinking, scholarship, and education about Sikhi and areas of activism, such as the Sikh feminist movement. With the conference taking place at the University of British Columbia, SAFAR invites diverse communities, Sikh and non-Sikh alike, to attend and participate in the dialogue.
In this Issue