Join us on the Forefront of Civil Rights Work!
We are seeking two new colleagues -- a Senior Staff Attorney and a Legal Fellow -- to 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. Click to learn more about our Senior Staff Attorney
position and our Legal Fellow
We are seeking a National Advocacy Manager who will be responsible for driving the Sikh Coalition’s advocacy work nationwide in coordination with the Sikh Coalition’s attorneys and communications professionals and in partnership with allies in the civil rights community. Click here
to learn more.
We are looking for an organized, business-oriented self-starter to manage and scale the fast-paced growth of the Sikh Coalition’s national operations. An integral member of the team, the Operations Manager ensures the day-to-day functioning of the organization. Click here
to learn more.
We are also now recruiting our summer 2017 intern class. We are seeking highly motivated individuals to work with our Development team and our Media & Communications team on some of the most pressing civil rights challenges of our time. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until April 15, 2017. Click here
to learn more.
Know Your Rights & Exercise Caution
In this climate of anxiety, the Sikh Coalition urges every Sikh to exercise extra vigilance and caution.
If you are threatened with violence or experience violence, please notify law enforcement immediately and contact the Sikh Coalition at 212-655-3095 or click here
for our legal assistance form. Similarly, if you are a victim of hate speech, please report it through our tracking website, Report Hate (www.ReportHate.org)
Immigration Restrictions Amount to Profiling
The Trump administration has released an executive order that unfairly targets people because of their nationality and religion. The immediate targets are Muslims, but the scope of the order may be expanded in the future to limit immigration by other communities. For example, it is still an open question whether future implementation of the order will limit the rights of Sikh asylum seekers from India or Sikh refugees from Afghanistan. The Sikh Coalition rejects this order as unconstitutional and will continue to stand in solidarity with communities targeted by discriminatory policies. We support an immigration system that treats people with fairness and dignity, not one based on stereotypes masquerading as law.
Read this New York Times article
for more information. Here is the full text
of the order.
Do You Know How to Get in Touch with Your Elected Officials?
Throughout the Sikh Coalition’s history, we have endeavored to promote civic engagement through grassroots advocacy. Many of our advocacy victories were a direct result of supporters like you making phone calls and sending emails and letters to elected officials. Thanks to technology, it is now easier than ever for Americans to contact their elected officials, and we hope that the following resources are useful to you:
1) We the People
– start and sign public petitions to the White House
2) U.S. Representative
– find and call your Congressional representative
3) U.S. Senators
– find and call your United States Senators
– a website and phone app for communicating with your representatives
5) Communication Tips
– guidance from a former Congressional staffer
Regardless of political affiliation, it is important for all of us to engage with lawmakers to ensure our voices are heard during the policymaking process.
Army Update: #LetSikhsServe Adds 5 New Accommodations
In January 2017, the U.S. Army granted five additional observant Sikh American soldiers enduring religious accommodations, permitting each of them to serve with their religiously mandated turbans and beards. This new wave of accommodations is the largest increase in Sikh soldiers since the Department of Defense banned visible articles of faith in 1981.
The decision comes just after the U.S. Army updated rules governing religious liberty that significantly improve the standards for Sikhs and other religious minorities who seek to serve their country. Click here
for more information on the latest info on our #LetSikhsServe campaign.
Also, congratulations to LTC Kamal Singh Kalsi, who was recently promoted from Major to Lieutenant Colonel
. And congratulations to PFC Arjan Singh Ghotra who was recently promoted from Private to Private First Class
FIBA Announces Positive Step in Headwear Policy
FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, announced in January that it will reconsider and possibly eliminate its ban on religious headwear. This announcement is promising
for observant Sikh athletes and other religious minorities who have been forced to choose between their faith and their profession.
For years, the Sikh Coalition has been publicly pressuring
FIBA to lift its ban on religious headwear. Together with a coalition of partners
, the campaign to update the discriminatory rule received worldwide support and attention
. On January 30, 2017 the basketball organization issued a statement saying it “favored a modification of the rule and issued a mandate for the Technical Commission to come forward with a proposal” for further review.
to learn more.
Center For American Progress Honors Executive Director as Faith Leader to Watch in 2017!
"Both individually and collectively, people of faith, their voices, and their actions will be integral to fighting back against injustice and ensuring that all people are treated with dignity and equity." - Center for American Progress
Sikh Coalition Executive Director Sapreet Kaur was selected as one of the Center for American Progress' 12 faith leaders to watch in 2017
Sapreet joined the Sikh Coalition as Executive Director in 2009 and prior to this, served on the Board of Directors for two years. In addition to leading the strategy and overall direction of the organization, she has had a direct role in navigating the Sikh Coalition’s multifaceted work to end religious discrimination by our nation’s largest employer. She has also launched groundbreaking projects like National Day of Seva, The Sikh Project, the inclusion of Sikhism in state education standards and Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month in California.
Salute to Army Secretary Eric Fanning
After eight years of leading advocacy, we were honored to attend the Pentagon farewell ceremony for Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning. During his remarks, he spoke with pride about opening doors and improving diversity within the U.S. Army. Under Secretary Fanning’s leadership, the Army issued updated rules in January governing religious liberty that significantly improve the standards
for Sikhs and other religious minorities who seek to serve their country with their religious articles of faith intact. The new rules eliminate bureaucratic hurdles that previously discriminated against Sikhs.
We thank Secretary Fanning for his leadership and service.
Sikh Coalition Presents on Parliament of World Religions Panel
On February 1, 2017, Sikh Coalition Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh was a featured speaker for a webinar hosted by the Parliament of the World's Religions. The program was a part of Interfaith Harmony Week hosted by the United Nations. The session, entitled "A More Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World," focused on how our faith traditions can help guide our activism and justice work. Simran spoke specifically on the experiences and contributions of Sikhs around the globe and how faith leaders can use media as a tool for public education.
Free Resources at Your Fingertips, Including Brochures in 18 Languages
In addition to providing direct legal, communications and advocacy support to clients, we have released a variety resources to combat hate and educate the public about Sikhism. Our hate crime poster, brochures that explain Sikhi in 18 languages
and a wealth of other free resources are available on our new website’s updated searchable resource page
. Free prints of brochures, posters and postcards are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In this Issue