Sikh Advocate Academy Graduates 7th Class
June 28, 2018 (Washington, DC) – Last week, the Sikh Coalition successfully graduated 12 talented volunteers from the Sikh Advocate Academy, our signature grassroots training program in Washington, DC.
Following a competitive application process, our volunteer advocates received a week of intensive training from Sikh Coalition staff and guest speakers on government engagement, media engagement and community engagement. Last Thursday, the training culminated in 12 visits to congressional offices, where advocates offered to partner with their representatives to organize grassroots community forums on issues surrounding hate, employment discrimination, police profiling, and bullying. Additionally, some raised concerns surrounding the detention crisis impacting Sikhs and many other minorities.
Since 2011, the Sikh Coalition has trained 77 community volunteers on the same advocacy techniques that we use to promote civil rights and achieve justice. The volunteer advocates are an integral part of the Sikh Coalition’s network and reflect our commitment to continue investing in our community.
“This week, not only did I meet a huge network of people across the country who can help me with my advocacy goals, I learned how to communicate effectively with the media and with policymakers,” said 2018 Advocate Gurpal Singh Sran (Chicago, IL). He joins Harchint Arora (Novi, MI), Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa (Reston, VA), Kultarpreet Singh (Brownsburg, IN), Sukhpreet Singh Dhaliwal (Snohomish, WA), Soyna Kapoor (Glastonbury, CT), Balpreet Kaur (West Chester, OH), Bhanujit Singh Sabharwal (Bloomfield Hills, MI), Rasnapreet Kaur Suri (Bakersfield, CA), Prubjot Kaur (Carteret, NJ), Manshaan Singh Dhir (Pomona, CA), and Sudha C. Chopra (Lexington, KY) in the 2018 graduating class.
As we fight to protect civil rights at the federal level, we continue to use the Sikh Advocate Academy as a grassroots approach to empowering community leaders. Moving forward, this advocate class is already looking to engage with media outlets, connect with their representatives on a local level, and host National Day of Seva events this August in their cities.
“I am grateful to the Sikh Advocate Academy and the Sikh Coalition for giving me the skills to feel empowered to make political change in my community,” said 2018 Advocate Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa.
The Sikh Coalition is grateful to its government and nonprofit partners for speaking at the training – Harpreet Singh Mokha, U.S. Department of Justice; Manpreet Kaur Teji, Office of Senator Durbin (IL); Satwinder Kaur, Kent City Council; Hilary Shelton, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Scott Simpson, Muslim Advocates; and Sarah Munshi, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
We give special thanks to Amandeep Singh Sidhu and the law firm McDermott Will & Emery for hosting the Sikh Advocate Academy, as well as individual Sikh Coalition donors, whose financial support makes the Sikh Advocate Academy a reality.