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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
March 9, 2013
  • Let Congress Hear Your Voices Now

    Thanks to your efforts so far, approximately 100 members of the House of Representatives have endorsed our campaign to persuade the FBI to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu, and Arab Americans, the way it does for other communities. The modest changes that we are requesting will enhance the federal government’s ability to accurately diagnose and deter hate crimes, and expand awareness about our diverse communities among thousands of law enforcement officers throughout the United States.

    Click here to send a petition letter to Congress.

    Click here to read more.

  • Florida Sikh Shot While Driving; Sikh Coalition and SALDEF Request Hate Crime Investigation

    According to local news reports, Mr. Kanwaljit Singh, a Sikh American was shot and injured on the night of Feb. 23, 2013 as he drove his car in Port Orange, Florida. His 13-year-old son, who was also in the car, was not injured. Working together, the Sikh Coalition and Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) have called on law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to conduct a thorough investigation of this shooting and determine whether it was motivated by bias. Local law enforcement officials believe they have identified surveillance footage of the suspect vehicle.

    As the investigation unfolds, we encourage the community to remain calm and offer prayers to Mr. Singh and his family for a speedy recovery. The Port Orange Police Department has asked community members to contact Detective Jeff Wenzel at (386) 506-5884 or (386) 506-5800 only with specific information that could lead to the arrest of the assailant. Any general comments or concerns regarding the investigation of this incident as a hate crime should be directed at the Sikh Coalition or SALDEF.

    Click here to read more.

  • Sikh Coalition Attends Six-Month Follow-Up Conference in Oak Creek

    The Sikh Coalition participated in a six-month follow-up meeting convened by the United States Justice Department to discuss the ongoing needs of the Oak Creek Sikh community six months after the August 5, 2012 mass shooting.

    The meeting was organized by the Community Relations Service of the United States Justice Department and held on February 4, 2013 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In addition to local community members, the meeting included Jim Santelle, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin; Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi; Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards; Oak Creek School Superintendent Dr. Sara Burmeister; and representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

    Click here to read more.

  • Sikh Coalition Strengthening Alliances in Washington, DC

    In recent weeks, the Sikh Coalition’s Director of Law and Policy participated in three public discussions on civil rights. On February 23, 2013, the Sikh Coalition shared anti-bullying campaign strategies with a diverse group of community activists in Washington, DC at the Arabesque Lecture Series, organized by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. On February 26, 2013, the Sikh Coalition discussed its response to the Oak Creek tragedy and the need to holistically address the problem of hate crimes at a SAALT Circle Meeting organized by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). On March 4, 2013, the Sikh Coalition discussed its anti-bullying work again at the Safe Schools Advocacy Summit organized by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), one of the nation’s leading authorities on proposed federal legislation known as the Safe Schools Improvement Act. The Sikh Coalition is grateful to its partners in the civil rights community for inviting us to share our perspectives at community events, and we encourage Sikh Coalition supporters everywhere to build bridges with organizations outside the Sikh community in the cause of promoting civil rights for all.

  • Sikh Coalition Invited to Speak at “Day of Remembrance”

    On February 17, 2013, The Sikh Coalition was invited to speak at the Japanese American community's annual "Day of Remembrance" program earlier this month. The event, organized by the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC) of San Jose, California, commemorated the presidential Executive Order which was issued in February 1942 and was the basis for the World War II internment camps. More than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry were interned at 10 camps scattered across seven states. Notable focus was given to addressing the discrimination being experienced by Sikh Americans. Advocacy Manager Simran Kaur and Congressman Mike Honda spoke at the event about the importance of upholding and supporting the civil rights of all. Over 400 people were in attendance at the event. The Sikh Coalition looks forward to continuing to build bridges with all communities and gives special thanks to the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC) of San Jose for including the Sikh community in this important event.

    Photo courtesy of Josie Lepe / Mercury News.

  • Director of Programs Gives Howard University Law School Lecture

    On Thursday, February 14, 2013, Director of Programs, Amardeep Singh, along with Jasjit Singh, Executive Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), gave a lecture at Howard University Law School entitled "Mini Course on Racial Profiling in Communities of Color." The lecture focused on a series of topics, particularly centered on post-9/11 backlash and the Oak Creek Gurdwara Massacre.

  • Six Years with the Sikh Coalition

    On February 28, 2013, Legal Director Harsimran Kaur spent her six year anniversary as an attorney with the Sikh Coalition at Stanford Law School (SLS). She gave a presentation about Sikhism and the legal challenges that Sikh-Americans face to students enrolled in the SLS Religious Liberty Clinic. The students, who represent individuals whose religious rights were violated, engaged in a very lively discussion and continued asking questions even after class was over.

  • American Idol Viewing Party in Dallas, TX

    Close to 40 parents, grandparents, and children arrived at Gurvendra Singh Suri's residence in Dallas, Texas, on February 28th to cheer on American Idol contestant Gurpreet Singh Sarin. Since Gurpreet was among the top 40 contestants, and no Sikh has ever made it this far on the popular singing show, the Coalition invited several local media outlets to the Suri's residence to capture the moment. Sikhs across the country were very proud of Gurpreet's performance and his portrayal of Sikhs on the show. Even though we have called America home for over 100 years, Sikhs are rarely shown positively on mainstream television. Gurpreet's amazing personality and his ability to stay in chardi kala showed viewers across the country that Sikhs are a part of this country and pop culture just like everyone else.

    Coverage from the event:

    Dallas Morning News - "Fan Fare" Sikhs Cheer Idol Contender
    Dallas Morning News - "American Idol"
    Dallas Observer - I Went To A Sikh American Idol Watch Party...
    Dallas Observer - Sikhs on TV!

    To see pictures from the viewing party, click here

  • Internship and Fellowship Opportunities

    Interested in interning for the Sikh Coalition? 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.

    Additionally, the Sikh Coalition is launching a new fellowship program. Fellows will work out of one of three Coalition offices around the country, New York City, Fremont, CA, or Washington, DC. Fellows will gain invaluable hands-on experience in a multitude of areas.

    For more information about the Sikh Coalition's internship program, click here.
    For more information about the Sikh Coalition's new fellowship program, click here.

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