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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
August 16, 2014
  • Sikh Hate Crime Survivors Demand Action from NYC Government

    On August 14, 2014, three Sikh men—all violently attacked because of their turbans in separate New York City hate crimes— called on government and police leaders to enact policy reforms to address violence and discrimination against minority communities in New York City.

    At a press conference organized by the Sikh Coalition, Dr. Jaspreet Singh Batra, a medical scientist, recounted how he was attacked and injured last Thursday on Roosevelt Island. Speaking via video because of the seriousness of his injuries, Sandeep Singh, a business owner and father, deemed his slow recovery a “miracle” after being run over and dragged by a driver in a pick-up truck on a public street in Queens late last month. Both assaults, which were accompanied by racial and religious slurs, occurred almost one year after Columbia University Dr. Prabhjot Singh was attacked in Harlem. Dr. Singh joined the men in solidarity.

    Click here to read more.
  • Sikh Americans Remember Oak Creek by Rallying for Justice

    Exactly two years after a racist gunman took six lives and injured several others at a Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, New Yorkers of diverse backgrounds—led by the Sikh community—rallied in support of Sandeep Singh, a Sikh American father who was run over by a truck moments after the driver called him a “terrorist” and told him to “go back to your country.”

    Click here to read Prabhpreet Kaur's (Sandeep Singh's Wife) statement.
    Click here to listen to Sandeep Singh’s hospital recording.
    Click here for photos from the rally.
  • In the Media

  • Submit Your Video for the 1984 Living History Project

    The 1984 Living History Project is working to capture the stories of anti-Sikh violence in India during 1984, while recognizing the survival and resilience of a people. This project seeks to build awareness of state-sponsored human rights violations, suppression of information and social trauma.

    Take some time to listen to individuals from across the world recount their memories of 1984. Further, we encourage you to submit a video or set up a recording studio to capture the history of 1984 in our own voices. For details on how to submit a video, please read through the story guidelines.
  • Remembering Oak Creek Through Seva

    In honor and remembrance of those who lost their lives and were injured at the Oak Creek Gurdwara two years ago, Sikh communities nationwide partnered with the Sikh Coalition for a National Day of Seva (Selfless Service) to pay tribute to the Oak Creek community.

    Atlanta, GA; Bakersfield, CA; Detroit, MI, Durham, NC; Fort Wayne, IN; Houston, TX; Modesto, CA; New York City, NY; Orange County, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Clara, CA; Surrey, British Columbia; and Wilmington, DE took part in Day of Seva activities.
  • Her Name is Kaur NYC Book Club

    On August 15, 2014, the Sikh Coalition hosted a book club discussion on Her Name is Kaur: Sikh American Women Write About Love, Courage, and Faith at its New York City office. The book spans the diverse and intergenerational experiences of Sikh women, offering a unique insight into their lives. Editor Meeta Kaur introduced the book and contributors to the book read excerpts. Following the readings, the group engaged in a lively discussion on the Kaur idenity and the issues faced by Sikh girls and women. The authors also discussed their writing process and what motivated them to contribute to this seminal book.

    The Sikh Coalition will be hosting additional book clubs accross the country. Stay tuned for details.

    Click here for photos from the NYC discussion.
  • Sikh Coalition Files FOIA Request for NSA and FBI ‘Raghead’ Emails

    On July 17, 2014, responding to reports that NSA and FBI officials used the ethnic slur “raghead” in surveillance programs targeting American Muslims, the Sikh Coalition filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with both agencies. This request demands production of all employee emails since September 11, 2001 that contain the epithets “raghead” and “towelhead.”

    According to the FOIA request, “[d]isclosure of the requested information to us is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the extent to which [agency] employees have used epithets indicating prejudice in official correspondence.”

    Click here to read more.
  • Sports Should Bring People Together, Not Drive Them Apart

    To protest the decision of the International Basketball Federation's (FIBA) ban on Sikh turbans, New York Congressman Joseph Crowley and California Congressman Ami Bera are circulating a new letter in the U.S. Congress.

    The new letter draws inspiration from the #LetSikhsPlay campaign, which was initiated by the Sikh Coalition and SALDEF, and which is aimed at ending FIBA's discrimination against turbaned Sikh athletes.
  • NYC Court Dismisses Criminal Kirpan Charges Against Sikh

    A court in Queens, New York dismissed a criminal summons in July that was issued to a Sikh for carrying a kirpan. The Sikh received the criminal summons because he carried two kirpans into John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

    Click here to read more.
  • Sikh Coalition Files Amicus Protesting NYPD's Muslim Surveillance Program

    The Sikh Coalition joined the Interfaith Alliance and more than twenty other religious organizations in filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief urging the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to review a lower court's decision in Hassan v. City of New York.

    The case concerns the New York City Police Department's controversial surveillance program targeting American Muslims. As part of this program, undercover law enforcement members infiltrated Muslim community centers, businesses, college campuses and houses of worship across New York City and New Jersey and documented the daily lives of American Muslims. The brief argued that upholding and allowing programs such as this, which allow for surveillance of an entire community without regard to individual culpability, inhibits the free exercise of religion, violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and injures the targeted communities by deterring them from worshiping freely. The Sikh Coalition would like to thank Hogan Lovells US LLP for its work and efforts on the brief.

    Click here to read the brief.
  • Legal Director Presents at American Bar Association Conference

    Harsimran Kaur, the Sikh Coalition's Legal Director, spoke on a panel at the American Bar Association's Annual Conference in Boston on August 8, 2014. The panel was entitled "Best Practices for Managing Religious Diversity in the Workplace," and also included attorneys representing plaintiff-employees, defendant-employers, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Sikh Coalition Staff Attorney Presents at Workplace Discrimination Seminar

    On August 6, 2014, Sikh Coalition Staff Attorney Gurjot Kaur presented at a workplace discrimination seminar hosted by the New York City Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This year's seminar celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace. Gurjot presented on a panel with Jadhira Rivera, Senior Trial Attorney at the EEOC, and Avi Schick, a partner at Dentons Law Firm. Gurjot provided information to employers and attorneys on best practices in accommodating religion in the workplace. She also discussed latest developments in religious discrimination law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and applicable state laws.
  • Register for the NYC Bowl-a-thon Today!

    The Sikh Coalition’s Fifth Annual NYC Bowl-a-thon will be held on September 7, 2014, at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers. Join us as we bowl a strike for Sikh Rights! And in case you haven't heard already, model and entrepreneur Waris Ahluwalia will be joining us this year! Lanes will fill up fast so join or start a team today!
  • Sign Up for the Fourth Annual 5K for the 5Ks in California

    Registration for the Fourth Annual 5K for the 5Ks is now open! Please join us on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Baylands Park, Sunnyvale, CA and take a stride for Sikh rights! Following the walk/run, there will be music, food, a photo booth, a kids' corner and activities for all ages. So register yourself, family and friends today!
  • The Sikh Coalition is now Accepting Applications for Fall 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. To see the interns in action click here and to apply, click here.

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