Remembering Oak Creek: Three Years Later
August 3, 2015 marked the third anniversary of the tragic Oak Creek, Wisconsin shooting that killed six innocent worshippers and injured several others. We honor those who lost their lives: Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suvegh Singh Khattra and Satwant Singh Kaleka. We continue to pray for those who were critically injured: Baba Punjab Singh, Bhai Santokh Singh and Lt. Brian Murphy.
From Oak Creek to Charleston, it is clear that our journey to combat the problem of hatred is a shared one. With these families in our hearts and minds, we continue our work to prevent and eliminate these tragic acts of violence
Oak Creek Solidarity Through Nationwide Day of Seva
On August 1, 2015, the Sikh community participated in the third annual National Day of Seva
in remembrance of and in solidarity with those who were injured or killed in Oak Creek, WI. In the spirit of chardi kala, Sikhs and non-Sikhs participated in 20 service projects across 16 cities
, which showcased that we will never allow misguided hatred or bigotry to prevail. These projects included langar services, packing meals for the hungry, park clean-ups, toy drives, book readings and Habitat for Humanity projects. The seva projects were covered in the Detroit News
, Huffington Post
, Huffington Post Live
, Modesto Bee
, NBC News
, Times of India
and Hindustan Times
The New York Times Publishes A Sikh's Perspective on Hate Crimes
On July 27, 2015, Harpreet Singh Saini was featured in the New York Times
. In the wake of the Charleston tragedy, and nearly three years after losing his mother to a hate crime in Oak Creek, Harpreet made the case for passing hate crime laws in all 50 states. “An act of hate should always be counted and we must have laws in every state to protect Americans from these heinous acts of violence. We can’t bring back the loved ones, like my mother, whom we have lost to hate. But we can demand laws to better protect us,” said Harpreet in his Op-Ed.
to read the Op-Ed.
"The Un-American Way to Tackle Extremism"
On July 14, 2015, the Sikh Coalition's Director of Law and Policy Arjun Singh published an Op-Ed on CNN entitled "The Un-American Way to Tackle Extremism
." In the Op-Ed, Arjun explains why Countering Violent Extremism programs are un-American, unconstitutional and ineffective. Instead he advocates for "greater economic opportunity, after-school programs, anti-bullying legislation and a culture of inclusion rather than exclusion -- a culture in which Muslim and Arab Americans are celebrated as part of the American experience rather than denigrated as a stain on it."
to read the Op-Ed.
Delivering Results Through Media Work
In June and July 2015, through the Sikh Coalition's strategic media engagement
, the Sikh American voice has reached at least 110 million Americans, which represents more than a third of the U.S. population. Sikh American perspectives have participated in a variety of national conversations including the Supreme Court’s historic ruling against religious discrimination, the Walt Disney desegregation legal victory, the favorable court ruling in Iknoor Singh’s ROTC case and the dialogue about the Charleston tragedy.
to read more.
Welcome the New Sikh Coalition Advocates
For the fifth year in a row, the Sikh Coalition successfully hosted the Sikh Advocate Academy and graduated a new class of talented advocates, who are now professionally trained community volunteers. After completing our rigorous application process, the advocates received nearly five days of advocacy training in the fields of government, media, and community engagement. The week was filled with lectures, panel discussions with civil rights experts, case study exercises and a full day on Capitol Hill for individualized visits to Congressional offices.
to meet our class of 2015 advocates.
for photos from the Advocate Academy.
Junior Sikh Coalition Conducts "Know Your Rights" Workshops
The Junior Sikh Coalition (JSC) kicked off its annual Gurdwara tour this summer. The Junior Sikh Coalition has been focusing on its “Know Your Rights” workshop this year has been diligently developed and perfected and has already been delivered to hundreds of youth across the tri-state area. The aim of the workshop is to equip Sikh youth with the knowledge and tools they need to stand up against adversity they may face. JSC members work closely with Sikh youth to ensure they fully understand the ways they can overcome various challenges, such as bullying. The workshop has already been delivered in Gurdwaras in Albany, Richmond Hill, Glen Cove and Lawrenceville. JSC members hope to deliver this workshop to more Sikh youth across the tri-state area.
If you would like the JSC to present in your community, please contact email@example.com
NPR Interviews Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi
On July 20, 2015, Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh interviewed Sikh Coalition Army client Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi for the NPR program StoryCorps. The interview took place at the StoryCorps studio in New York City and touched on Major Kalsi's experiences as the first turbaned Sikh to serve in the U.S. Military. The interview will be archived in the United States Library of Congress and is slotted to air on the National Public Radio this upcoming fall.
Sikh Coalition Hosts Event with California Employment Development Department
On July 9, 2015, the Sikh Coalition hosted an event in collaboration with Andrew Chang & Co., representatives of the California Employment Development at the Fremont, CA office. The event provided an opportunity for the California Employment Development Department to understand the needs and concerns of the Punjabi and Sikh communities in relation to usage of Paid Family Leave (PFL). The community members in attendance shared their personal experiences, provided feedback on Punjabi pamphlets and discussed potential solutions for the low rate of Paid Family Leave usage in the community.
Join the Sikh Coalition Staff Team!
The Sikh Coalition is hiring! Our powerhouse legal and media teams are expanding. Are you the Sikh Coalition’s next Staff Attorney or Media & Communications Associate? Ideal candidates for both opportunities should have a passion for social justice and civil rights.
Specifically, the Media & Communications Associate
should have a passion for both traditional and social media campaigns, graphic design skills, and at least two years of experience in the areas of journalism, public relations, social media organizing or communications.
The Staff Attorney
will work to provide legal assistance to Sikhs who have been discriminated against or subjected to bias based upon their religious beliefs or Sikh identity. The Staff Attorney will conduct legal research and intakes, conduct all aspects of litigation and have 1-3 years of previous legal experience.
For more details, please visit www.sikhcoalition.org/get-involved/jobs
Now Accepting Fall 2015 Internship Applications
“As an intern at the Sikh Coalition, I learned useful skills and was able to actively apply them in the work that I did. After this internship, I feel confident that I will be more comfortable working in both social justice and other fields
.” -- Pawanpreet Singh, Development Intern
Apply to be a fall intern at the Sikh Coalition! Our internship program
allows students pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies to gain hands-on experience in the fight for civil and human rights of all individuals. Throughout 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 learn more about how to be intern with our media, development, or community development teams!
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