Spread the word » Facebook Twitter
Having trouble viewing this email? View it on our website.
The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
May 9, 2015
  • Seva Highlighted At Pentagon Vaisakhi Commemoration

    On May 1, 2015, for the second consecutive year, the Office of the Pentagon Chaplain commemorated Vaisakhi in a 400-seat auditorium. Guests included congressional staffers, military officials, service members, interfaith leaders and nearly 200 sangat members from across the country. The Sikh Coalition’s Executive Director, Sapreet Kaur, says the second commemoration affirms the importance of honoring religious diversity and raising Sikh awareness.

    Click here to view photos.
    Click here to view the event video.
    Full text of the remarks from the event: Simran Jeet Singh, Inni Kaur and Valarie Kaur.
  • New Film Documents Sikh Religious Discrimination

    The Sikh Coalition is excited to share The Struggle To Serve – a short documentary encapsulating our ambitious six-year campaign to end discrimination by the U.S. Department of Defense, the largest employer in America. The 18-minute film highlights the perseverance of three Sikh American soldiers who are working to end discrimination in our nation’s Armed Services. Filmmakers from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University produced the film with the financial support of the Sikh Spirit Foundation and the Sikhlens Art and Film Festival.

    Click here to watch the film.
  • [Take Action] Sign a Petition to Preserve Sikh History

    The Sikh Coalition will be presenting thousands of community petition signators calling upon the California Department of Education to preserve Sikh history in California. We need your help TODAY to increase the impact of our collective voices. Non-Sikh organizations are attempting to rewrite Sikh history. As detailed in the proposed revisions, one of proposed edits denies that Sikhism opposes the caste system and idolatry. Another wants to deny that Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, challenged the authority of the Brahmin and the power of the Mughal Empire.

    Preserve Sikh history - click here to sign and share the petition.
  • Training TSA on Respecting Religious Rights

    In April 2015, the Sikh Coalition trained over 100 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees, including security officers, on Sikhism and Sikh air travelers’ rights during the screening process. Operations Manager, Balbir Singh and Legal Fellow, Attorney Katie Mallon conducted eight in-person training sessions over two days at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. The Sikh Coalition educated the TSA on how to safeguard the religious rights of Sikh air travelers and how to screen respectfully – including ensuring that Sikhs are granted the option of a self pat-down of their own turban during additional screening. These trainings were also available through a live webcast and recorded to be used as part of a nationwide TSA webinar. Following the training, Attorney Katie Mallon was interviewed by PTC Punjabi about the experience.

    Click here for photos from the training.
    Click here for the PTC Punjabi interview.
  • Junior Sikh Coalition Writes to New York City Mayor de Blasio

    On April 23, 2015, the Junior Sikh Coalition (JSC) catalyzed 13 other New York-based organizations to send a letter urging New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to convene a youth summit. The suggested summit aims to address hate crimes, bullying and the consistent criminalization of minority communities by the NYPD.

    Since 2012, the JSC has played a leading role in combating bullying through their “Know Your Rights on Bullying” campaign and have partnered with other New York City organizations to end bias-based discrimination and hate crimes.
  • American Lawmakers Introduce Resolutions Honoring Vaisakhi

    In April 2015, during the celebration of Vaisakhi, American lawmakers in California, Pennsylvania, Texas and the United States Congress introduced resolutions and proclamations recognizing this important occasion. This was made possible with the help of Sikh Coalition supporters who sent over 1,200 messages to their Members of Congress this last month to create awareness about Vaisakhi. Resolutions help promote awareness and appreciation about the Sikh community and also helps start important conversations about policy issues in local community.

    Click here to read the resolutions and proclamations.
  • Sikh Advocate Academy Deadline Tomorrow

    The Sikh Coalition is please to invite applicants for the fifth Sikh Advocate Academy. During this intensive, week long workshop (July 12- July 17, 2015) in Washington, DC, 10 outstanding individuals will be trained on advocacy techniques used by the Sikh Coalition to build movements and achieve justice. The Academy will be led by experienced social justice advocates and feature guest speakers from government agencies, media outlets and civil rights organizations.

