Dear Supporter Ji,
Until August 2, 2013, it was the policy of the U.S. government to not track hate crimes against Sikhs. Although the federal government compiles hate crime statistics for diverse communities, including gays and lesbians, Protestants and Catholics, Muslims and Jews, no such records ever existed for hate crimes against Sikhs.
With your financial support, the Sikh Coalition has changed that.
On August 2, 2013, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will add numerous religious and ethnic communities—including Sikhs—to the list of communities for which it maintains hate crime statistics. According to Attorney General Holder, tracking anti-Sikh hate crimes “allows law enforcement leaders and policymakers to make informed decisions about the allocation of resources and priorities – decisions that impact real people, and affect public safety in every neighborhood and community.”
What did it take to change federal policy?
It took persistence. The Sikh Coalition first requested Sikh hate crime tracking in January 2011 and repeatedly raised the issue for two years at meetings with Justice Department officials.
It took community petitions. Sikh Coalition supporters sent 8,448 petitions to Congress demanding that hate crimes against Sikhs be counted.
It took Congressional support. Over 135 bipartisan members of Congress sent letters to the Justice Department demanding that hate crimes against Sikhs be counted.
It took teamwork. Over 150 organizations, led by the Sikh Coalition, supported the Sikh Coalition’s demand for a Senate hearing in response to the Oak Creek tragedy.
It took community leadership. In September 2012, Harpreet Singh Saini made history by testifying at a Senate hearing, where he asked the government to strengthen hate crime prevention measures and give his mother and all those who lost their lives at the Oak Creek Gurdwara “the dignity of being a statistic.”
It took a professional organization that you support. Pulling in the support of 135 Members of Congress, over 150 rights organizations, and over 8,000 community members does not just happen. It requires a team of knowledgeable, full-time professionals, dedicated to protecting our rights, and supported by you.
The Sikh Coalition has consistently shown leadership not only in challenging policies that affect people’s lives but also in changing them for the better. If you want this important work to continue, please make a generous financial contribution to the Sikh Coalition today by clicking here.
Thank you for your ongoing support and activism.
The Sikh Coalition
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