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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
July 12, 2014
  • Executive Director Provides Interfaith Greeting at Presbyterian Church General Assembly

    On June 18, 2014, the Sikh Coalition Executive Director Sapreet Kaur provided a greeting, on behalf of the Sikh American community, during the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In her greeting, Sapreet shared her personal journey, including the moment when she understood that to be a Sikh is to serve all of humanity. She also noted that the century-old Sikh American community is fiercely committed to working alongside our partners in other faith traditions and impressed upon the audience to learn from and know their neighbors. Over 2,000 people were present during Sapreet’s remarks and over 14,000 more watched over livestream.
  • Announcing the "Connecting with 1984" Small Grants Pool

    The Sikh Coalition is announcing the "Connecting with 1984" Small Grants Pool to support and encourage community activism. A group of generous and committed donors have come together to offer $100,000 in small grants to individuals and/or groups who would like to create and deliver educational programs and initiatives to raise awareness within the Sikh community about the events of 1984 and beyond.

    Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Ask Congress to Support Sikh American Children

    Responding to the Sikh Coalition’s national school bullying report, members of the U.S. Congress are circulating a new letter calling on federal agencies to address bullying against Sikh American children in our nation’s schools. Drawing on recommendations by the Sikh Coalition, the letter asks the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice to proactively expand outreach to targeted communities, including Sikh Americans and improve data collection about bullying against Sikh American children.

    Ask Your Member of Congress to Sign the Anti-Bullying Letter.
  • School Bullying Report Presented to Fresno Council of Governments

    During the month of June, the city of Fowler, CA invited the Sikh Coalition to present to the Fresno Council of Governments about the impact of school bullying on Sikh American youth. Western Region Director, Simran Kaur presented to the group of Mayors, representing over 15 local cities, about the Sikh identity and specific local data showcasing bullying against Sikh students. Earlier this year, the city of Fowler voted to adopt a citywide anti-bullying resolution which cited statistics from the recent report, "Go Home, Terrorist": A Report on the Bullying of Sikh American School Children. The Fresno Council of Governments was requested to adopt a similar anti-bullying resolution across Fresno County.
  • Sikh Coalition Youth Leader Speaks on Capitol Hill

    On June 25, 2014, Junior Sikh Coalition youth leader and Sikh Advocate Academy graduate, Gurwinder Singh, spoke out against profiling at a press conference organized by civil rights advocates outside the U.S. Capitol Building. Profiling occurs when law enforcement officials target individuals based on their appearance or beliefs, not on the basis of actual criminal activity. Although hundreds of civil rights organizations oppose profiling, the practice continues, and federal law allows it.

    Click here to watch the video.
  • FlyRights Complaints Lead to Re-Training of Screeners, Other Remedies

    Since the launch of the FlyRights phone application, your Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening complaints have made a positive difference! Here is an update on the outcome of three TSA complaints filed by Sikh air travelers in the past year, either through the Sikh Coalition and/or FlyRights.

    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Secondarily Screens TSA Pre✓™ Passenger
    Los Angeles International Airport Denies Sikh a Turban Self Pat-Down
    Sikh Forced to Remove Turban at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
  • White House Holds Third Briefing on Sikh Civil Rights

    On June 13, 2014, jakaras were once again heard in the White House during a briefing on Sikh civil rights issues. This briefing, held for the third consecutive year, was organized in collaboration with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the White House Office of Public Engagement at the request of the Sikh Coalition.

    Click here to read more.
  • Meet the New Sikh Coalition Advocates

    For the fourth year in a row, the Sikh Coalition has successfully graduated a new class of professionally-trained community volunteers through the Sikh Advocate Academy, an intensive advocacy training program in our nation’s capital. After completing a rigorous application process, ten activists from around the country received five days of advocacy training, which included a combination of lectures, panel discussions, case study exercises, visits to Congressional offices and a policy briefing at the White House.

    The new Sikh Coalition Advocates will join over 30 alumni around the country in amplifying the Sikh voice through government engagement, media engagement and alliance building.

    Meet the Advocates from the 2014 class here.
  • Senior Religion Fellow Featured in Presbyterians Today

    Presbyterians Today, the award-winning, general interest magazine of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), featured an interview with Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh and the Presbyterian Church's Associate for Interfaith Relations, Christine Hong. In the interview, Christine and Simran share their inspiration for leading discussions in various churches around New York City, and the two of them also explain their plans to expand their pioneering efforts in the coming months.
  • Art Display and Reception to Discuss Hate Crimes in Sacramento

    On July 2, 2014, Social Justice Fellow, Winty Singh, joined representatives of the Sacramento community and various faith organizations at a reception in California's State Capital. The reception featured paintings of Hassan Alawsi, an Iraqi American who was killed last March in the Sacramento area in what many believe is a hate crime. Held on Mr. Alawsi's birthday, the reception and art display was hosted by California Assembly Member Dr. Richard Pan. Attendees and speakers recalled several other hate crimes that occurred in the Sacramento area, including the unsolved murders of two Sikh grandfathers, Surinder Singh and Gurmej Atwal, that occurred in March, 2011, the attack on a Sikh taxi driver in 2010, and the arson attacks on Jewish synagogues in 1999.
  • Junior Sikh Coalition Attend White House Policy Briefing

    Nine youth members of the Junior Sikh Coalition had the opportunity to attend the third historic briefing on Sikh civil rights issues at the White House.

    Two members of the Junior Sikh Coalition had the opportunity to address the Department of Justice on the issue of school bullying. Divpreet Kaur asked the Department of Justice to improve outreach to the community so everyone is aware of anti-bullying resources, including engaging in Punjabi media and gurdwaras. Pawan Singh asked the Department of Justice what preventative measures are being taken to combat school bullying against Sikh Americans and suggested that they focus more on educational initiatives for bullying prevention. The Junior Sikh Coalition was part of a group of over 100 activists that came from across the United States to attend the briefing in Washington, DC.
  • Pentagon Vaisakhi Celebration Video Now on YouTube

    On April 25, 2014, for the first time in American history, the Office of the Pentagon Chaplain commemorated Vaisakhi, one of the most religiously significant days in the Sikh tradition. The video of the event is now available online.

    Click here to view the video.
  • National Day fo Seva on August 2, 2014

    Two years after the mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, sangats across the nation are coming together to commemorate the tragedy by organizing and/or participating in a National Day of Seva on August 2, 2014.

    There are Day of Seva activities happening in New York City, NY; Detroit, MI; Santa Clara, CA; San Francisco, CA; Sacramento, CA; Modesto, CA and Bakersfield, CA.

    Please stay tuned for Seva events happening in Fort Wayne, IN; Phoenix, AZ; Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX. For more information about events in these cities, or for information on how to organize an event in your city, please visit our National Day of Seva website page.
  • Survey on Female Participation and Leadership at Gurdwaras

    The Sikh Coalition is conducting a survey on “Sikh Female Participation and Leadership at Gurdwaras" and are encouraging both U.S-based men and women to fill out the survey.

In this Issue

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