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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
September 8, 2018
  • Take Action: Register Your Sangat to Vote

    In advance of the midterm elections on November 6th, the Sikh Coalition is organizing a voter registration drive to support ongoing community efforts to register Sikh American voters nationwide. It’s as important as ever for Sikhs to exercise the right to vote, and our National Sikh Voter Registration Day on September 23rd reminds elected officials that the Sikh community cannot be ignored.

    Please email advocacy@sikhcoalition.org if you are interested in leading a voter registration drive in your gurdwara or community. Once you sign up, we will provide you with the tools and guidance necessary for a successful event and then work with you to promote the event. This support includes a comprehensive toolkit, an easy-to-use voter registration portal, and access to our informative webinar.
  • First-Ever Back-to-School Toolkit

    Last week, the Sikh Coalition launched our first-ever Back-to-School Toolkit and Sikhism Educator’s Guide as part of our multi-year effort to create safe and inclusive classrooms for Sikh students nationwide.

    Our Back-to-School Toolkit is designed to make it easy for Sikh kids and parents to engage their local educators in every area of Sikh awareness, school bullying and religious rights. In addition, the Sikhism Educator’s Guide equips teachers with lesson plans for teaching Sikhism and provides them with a depth of valuable information regarding the Sikh community, traditions and faith.

    Click here to share the Sikhism Educator’s Guide with your state board of education. To discuss opportunities about how the Sikh Coalition can support you or your community in outreach efforts to educators, please contact education@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Offensive NJ Radio Comments Lead to Successful Training

    On August 21, 2018, the Sikh Coalition led a Sikh awareness training with nearly 30 employees of NJ 101.5, a radio station owned by Townsquare Media, Inc., after radio hosts made disrespectful comments about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and his turban on July 25th. In addition to training the show hosts, Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, the session educated employees on the Sikh faith and challenges faced by Sikhs in modern America. Following this initial training, we will facilitate additional trainings on understanding biases. Click here to learn more.
  • Recent California Attacks Require Vigilance 

    In response to two recent vicious assaults against Sikhs in Keyes, CA and Manteca, CA, the Sikh Coalition urges sangat members to know your rights, remain vigilant and always report cases of bias, bigotry and backlash.

    The Sikh Coalition’s legal team has been in direct contact with community members and local law enforcement in both cases to offer legal aid, advocacy and communications support. Additionally, our media and communications team provided support for a town hall meeting organized by Jakara Movement on August 16, 2018. As Jakara led the important work of mobilizing the community response to the two recent California attacks, the Sikh Coalition was proud to support their efforts in engaging local media outlets around their community town hall. Our support resulted in local coverage in the Modesto Bee, KCRA 3, ABC 10 and FOX 40.
  • Junior Sikh Coalition Kicks-off Another Year

    The Sikh Coalition is proud to announce the new Junior Sikh Coalition (JSC) class for the 2018-2019 year. As the tri-state youth leadership program enters another year, we welcome 20 new youth leaders who will join three remaining members from the class of 2017.
     
    Last month, we kicked-off the JSC program with a series of social justice trainings and workshops designed to strengthen leadership skills, introduce Sikh civil rights issues, and develop project focus areas for the upcoming year. Following the week-long boot camp, JSC members attended Camp Chardi Kala to conduct anti-bullying workshops, build sangat (community) with other Sikh youth and develop their personal connection to Sikhi.
  • Immigration Know Your Rights & Resources

    In response to the growing number of Sikhs being indefinitely detained at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, the Sikh Coalition is collecting resources from organizations specializing in providing information and legal counsel to Sikhs as they navigate the complex and increasingly hostile immigration system. Click here for Know Your Rights materials and access to free legal aid resources.
     
    In the course of Federal Defenders’ litigation requesting that detainees immediately receive religious accommodations and be released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon, the Sikh Coalition helped their attorneys ensure that the legal filings correctly articulated Sikh practices and beliefs. While we do not provide direct legal services dealing with immigration-related issues, we remain deeply invested in making sure Sikh detainees have equal access to due process and that religious rights are protected.
  • Sikh Project Travels to Towson University

    Last month, the critically acclaimed Sikh Project photography exhibition launched to audiences in Towson, Maryland. The free exhibition, which features turbaned men, women and children who embody the diversity and beauty of the Sikh community, lasts through October 26th.

    Since the Sikh Project launched for the first time in 2016, it has traveled across the country and engaged audiences to learn about the challenges and triumphs of what it means to be Sikh in the United States. View our Facebook event page to learn more about the exhibition at Towson University, and please share the #SikhProject with your friends, family and colleagues.
  • Social Justice Curriculum Empowers Students

    Last month, the Sikh Coalition launched The Jyot Curriculum: Empowering Youth through Social Justice. This new curriculum provides tools to engage Sikh youth in workshops around social justice issues, encourages them to participate in community development, and helps them develop crucial leadership skills that will also benefit their academic and professional lives.

    The curriculum was piloted this summer by our community development team, which traveled to 13 Sikh camps and delivered workshops to over 600 campers across the country. Click to hear the Sikh camp radio story we facilitated with NPR’s flagship national news show, All Things Considered.
  • Investing in Our Team

    The Sikh Coalition is excited to announce the hiring of our new Operations Manager, Harpreet Kaur. In this role, Harpreet supports nearly all organizational departments and is responsible for the finance, human resources, board engagement and systems functions.

    In addition, we are currently hiring for two full-time positions: The Media & Communications Manager will be responsible for managing projects across all of the organization’s various communications channels. The Senior Staff Attorney will provide direct legal assistance and advocate on behalf of Sikhs who have been discriminated against or subject to bias based upon their religious beliefs or Sikh identity. Please click here to apply today.
  • Awareness Training Reaches 500 Educators

    On August 28, 2018, Sikh Coalition Executive Director Satjeet Kaur led a Sikh awareness training for 500 educators at Norwalk Public School in Connecticut. Her presentation was part of the Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT)' anti-bias training that introduced 500 Norwalk school teachers and staff members to the Sikh faith, community and traditions.

    In addition to our Sikh awareness presentation, the training day included Q&A sessions for educators and teacher training sessions led by local sangat members. Also, students took an active role by modeling patka/turban tying, distributing flyers and running the day-long program. We are grateful to Sikh Coalition Ambassador Reena Kaur and CONECT for arranging this training and appreciate the gurdwara sevadaars who provided help throughout the day.
  • Ninth Annual NYC Bowl-a-thon

    The Sikh Coalition is excited to invite you to the ninth annual New York City Bowl-a-thon on October 21, 2018 at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers. Join over 400 participants in support of our Sikh civil rights work by creating or joining a team. We consistently sell out well before the event, so register now to secure your spot! If you have questions or are interested in sponsoring, please email bowlnyc@sikhcoalition.org. We hope to see you there!
  • High Impact Media Work Continues Educating Americans 

    This past month, two major media outlets – The New York Times and National Public Radio (NPR) – prominently featured the Sikh American community and the work of the Sikh Coalition, better educating millions. The New York Times story, along with the companion New York public radio story, features Sikh Coalition co-founder Amardeep Singh and highlights the rising political power of Sikh Americans. NPR’s flagship program, All Things Considered, shows how a camp in Maryland empowers Sikh youth to overcome challenges in their lives, including school bullying.

    These are two recent examples of the ongoing impact of our media work, as we facilitate coverage educating Americans locally and nationally every week. We are proud to be a 24/7 resource for journalists as we collectively strive to improve reporting and enhance public understanding of the Sikh faith and community.

In this Issue

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