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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
February 14, 2015
  • We Need Your Perspective - Share Your Feedback

    We are grateful to dedicated sangats across the country for their support in making all of the Sikh Coalition’s work possible. We look forward to showing you returns on that investment in the year ahead.

    At the Sikh Coalition, we constantly strive to ensure our work aligns with the interests of the community. This year, we want your input. Please take just five minutes to fill out this survey about our work. Your voice will guide us and the community in 2015 and beyond.
  • Fighting To End Discrimination By America’s Largest Employer

    One year after the House Armed Services Committee held its first hearing on the Department of Defense's (DoD) updated religious accommodation guidelines, the Sikh Coalition and pro bono legal partner McDermott Will & Emery LLP sent a letter to the Pentagon, the DoD headquarters, outlining the plight of Taranbir Singh. Mr. Singh has been subjected to nearly two years of bureaucratic hurdles and denied the right to serve in the U.S. Army because of his religion.

    Click here to read more.
  • New York Times Addresses Issues of Religious Intolerance in India

    In advance of President Obama's visit to India, the Sikh Coalition sent an editorial board memo to the New York Times urging the Obama administration and Prime Minister Modi to publicly denounce Hindu extremist organizations, like the RSS. While we do not presume to take credit, we are pleased to see that on February 6, 2015, the New York Times weighed in on this issue, while addressing the broader crisis of religious intolerance in India.

    Click here to read the article.
  • "My Journey to Serve in the U.S. Army

    On February 2, 2015, Sikh Coalition Army client Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan published a blog post entitled “My Journey to Serve in the U.S. Army.” In the blog post, Captain Rattan chronicles his experiences in the U.S. Army and the lengthy and complicated religious accomodation process.

    Click here to read the blog post.
  • Book Chapter on Sikh American Civil Rights

    In January 2015, the University of Oklahoma Press published a collection of essays on religious liberty issues entitled, Religious Freedom in America: Constitutional Roots and Contemporary Challenges. Edited by Dr. Allen Hertzke, the book includes a chapter entitled Sikh Americans, Popular Constitutionalism, and Religious Liberty, written by the Sikh Coalition’s Senior Director of Law and Policy, Rajdeep Singh. The Sikh Coalition is grateful to the University of Oklahoma Press and Dr. Hertzke for including a Sikh American perspective in this volume.
  • When Courthouse Policies and Religion Clash: Sikh Coalition Publishes Article in ABA Newsletter

    In January 2015, Senior Staff Attorney Gurjot Kaur published an article entitled, "'Remove That Rag!' And Other Humiliations of Religious Minorities in the Courthouse" in the American Bar Association's Access to Justice newsletter. The article analyzed the obstacles Sikhs and other visibly religious minorities face while accessing courthouses, including being made to remove their religious headwear or other articles of faith due to "neutral" courtroom dress and security policies. Gurjot proposed proactive measures for attorneys and judges to undertake to prevent future religious rights violations and reminded readers that an individual's First Amendment rights to freely exercise his/her religion do not stop at the courthouse door.

    To read the article, click here.
  • "The Texas that I Love has No Place for Bigotry"

    On February 3, 2015, the Houston Chronicle published a piece by Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh on the anti-Muslim sentiments expressed by Texas representative Molly White. In his piece, Simran Jeet explained that the Sikh community has a responsibility to speak out against injustice. This responsibility extends to defending other minority communities in America that also experience misguided bigotry.

    Read the article here.
  • Bullying Prevention Workshop at Bay Area High School

    On January 21, 2015, in partnership with the Portia Bell Hume Behavior Health and Training Center, the Sikh Coalition was asked to join a panel of speakers discussing bullying prevention at James Logan High School in the Bay Area. The Sikh Coalition was joined by panelists from: the Portia Bell Hume Behavior Health and Training Center; the Vice Principal of James Logan High School; Restorative Justice; Soul Shoppe; and the Milpitas Police Department. Among the panelists, Officer Jaskirat Singh (a practicing Sikh working as a police officer for the Milpitas Police Department) discussed the importance and need for parents to engage and spend valuable time with their children - a recommendation based on his experiences working as a police officer. Harjit Kaur, the Sikh Coalition's Community Development Manager, made a presentation specifically on bullying faced by Sikh children in California, with recommendations for educators and community members on how to prevent and address this issue. We look forward to continuing our work with community organizations and school districts to address bullying.
  • 500 Students Receive Sikh Awareness Presentation

    On January 21, 2015, Social Justice Fellow Winty Singh presented to approximately 500 elementary students at John Ehrhardt Elementary School in Elk Grove, California. Winty provided a Sikh awareness presentation to educate the very interested and engaged fourth, fifth and sixth grade students about the Sikh community. The presentation was arranged after an education session was provided by the Sikh Coalition to all of the Vice Principals in the Elk Grove Unified School District during California Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month in November 2014. Thanks to the administration and students of John Ehrhardt for inviting the Sikh Coalition to their school.

    If you are interested in arranging a Sikh awareness presentation at your school or organization, contact the Sikh Coalition at education@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Kultar’s Mime in Washington, DC

    On January 24, 2015, the Sikh Student Association at George Washington University, in partnership with the Sikh Coalition, hosted a performance of Kultar’s Mime, an immersive play about the November 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms.

    Click here for photos from the performance.

In this Issue

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