    Click here to apply! The deadline to apply is Sunday, May 10, 2015.
  • “Waking in Oak Creek” Screened on Capitol Hill

    On April 30, 2015, the Sikh Coalition was honored to partner with Not In Our Town for a Capitol Hill screening of Waking in Oak Creek, a documentary about community resilience following the August 2012 hate attack on the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin. After the film, the Sikh Coalition’s Senior Director of Law and Policy, Rajdeep Singh, joined Kamal Saini, Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi and Nazmia Comrie from the U.S. Department of Justice for a panel discussion. Congressman Joseph Crowley, Congressman Paul Ryan and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee also spoke at the event. The Sikh Coalition is grateful to the event organizers, including Patrice O’Neill and Libby McInerny, for organizing this important discussion.
  • Junior Sikh Coalition Hosts Its First Ever Open Mic Night

    As part of the Nirbhau Nirvair Poetry & Arts Campaign, the Junior Sikh Coalition hosted their first open mic night - Nirbhau Nirvair: A Night of Expression at the Sikh Coalition’s New York City office on April 18, 2015. The evening gave Sikh youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to express themselves through poetry, spoken word, art work and music. They used these various art forms to share their experiences across communities and identities. Over 75 people attended the event, which was full of positive energy emotion and talent.
  • Vaisakhi Celebrations in Central Valley, CA

    In honor of Vaisakhi and last year's Sikh Awareness Resolution in California, Woodward Public Library in Fresno invited the Sikh Coalition to host a film screening on April 15, 2015. Library patrons were given a small introduction into the Sikh faith, saw the film Waking in Oak Creek and engaged in a brief discussion afterwards. The Sikh Coalition also hosted a window display at the entrance to the library which showcased both the Sikh and Punjabi traditions of Vaisakhi.

    On April 19, 2015, the Sikh Coalition hosted a gurdwara tour and Sikh Awareness presentation for a class of students from Fresno Pacific University at the Selma Nagar Kirtan. The class of about 30 students observed the nagar kirtan, listened to kirtan and were also given a brief introduction into the Sikh faith. The instructor - Darren Duerksen - is the Director and Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies at the University and has been engaged with the Selma gurdwara for the last several years.
  • Sikh Coalition Discusses Needs of Sikh Patients at UCSF Fresno

    Last week, the Sikh Coalition was invited to participate in a discussion about cultural competency at UCSF Fresno. Simran Kaur, Western Region Director, spoke about the religious and cultural needs of healthcare patients of the Sikh faith. The discussion was part of the Community Pediatrics component of UCSF Fresno's residents' education. The discussion addressed culturally-responsive care as it related to caring for pediatric patients and their families. The Sikh Coalition was joined by other guests who represented or worked with various cultural, racial, ethnic, religious and social groups. We are grateful to UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program for including us in this discussion.
  • Sikh Coalition Empowers Viewers With Free Resources To Address Bullying

    In May 2015, the Sikh Coalition's California Community Development Manager, Harjit Kaur, discussed bullying prevention and awareness on the Dr. Kang Show (Global Punjab TV). We urge the community to take advantage of our free resources and request bullying prevention seminars in your children's schools. If you or someone you know is being bullied, please contact the Sikh Coalition at legal@sikhcoalition.org. For bullying prevention resources, please visit our resource page.
  • Junior Sikh Coalition Spreads Awareness at Sikh Day Parade

    Junior Sikh Coalition members attended the Annual Sikh Day Parade in New York City on April 25, 2015. While connecting with Sikh families, they also distributed Vaisakhi and “Who are the Sikhs” infocards to non-Sikhs and answered questions they had about Sikhism. A key component of the Junior Sikh Coalition program is spreading awareness of the Sikh identity, as Junior Sikh Coalition members believe that increasing people’s knowledge of our religion can help decrease bullying and hate crimes.

    In addition, two JSC members were featured in an article written by Sonny Singh in Open City Magazine. This article highlights their perspective on the Sikh Day Parade, their engagement with attendees and bystanders and youth involvement in our community.

In this Issue

  • Donation Now!
  • Visit our website.
  • Connect with on Facebook
  • Watch our videos
  • Connect with on Facebook
You are receiving this email because was subscribed to our email list. Click here to unsubscribe.