National Report on School Bullying Released in Congress
On March 13, 2014, in the U.S. Congress, the Sikh Coalition released a groundbreaking national report on the endemic bullying of Sikh school children in America. The report was released at a briefing in the U.S. Capitol Building organized by the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus
, the American Sikh Congressional Caucus
, and the Sikh Coalition. Congressman Mike Honda, Chair of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, joined representatives of the Sikh Coalition, congressional staffers, and members of the Sikh community to mark the event.
To learn more, please visit www.sikhcoalition.org/endschoolbullying
105 Members of Congress Urge Defense Secretary to Accept Sikhs
With the help of Sikh Coalition supporters nationwide, 105 bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Representatives Joseph Crowley (NY), Rodney Frelinguysen (NJ), Judy Chu (CA), and David Valadao (CA), have sent a letter
to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calling for equal opportunity for all Sikhs who wish to serve in the U.S. military. This new letter from Congress is a big step forward in our multi-year campaign to ensure that Sikhs are not discriminated against because of their religion by the Department of Defense—the nation’s largest employer.
However, our work is not finished. The U.S. Senate is now considering a letter in support of revisions to the Pentagon’s restrictive policies on religious accommodation.
to send a petition letter to your U.S. Senators.
First Sikh Awareness Day Celebrated in Georgia
On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, the Sikh community in Atlanta, Georgia gathered at the State Capitol in recognition of Sikh Awareness and Legislative Day. For the very first time, the Georgia State Legislature - led by Representative Karen Bennett and the Georgia House of Representatives - introduced the resolution which celebrated the presence and valuable contributions of the Sikh community in Georgia. Throughout the day, community members provided information about the Sikh faith and identity. In addition, Sikh community members offered turban tying demonstrations where several members of Congress participated in getting a turban tied. We congratulate the Georgia Sikh community on this initiative including Shawn Tucker, Sikh Advocate Academy
Class of 2012, for leading the efforts.
to read a blog post about the event.
To start a similar initiative in your state, email firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will help you get it done.
Junior Sikh Coalition Hosts Know Your Rights on Bullying Workshop in Connecticut
The Junior Sikh Coalition
(JSC) presented an anti-bullying workshop to over 50 youth at Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Gurdwara in Norwalk, CT, at the beginning of March. The Norwalk youth, ranging in age from 5 to 17 years old, walked away from the workshop better equipped to recognize forms of bullying, stand up to bullies, and report bullying incidents. Youth were given a safe space to talk openly about their personal experiences and the workshop provided resources and tactics for how they can better respond to bullying situations in school.
The Sikh Coalition Supports Efforts to Cancel Anti-Muslim Training in Virginia
The Sikh Coalition, along with fifteen other civil rights, faith based and civic organizations, sent a letter to a Virginia sheriff requesting that he cancel an anti-Muslim training. The trainer has a history of conducting trainings that perpetuate gross stereotypes and distorted information about Islam and Muslims. Biased trainings by law enforcement have drawn the ire of officials at the highest levels of government, including the Attorney General, the Director of the FBI and Members of Congress. The Sikh Coalition is proud to to stand with Muslim Advocates and other organizations on this issue.
Building Bridges with Youth
After a violent hate crime was committed against one of our Sikh colleagues in Harlem, the Junior Sikh Coalition
(JSC) attended a community-bridging event hosted by the Department of Justice and Columbia’s Sikh student group, Sewa. The purpose of the event was to link Sikh youth with other youth living in Harlem. The event was an ideal fit for the work of the JSC in raising awareness, educating ourselves and others, connecting communities to one another, and creating change.
Sikh Coalition Partners with 1984 Living History Project
The Sikh Coalition is excited to partner with Saanjh and other Sikh organizations on the 1984 Living History Project
. The Project’s mission is to mark the watershed year of 1984 through capturing the stories of anti-Sikh violence in India, recognizing the survival and resilience of a people, building awareness of state-sponsored human rights violations, suppression of information and social trauma. People from all over the world can contribute videos to the Project and build the archive of Living History. As we approach the thirty year aniversay of 1984, please click here
to learn more.
Sikh Coalition Staff Present at UC Berkeley Conference
On Saturday, March 8, 2014 the Sikh Coalition was invited to lead a workshop at the Asian Pacific Islander Issues Conference (APIICON). The workshop, the first of its kind, explored the Sikh American experience in the United States both before and after 9/11 and discussed these experiences within the larger framework of Asian Pacific Islander (API) history. Issues included violence and discrimination experienced by the community, specifically hate crimes, workplace discrimination, school bullying and racial and religious profiling. Workshop participants were given information about the Sikh faith and Sikh identity to provide them with additional context to issues facing the community. APIICON began in 1990 as a critical space for students, professors, and community members to dialogue about pressing issues and to come up with solutions together. By bringing underrepresented issues to the forefront, APIICON promotes awareness about ethnic diversity and fosters community-building among API activists and allies. We are thankful to the APIICON committee for including the Sikh voice in these discussions.
Junior Sikh Coalition Attends Asian Pacific American Youth Advocacy Day
On February 21, 2014, members of the Junior Sikh Coalition
attended an Asian Pacific American Youth Advocacy Day at City Hall in New York City. The goal of the Advocacy Day was to bring together Asian American and immigrant youth leaders from across the city to meet and discuss the issue of college readiness in immigrant communities. They also aimed to create a new education platform to help end discrimination against of Asian American youth in NYC public schools.
Professor Supreet Kaur Speaks at Sikh Coalition NYC Office
On March 6, 2014, Professor Supreet Kaur from Columbia University spoke at the Sikh Coalition's New York Office. Professor Kaur spoke about her experiences working at Columbia University, her economic development work in Punjab, and what role we as a Sikh American community can play in addressing these challenges abroad.
Over 30 community members attended the event and had an opportunity to ask Professor Kaur in-depth questions about her journey, as well as what motivates large institutions, like Columbia University, to invest money in Punjab.
Hester Street Hosts a QueensWay Workshop with the Junior Sikh Coalition
Junior Sikh Coalition
(JSC) members learned environmental and architectural design techniques through a workshop held by the QueensWay Project. This project calls on local communities to share their ideas and express their desires for the best ways to transform an abandoned railroad in Forest Hills, Queens into a functional park serving and reflecting the diversity of its neighborhood. JSC members represented the Sikh youth of the area by offering a variety of ideas they felt that Sikh youth would greatly benefit from.
Sikh Coalition Welcomes Two New Fellows
The Sikh Coalition is pleased to welcome two new fellows: Winty Singh, Social Justice Fellow and Harjeet E. Gidha, Legal Fellow.
A recent graduate from McGeorge School of Law, Harjeet is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars. With three years of experience working with victims of abuse, Harjeet will be working out of the NYC Sikh Coalition office and will be assisting the legal team in advocating and protecting the rights of the community.
Based in California, Winty has over 10 years of experience in strategic planning in the healthcare industry. He has been a Sikh Coalition volunteer for three years, including as a Sikh Awareness Presenter and a Volunteer Advocate. As a member of the Sikh Coalition's California Programs team, Winty will work to increase the Sikh Coalition’s capacity in California by supporting the organization’s national and regional agenda.
The Sikh Coalition Is Accepting Applications for Summer Internships
The Sikh Coalition Internship Program gives students hands-on experience in promoting civil and human rights. 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. For more information about our internship program, please click here
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