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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
February 13, 2016
  • #StandWithWaris Campaign Leads to Airline Training & Global Education

    A prominent Sikh American actor and designer, Waris Ahluwalia, was prohibited from boarding an Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to New York City on Monday, February 8, 2016, because of his turban.  In partnership with Mr. Ahluwalia, we devised a communications, legal and advocacy plan to address this civil rights violation. Aeromexico issued an apology and a directive to its employees on the religious significance of Sikh turbans. Also, the airline will request approval to implement religious diversity and sensitivity training for airport security and airline staff. In addition, our communications and media team successfully engaged more than 600 media outlets internationally across print, TV and radio including CNN, Associated Press, the New York Times and People Magazine, educating hundreds of millions globally. Read our advisory to learn more.
  • Data Drives Change: New Website To Report Hate

    On February 2, 2016, the Sikh Coalition launched Report Hate (www.ReportHate.org), a new online tool for community members to document incidents of harassment, discrimination and hate violence. The Sikh Coalition developed this tool to make it easier for Sikhs to document hate incidents, even if they are not legally actionable or a crime.  The data gathered through Report Hate will enable the Sikh Coalition to better target its outreach efforts to law enforcement, educators and community leaders.
  • Introducing Board Members Manmeet Kaur and Manpreet K. Singh

    The Sikh Coalition is excited to announce that Manmeet Kaur and Manpreet K. Singh have joined our Board of Trustees! As members of the board, they will bring new backgrounds, talent and invaluable perspectives to the work and the long-term mission of the organization.

    “Manmeet and Manpreet are an inspiration to Sikh men and women,” said Board Chair Narinder Singh. “We are thrilled to add their talent and spirit to help guide the Sikh Coalition.” Click here to learn more.
  • Sikh Coalition’s New Resources to Combat Hate

    In the wake of recent political rhetoric and the attack in San Bernardino, California, the Sikh Coalition released a variety of new resources in January to combat hate and hate violence in addition to the Report Hate web tool. We disseminated a hate crime poster in English and Punjabi, which details what community members should do if they are a target or witness to hate violence. We also prepared letters to law enforcement and educators detailing many of the challenges Sikh Americans face and providing recommendations on how to combat hate.

    Policy Director Selected as Faith Leader to Watch in 2016

    Arjun Singh, the Sikh Coalition’s director of law and policy, was selected by the Center for American Progress as one of their "16 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2016."  Arjun was described as urging "an understanding of religious pluralism that upholds the nation’s founding principles of liberty and equality."  It was also noted that "in debates on national security, he has called out actions that stigmatize innocent groups, fan the flames of Islamophobia, and harm Muslim, Arab, and Sikh Americans."

    Buzzfeed Article Examines America’s Crackdown on New Sikh Immigrants

    In September 2015, the Sikh Coalition assisted Buzzfeed reporter David Noriega in his in-depth research into "America’s Quiet Crackdown On Indian Immigrants." The story was released on January 31, 2016, and it is a startling examination into the profoundly disturbing experience that some Sikh immigrants face here in America.

    This story is one of the few examples of an American reporter providing an in-depth analysis of injustice against Sikh Americans. We commend Mr. Noriega for this piece and urge Sikhs to read and share it widely.

    Senior Religion Fellow Presents to US Department of Justice

    On February 10, 2016, Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh joined with the Sikh Dharamsal of San Antonio, Texas, to introduce members of the Department of Justice to the Sikh tradition. Simran led the opening presentation and shared basic Sikh tenets, experiences and challenges. Following his presentation, local community members gave the participants guided tours of the Sikh exhibit at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

    We Too Sing America Panel Discussion in San Francisco

    On January 20, 2016, the Sikh Coalition's community development manager, Harjit Kaur, joined Deepa Iyer and other community leaders for a panel discussion on how to combat hate violence in San Francisco, CA.  The discussion was framed around Deepa Iyer’s We Too Sing America, a compelling book that tells the stories of the South Asian community in the tumultuous decade following 9/11, and offers hope in the form of profiles of young activists and advocates striving to promote civil and human rights. During the discussion, panelists discussed specific calls to action that the audience could implement within their own daily lives and communities. Harjit called upon the audience to pay attention to their words. She described how our vocabulary contributes to the inaccurate or biased portrayals in the media that can lead to bullying and hate violence against our communities. Read more about this event here.

    Senior Religion Fellow Delivers Keynote to Student Affairs Professionals

    Sikh Coalition Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh delivered a keynote address on January 22, 2016, to student affairs professionals from across the state of Alabama. His remarks focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion, and he offered suggestions on how universities around the country can create healthier and stronger campus communities. 

    Sikh Community Represented at UN Interfaith Event

    On February 3, 2016, the Sikh Coalition participated in the observance of the 2016 World Interfaith Harmony Week at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual celebration organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations. Damanpreet Singh participated as the Sikh representative alongside representatives from 16 other religious communities. Each representative symbolically affirmed one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end world poverty and work towards greater prosperity for all. During the event's two panel discussions, participants discussed strategies for building interfaith communities, and the role of multi-faith conversations in our attempts to build a more just world. 

    College Students -- We Need You!

    We are currently accepting applications for the Sikh Coalition's summer internship program on a rolling basis until April 15, 2016. The Sikh Coalition's internship program is ideal for undergraduate and graduate students looking to gain hands-on experience in the civil rights world. Interns have the opportunity to work directly with the Sikh Coalition staff to fight for and empower the Sikh American community. Summer internships are full-time over the course of 10 weeks. Internships are available in our Development, Community Development, Media & Communications and Legal programs. For more information on how to apply, please click here.

    Our Powerhouse Legal Team is Expanding -- Apply Today!

    We’re hiring! The Sikh Coalition seeks a highly motivated staff attorney, based in the organization’s New York City office, to join us on the forefront of our highly reputable religious rights and anti-discrimination work.

    The staff attorney will work as part of the Sikh Coalition’s Legal Program, which provides legal assistance to Sikhs who have been discriminated against or subject to bias based upon their religious beliefs or Sikh identity. Our attorneys have successfully litigated cases against major government and corporate employers alike, opening opportunities for Sikhs to fearlessly live, work, play, learn and raise our children in America. Our legal program is committed to ensuring that no Sikh ever has to choose between his or her faith and the American dream.

    This position is open only to attorneys admitted to at least one U.S. based jurisdiction, preferably New York. For more details, please click here.

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