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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
February 16,  2013
  • Executive Director Becomes First Sikh to Offer Prayer at Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service

    On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, made history by becoming the first Sikh American to speak at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service in Washington, DC at the request of the White House. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden were in attendance.

    Click here to watch the video clip.
    Click here to view pictures.
    Click here to view the program.

    Click here to read more.


  • Make Your Voices Heard - Congress Makes Final Push for Sikh Hate Crime Tracking

    A group of ten representatives in the U.S. Congress, led by Congressman Joe Crowley, is making a final push to persuade the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs. The FBI will make a final decision this coming June. Thanks to your support, in less than a week, 40 members of Congress have already signed Congressman Crowley's letter.

    Take Action – Make Your Voices Heard!

    If you believe hate crime victims deserve the dignity of recognition, and that law enforcement officials can do their jobs better with accurate statistics on hate crimes, please click here to send an automatic petition letter to your member of Congress.

    Click here to read more about the issue.


  • Legal Victory - Officer Ikhbinder S. Bassin Maintains Job with Articles of Faith Intact

    The Sikh Coalition welcomes the decision of the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) to accommodate Corrections Officer Ikhbinder S. Bassin’s Sikh articles of faith, including his unshorn beard and kara. Officer Bassin’s struggle to maintain his job required an aggressive and multi-layered approach by the Sikh Coalition.

    Read more about this legal victory.

    For more information on your rights, click here.


  • An Update From Oak Creek

    All of us were affected by the tragedy that took place in Oak Creek. The outpouring of support to the local Oak Creek sangat from the Panth worldwide was in the true spirit of Sikhi. Six months later, as we reflect on the tragedy, we must continue to work together, with the spirit of Chardi Kala, to build a brighter future.

    To this end, over the last six months, the Sikh Coalition has continued our engagement with both the local sangat and greater community.

    To read more about our continued engagement, click here.


  • The Sikh Coalition Director of Programs Moderates a Panel at Stanford Law School

    On January 14, 2013, Sikh Coalition Director of Programs, Amardeep Singh, moderated a panel at the opening of Stanford Law School’s new Religious Liberty Clinic. The panel discussed the future of religious liberty and included participants from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Stanford Law School, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Yeshiva University.

    Congratulations to the Stanford Law School for the success of the inaugauration of the Religious Liberty Clinic!


  • Sikh Coalition Article Published in Law Journal

    The Asian American Law Journal at UC Berkeley Law School has published a short research article by the Sikh Coalition’s Director of Law and Policy in its most recent edition. Entitled, How State Photo Identification Standards Can be Used to Undermine Religious Freedom, the article uncovers a legal loophole that could allow bigots in state legislatures to restrict the rights of minorities—including Muslims, Sikhs, and Jews—to wear headcoverings in driver license photographs. Such restrictions could severely limit the ability of affected individuals to travel and transact. Given the uptick in anti-Muslim legislation across the nation, and the impact that restrictive headcovering laws have had on minorities in France, this is not a theoretical concern. The Sikh Coalition is grateful to the Asian American Law Journal for publishing the article.

    Click here to read the article.


  • The Sikh Coalition Participates in a Panel at the Center for American Progress

    On January 24, 2013, the Sikh Coalition was included in a panel at the Center for American Progress. Director of Programs, Amardeep Singh, participated in the panel, which discussed fighting hate and extremism. The panelists were asked a series of questions regarding the tragedy in Oak Creek and how the Sikh community was affected both nationally and locally (within Oak Creek).

    The Sikh Coalition would like to thank the Center fo American Progress Action Fund for the opportunity to participate in the panel discussion.


  • Sikh Coalition Mentioned in Leading Non-Profit Publication

    The Sikh Coalition was quoted in the Non-Profit Quarterly, the leading non-profit publication in the U.S., along with our funder, the Proteus Fund, underlining the importance of collaboration will fellow organizations. The article entitled, Take Control of the Message through a Media Frame: A Case Study in Cooperative Recasting, discusses the Sikh Coalition's use of the Security and Rights Collaborative, a network of organizations which helps to frame public discussion on topics such as the Oak Creek tragedy, as a way to engage further support and gain a broader, national conversation.


  • Junior Sikh Coalition Honors Civil Rights Contributions on MLK Day

    On January 20, 2013, one day before MLK Day, the Junior Sikh Coalition gathered for their weekly youth leadership meeting to understand the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the civil rights struggle. Through activities and exercises on Sikh values and practices, they discovered the importance of identifying commonalities among shared struggles of all communities. The youth leadership group, which works to advance civil rights in their communities, engaged in powerful discussions that identified the ways in which Dr. King's work laid the foundation for the work of the Sikh community in the United States.


  • Asia Society Hosts Sikh Coalition in Houston

    The Sikh Coalition was invited to the Asia Society's Educator Night on January 29, 2013 in Houston, Texas. The Sikh Coalition's Education Director led a two-hour session on Sikhism, the early history of Sikh immigration, and why the external Sikh identity - the turban and keeping long hair - is so important in the faith. The session was attended by several middle and high school educators, who each received Sikh lessons and information on how to teach Sikhism in the classroom. The teachers present commented on how important it was to have accurate information about the faith, since Sikhism was added to to the Texas social studies standards in 2010. The Sikh Coalition would like to thank Paul Pass, the Education Coordinator at the Asia Society, for organizing this event. The Coalition also thanks Houston community members Manpreet K. Singh, Mahnek Singh Birring, and Bikram Singh for attending the session, answering questions, and demonstrating how a turban and patka are tied.

    “It was once again a pleasure to work with the Sikh Coalition and Manbeena Kaur. Given her former status as a classroom educator, she is gifted at presenting complex material in an easy to understand manner. As one of the most diverse communities in the country, it is essential for teachers in Houston to comprehend multiple forms of worship and be able to disseminate information to their multiethnic students. I organized this workshop based on demand from Texas K-12 instructors and everyone in attendance left with a significantly greater understanding of the Sikh faith and its followers." - Paul Pass, Education Coordinator, Asia Society


  • Sikh Coalition Executive Director on Fox News Live

    Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, was on Fox News Live's program, Lauren Green’s Spirited Debate this past January. Lauren Green’s Spirited Debate covers a wide array of topics concerning religious matters in the United States with faith panelists offering varying perspectives. This marks the third time Sapreet has represented the Sikh community on the Spirited Debate.


  • Fred Korematsu Day Heroes Celebration

    On January 27, 2013, the Sikh Coalition co-sponsored the Fred Korematsu Day Heroes Celebration in San Francisco, California. The Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education celebrated 16 American civil rights heroes, including Bhagat Singh Thind. Sikh Coalition volunteer, Ameet Chahall, attended the event and wrote an inspiring blog post about her experience at the event.

    Click here to read Ameet's blog post.

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