Honor Oak Creek This Weekend with Seva
The Sikh Coalition continues to raise awareness and honor the families directly impacted by the 2012 Oak Creek tragedy through our annual National Day of Seva. This year, service events will be held in nearly 20 cities spanning the country this weekend -- August 13-14, 2016
. We will never forget what happened and are dedicated to ensuring that the rest of the nation doesn’t forget either.
It’s not too late to get involved! Click here
Groundbreaking Sikh Photography Exhibition Launching Next Month
The Sikh Project, brought to you by the Sikh Coalition and acclaimed British photographers, Amit and Naroop, will feature nearly 40 portraits of Sikh American men and women that explore the style and significance of the Sikh articles of faith. The buzz is growing around this free groundbreaking exhibition in New York City taking place from September 16-25, 2016
! Among other outlets, the Sikh Project has been featured in the Huffington Post
, and the BBC
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California Bill Combats Bullying
On August 11, 2016, the California Senate Appropriations Committee successfully passed AB 2845
, a bill co-sponsored by the Sikh Coalition and intended to combat bullying and discrimination in California public schools. AB 2845 (the Safe Place to Learn Act) was authored by California Assembly Member Das Williams to address the growing epidemic of bullying and discrimination against Sikh, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian students in California classrooms. The Senate is expected to vote on AB 2845 in the coming weeks. Click here to read more
Three Soldiers Take Next Step in Fight For Equality
Congratulations to Specialist Harpal Singh
and Specialist Kanwar Singh
, who graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in July and August, respectively. During Harpal's ceremony, he was honored and given the “Soldier of the Cycle” award for being one of the best soldiers in his company. Click here
to view photos of Specialist Harpal Singh's ceremony. Photos of Specialist Kanwar Singh's ceremony are forthcoming.
Separately, another Sikh Coalition client, Jaspreet Singh Gill, was granted a religious accommodation in July. Jaspreet will join the ROTC at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania as he now begins to pursue his dreams of serving our nation.
In 2016, we have almost doubled the number of Sikhs granted accommodations to serve with their articles of faith than in the previous 35 years combined. However, the blanket policy prohibiting Sikhs from serving with their articles of faith remains, and so the broader battle to end the policy of religious discrimination by our nation’s largest employer continues.
Sikh Coalition Supports BLM, Calls for Police Accountability
In July, the Sikh Coalition shared a letter drafted by Asian American youth calling on their elders to support Black Lives Matter and its call for greater police accountability. The letter has been translated into more than a dozen languages, including Punjabi
. To read more about the letter in the news, click here
As We Celebrate A New JSC Class, We Need Your Support Sending Them To Camp Chardi Kala!
Last week, members of the fifth Junior Sikh Coalition class completed their first week of Social Justice Boot Camp at the Sikh Coalition's New York City office. This week, as our youth leaders head off to Camp Chardi Kala to continue their youth building and Sikhi learning, we still need your financial support to ensure that every child has the resources to attend.
It's not too late to donate! Please help guarantee that all of our Junior Sikh Coalition children are given this special privilege by donating today
. Every dollar makes an enormous difference as we celebrate the fifth Junior Sikh Coalition program and the 40th anniversary of Camp Chardi Kala.
Malicious Photo Falsely Implicates Sikh
Following the violent attacks in Nice, a doctored photo of an innocent Sikh was circulated on the internet with a caption describing him as the perpetrator of the attacks. The same false images had also been used in the Paris attacks, and news outlets began mistakenly reporting that the Sikh man was guilty. Having learned from the post Paris expe, the Sikh Coalition helped intercept and discredit these accusations immediately before the rumors spread widely. The Sikh Coalition handled media requests and interviews for this story, which received coverage from media outlets all around the world.
Select coverage: Washington Post
; The Independent
Sikh Musician Profiled While Eating Lunch
Sikh musician Neelamjit Dhillon was enjoying a meal in Orlando, Florida, when someone called the police on him because of the case he was carrying. This was his bamboo flute case, and Neelamjit was completely innocent of any wrongdoing. His brush with racial profiling received national
attention, and the Sikh Coalition facilitated his media requests and interviews.
Policy Director Delivers Presentation to US Customs and Border Patrol
On July 14, 2016, Sikh Coalition Director of Law and Policy, Arjun Singh, met with 50 new Customs and Border Patrol Agents and delivered a presentation on hate violence, profiling, and the Sikh articles of faith. The meeting concluded with a provocative question-and-answer period, and may lead to training opportunities at immigration entry points across the country, including the Southern border.
Sikh Coalition Continues Engagement with Police and Educators
In July, Sikh Coalition Director of Law and Policy, Arjun Singh, sent letters to more than a dozen city police departments and school superintendents asking them to remain vigilant in identifying and preventing hate violence and bullying in their communities. Because of the current political climate and recent mass shootings, Sikhs have reported an uptick in hate incidents and bullying.
Are you the Sikh Coalition's next Operations Manager?
Are you a self-starter interested in learning the ins and outs of a high-impact, dynamic non-profit? Are you interested in participating in the ongoing struggle for Sikh civil rights? Learn more about the national Operations Manager position. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Apply here today: http://www.sikhcoalition.org/get-involved/jobs
Prayers, Caution, and Know Your Rights
We offer our prayers as disturbing violent attacks continue around the globe, including in Nice, France and Quetta, Pakistan. In the aftermath of such events, minority communities are acutely vulnerable to backlash, and we urge every Sikh to exercise extra vigilance and caution during this period of heightened anxiety. Please notify law enforcement of any threats of violence, and contact the Sikh Coalition at 212-655-3095 or online here
We urge community members to review our FAQ guide
on hate crimes, hate speech and how to report incidents to authorities and the Sikh Coalition. Please also view our printable hate crime poster
, which is in both English and Punjabi. Finally, our web tool - www.reporthate.org
- is always available for confidentially reporting incidents, whether legally actionable or not.
In this Issue