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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
November 11, 2017
  • Employment Discrimination Case Reaches Resolution

    We are proud to announce that a resolution was reached in the December 2016 employment discrimination lawsuit that was filed on behalf of Dr. Jaswinder Pal Singh. 

    The employer, a Tennessee-based medical group, has agreed to work with the Sikh Coalition to improve its employment hiring policies so that all qualified job candidates, regardless of their faith or background, will receive fair and equal treatment. As part of the agreement, the employer will strengthen its equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies and retain an EEO consultant to provide anti-discrimination training for staff responsible for recruiting, interviewing and hiring employees.

    This resolution is the latest in the series of high-impact employment discrimination victories that the Sikh Coalition has secured on behalf of the Sikh community over the past 16 years. For more information, click here.
  • November is California Sikh Awareness Month

    For the sixth consecutive year the California legislature, led by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, has approved a resolution designating November as California Sikh American Awareness & Appreciation Month. Additionally, the Sikh Coalition worked with the California Department of Education to circulate a memorandum to every county and district school superintendent in the state, encouraging them to promote awareness of Sikh Americans and remain vigilant against school bullying.

    Also, we are again partnering with the Los Angeles Clippers to host the fourth annual Sikh Awareness & Appreciation game on December 6, 2017. Use #CASikhs on social media!
  • Please review the many easy ways you can get involved in California Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month, and contact casikhs@sikhcoalition.org with any questions.

    Finally, we are excited to welcome our new Community Development Fellow, Inderpreet Kaur, who is leading key components of our community engagement in California, including Sikh Awareness Month.
  • Remembering 1984

    This month we remember and pay tribute to the innocent lives lost in 1984 and continue to demand justice and accountability. Starting on November 1, 1984, tens of thousands of Sikhs were murdered in India in largely government-sanctioned violence.

    Please read this piece in Time Magazine, which examines the Indian government's active role in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms, and view this poignant photo essay for more information.
  • Has Your Gurdwara Joined Our Security Initiative?

    The mass shooting this month at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas underscores the urgency of doing more to protect our houses of worship.

    In response to concerns of increasing hate crimes against religious minorities and their places of worship in the United States, the Sikh Coalition has distributed the Gurdwara Security Toolkit to more than 200 gurdwaras earlier this year; we have also facilitated security consultations with gurdwaras across the country from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    Click here to download our Gurdwara Security Toolkit, click here to watch a video about the initiative, and contact Community Development Manager Aasees Kaur at aasees@sikhcoalition.org to schedule a security consultation.
  • NBC’s Hit Show Features Sikh Character

    On October 31, 2017 a Sikh character was featured on NBC’s hit show This Is Us. The primetime program, which the Sikh Coalition consulted on, reached nearly 9.8 million Americans according to the Neilsen ratings. The Sikh Coalition is proud to work with organizations like Revolutionary Love and Harness to break new ground on behalf of the Sikh community in this emerging Hollywood space. Learn more about the episode and look out for new exciting updates in this area of our work in the future!
  • Your Support is Critical Now to Continue Fighting For Our Rights

    The  Sikh Coalition has launched our fundraising campaign to raise $1.1 million before the end of the year to meet our budget. Because of the sangat's support, we have been able to build upon our groundbreaking work. We have secured numerous victories like the inclusion of Sikhism in public school standards in Tennessee and Idaho, the publication of the first-ever reporter guide on Sikhi, and engagement with over 200 gurdwaras in a new project designed to make our houses of worship safer.

    We need each of you to join us in our year-end fundraising campaign, and we need you to help us fight for civil rights in 2018 and beyond. We simply cannot do this work without you.
  • New Lawyers Join Legal Team

    On October 30, 2017 the Sikh Coalition added two new lawyers to the legal department as we continue to invest critical resources into defending and protecting Sikh civil rights. Senior Staff Attorney Julian Darwall has several years of litigation experience on civil rights advocacy issues, and Legal Fellow Giselle Klapper joins the team from a law firm where she specialized in civil rights and international human rights issues. Both positions are full time and based in the Sikh Coalition’s New York City headquarters.

