This month, we join Sikhs worldwide in remembering the Indian Army’s assault on Darbar Sahib (also known as the Golden Temple) and dozens of other gurdwaras throughout Punjab in 1984. Code-named Operation Bluestar, the assault claimed the lives of thousands of Sikhs.
Please read this first-hand account from Sawinder Singh, a survivor of the 1984 assault, whose home was right beside the Darbar Sahib complex, and view this video mapping the carnage.
Education Victory in Colorado
On May 10, 2018, the Colorado State Board of Education voted to approve new social studies standards, which for the first time ever include Sikhism. As a result, over 270,000 high school students in Colorado will now accurately learn about the Sikh community. Colorado now joins a growing list of states - including New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Tennessee and Idaho - that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school standards.
Additionally, the Sikh Coalition is working to systematically build relationships with state boards of education and identify opportunities to improve education standards in states across the country, including current work in Arizona. Please click here to learn more about the Sikh Coalition’s tireless effort to create Sikh awareness in our nation’s classrooms for generations to come.
Apply to the Junior Sikh Coalition Today!
The Sikh Coalition is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Junior Sikh Coalition (JSC) class through June 25, 2018. Since its inception in 2012, the JSC initiative has trained nearly 60 youth community leaders who have educated over 1,300 students on bullying prevention and Sikh awareness. We are now looking for the next generation of youth leaders to strengthen Sikh communities. You must be a sophomore, junior, or senior in high school, or a college freshman or sophomore to be eligible to apply. Please note this initiative is for residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
For more details on Junior Sikh Coalition, click here, and click here to access the 2018 JSC application. For any questions, please contact Community Development Manager Harleen Kaur at email@example.com or 201-416-9825.
Sikh Project Opening in Chicago, Illinois
This June, the Sikh Project will display 19 captivating portraits at the Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago, Illinois from June 11-19, 2018. The photography exhibition, which launched to critical acclaim in 2016, features portraits of turbaned men and women that embody the diversity of the Sikh community and recognize the challenges and triumphs of what it means to be Sikh in the United States. Since its initial launch in New York City, thousands of people have learned about the Sikh faith through the exhibition as it travels from coast to coast. In Chicago, visitors will be able to experience the Sikh Project for free in the Daley Center East Lobby from Mondays through Fridays from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
If you have questions about scheduling a group visit for a class or gurdwara, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please view and share the Facebook event page.
CNN Sikh Episode is Changing Hearts & Minds
“I was about to examine a longtime patient when he looked me in the eye and said, ‘My wife and I saw the CNN episode. I now know who you are, and it has completely opened up my mind.’ This stopped me dead in my tracks.” - Dr. Daljeet Singh. Read Dr. Singh’s full story and appeal for supporting the Sikh Coalition.
The original May 6th airing of CNN’s United Shades of America: Sikhs in America ranked #1 in cable news in the key adult demographic of 25-54. The landmark episode exclusively focusing on the Sikh experience also had the highest reach across cable news in the 10pm ET time period (among 25-54), topping the competition by double digits. The Sikh Coalition spent six months supporting United Shades of America producers with interview research, background resource material, B-roll footage and amplification of the groundbreaking segment.
Defendant Sentenced in 2014 NYC Hate Crime
On May 21, 2018, Joseph Caleca pleaded guilty to leaving the scene after causing injury in the 2014 hate crime involving Sandeep Singh. Mr. Caleca, who has been in prison for the past 17 months, was sentenced to one year already served and was released from prison based on custodial credits while awaiting trial.
Four years ago, Mr. Singh was critically injured after Mr. Caleca called him a “terrorist” and told him “go back to your country” before running him over in his pick up truck. In response, the Sikh Coalition represented Mr. Singh and worked with law enforcement officials, his family and the Sikh community for justice in his case.
Please click here to learn more. If you would like to request legal assistance from the Sikh Coalition, please fill out our legal intake form.
Media and Communications Team Builds Capacity
The Sikh Coalition is excited to announce the hiring of our new Media and Communications Manager, Rajanpreet Kaur. In this role, Rajanpreet joins a growing high-impact communications team that contributes to nearly every facet of the Sikh Coalition’s work and drives groundbreaking media results on behalf of Sikhs in America.
Years ago, Rajanpreet presented anti-bullying workshops to Sikh students in the tri-state area and worked to compile the “Nirbhau Nirvair: Poetry and Art Book” as a Junior Sikh Coalition leader. More recently, she spent a full year as an intern in the Media and Communications department, where she provided direct support to the organization’s social media and online campaigns, and secured successful media coverage for our National Day of Seva initiative in multiple outlets across the country.
Southern California Celebrates 3rd Bowl-a-thon
On May 20, 2018, the Sikh Coalition hosted our 3rd annual SoCal Bowl-a-thon where over 200 enthusiastic bowlers and cheerleaders ‘bowled a strike for Sikh rights.’ The event provided a rewarding opportunity for the Southern California sangat to celebrate the Sikh identity and the hard work that is being done to fight for Sikh civil rights in California and across the United States.
Please click here to view pictures from the event.
Communications Team Supports Washington Community Event
On May 26, 2018, thousands came together in Kent, Washington for the annual Khalsa Day Celebration and Parade, which featured kirtan, langar, interfaith service projects, demonstrations of gatka and more. Working with Kent City Councilmember Satwinder Kaur and other local Sikh community members, our team was honored to provide direct communications support in our never-ending shared efforts to further educate our neighbors.
For six weeks, the Sikh Coalition built and executed a communications strategy to engage local news outlets. This effort contributed to multimedia coverage across the Seattle-area media market including the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the News Tribune, the Kent Reporter and the local Fox television station.
We look forward to continuing our grassroots media support to initiatives throughout the United States.
Interfaith Forum Emphasizes Collaboration
In May, Sikh Coalition Southern California Community Development Manager Inderpreet Kaur held a discussion at Orange County’s Interfaith Network and Fullerton College’s “Religion, Gender and Justice” Forum. She shared the Sikh Coalition’s work and the importance of interfaith collaboration. We would like to thank Elisabeth Burke, a Religious Studies Instructor and PhD candidate, for inviting us to represent our local community.
In this Issue