    “Our continued goal is to provide the Sikh American community with the best free legal resources in areas of hate crime, employment discrimination, bullying, racial profiling and religious rights,” said Legal Director Amrith Kaur. “Julian and Giselle are important additions to our team, and we are excited for them to make an immediate impact.”
  • Sikh Project Photo Exhibition Travels to California: Chapman University and State Capitol Building

    As part of California Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month, the Sikh Coalition is proud to confirm that the Sikh Project is being featured in Sacramento and Orange County this November. The landmark art exhibition that originally reached over 20 million Americans in 2016 comes to California with the goal of reaching thousands more.

    Three Sikh portraits are being displayed in the California State Capitol Museum in Sacramento from November 1-12, 2017, and thanks to a partnership with SikhLens, the complete exhibition will also be featured at Chapman University from November 17, 2017-January 15, 2018.
  • Join Our Team!

    Do you have a passion for civil rights? Click here to see all of our current open positions.

    In addition to other openings, we are hiring a new Executive Director. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director serves as a hands-on manager who will build on and expand the Sikh Coalition’s foundation and legacy and lead the organization into its next phase of growth. S/he will oversee the day-to-day management of the organization. To learn more about the Executive Director position, qualifications and how to apply, click here
  • Sikh Religious Society Holds Interfaith Vigil

    On October 11, 2017, the Sikh Coalition participated in and co-sponsored the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago’s interfaith vigil to honor the lives lost in the Las Vegas mass shooting.

    “As we all continue to pray and support the victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting, we must also vow to do more to combat the underlying problems associated with these types of mass killings,” said Amrith Kaur, Legal Director, in a speech at the vigil. The ceremony also included shabaads (sacred hymns) and prayers, as well as speeches from community leaders.

    Please click here to view photos from the vigil.
  • Sikh Coalition Co-Founder Presents at Massachusetts Gurdwara Opening

    "Sikhi—as the Sikh faith is called—is a religion of revolutionary love founded by Guru Nanak at the end of the fifteenth century in the Sikh homeland of the Punjab. This love requires that Sikhs make sacrifices for others by attending to their social, economic and political well-being." -Sikh Coalition Co-Founder and Board Member Harpreet Singh in a speech at the opening of the Westborough, Massachusetts Gurdwara Sahib.

    On October 14, 2017, Harpreet Singh was a featured speaker at the opening of a new gurdwara in Westborough, Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, Gurdwara President Malkit Singh Gill, Dr. Jang Bahadur Singh, Dr. Amarpreet Sawhney, and Simran Kaur Soin also spoke at the gurdwara opening.
  • Sikh Coalition Educates Educators in Florida

    From October 20-22, 2017, Sikh Coalition Finance & Systems Manager Maggie Lloyd and Education Consultant Damanpreet Singh engaged with teachers at the Florida Council for the Social Studies conference. We provided Florida-specific resources, general materials on Sikhism, classroom posters, and magnets to Florida's social studies teachers, who gathered from around the state for staff development.

    Several teachers told us they had been incorrectly teaching that Sikhism was a blend of Islam and Hinduism, and they were excited to have accurate information for their students. Another teacher has already planned to rearrange his class to teach about Sikhism.
  • Department of Justice Hate Crime Forum Addresses Police Chiefs

    On October 21, 2017, the Department of Justice invited the Sikh Coalition to a forum on hate crimes in Philadelphia to address the International Associations of the Chiefs of Police. Sikh Coalition National Advocacy Manager Sim J Singh joined other panelists, including law enforcement officials and peer organizations to discuss hate crime prevention, reporting and best practices in working with communities.

    Click here to view photos from the forum.
  • Sikh Coalition Senior Religion Fellow Participates in Obama Summit

    During the week of October 30, 2017, Sikh Coalition Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh was invited to attend and speak at the first Inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, IL. On his panel, "Reimagining Faith and Civic Life in the 21st Century," Simran specifically explored the question of what it is about religion that inspires its unique contributions to justice movements. The other members of his panel included Aden Van Noppen of Harvard Divinity School, Rabbi Sharon Brous of IKAR in Los Angeles, and Osa Obaseki of The Sanctuaries.

In this Issue

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