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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
October 13, 2018
  • Tell Arizona to Include Sikhism in Schools

    For the first time, the Arizona State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on whether the state will include Sikhism in its history and social science standards. The vote is scheduled for October 22, 2018 and this is the first time in 13 years that Arizona has revisited these standards.

    For over a year, the Sikh Coalition has been working strategically with Sikh community leaders in Arizona to secure safe passage of the standards that include Sikhism. Now, we need you to take immediate action so that Arizona board of education members understand why teaching Sikhism in public schools is so important.

    Sign the petition so that we can show the support from thousands of community members nationwide before the vote! Also, share the petition on social media and text your friends and family and ask them to join. This vote will determine if Sikhism and other minority faiths are included for one million public school students every year.
  • NJ Sheriff Resigned; Anti-Bias Training is Still Needed

    Last month, the Sikh Coalition empowered an overwhelming community response contributing to the resignation of Bergen County Sheriff, Michael Saudino, on September 21st. Sheriff Saudino’s resignation came within 24 hours of a public recording in which he was heard making racist remarks about the black community and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, while also making homophobic remarks about New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Y. Oliver.

    After the recording became public, we issued a press statement demanding that Sheriff Saudino resign and mobilized community members to send over 1,700 emails to the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office demanding his resignation. Our advocacy work was covered in outlets including CNN, USA Today and NY Daily News. Additionally, we have formally submitted requests to the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office to conduct mandatory anti-bias and cultural awareness trainings for all of their officers.
  • Sentencing After Attack on Sikh in Las Vegas

    On September 25, 2018, a California man was sentenced after pleading guilty to the February 4, 2018 battery of Rajinder Singh. Mr. Singh is a 63-year old Sikh American husband and father who works as a Las Vegas taxi driver. Since February, the Sikh Coalition provided free legal support during court proceedings and worked with the Las Vegas Sikh community to minimize the risk of future attacks. Click here to learn more about this case.

    The Sikh Coalition handles approximately 200 free legal requests per year, working tirelessly to protect the rights of Sikhs who are targeted because of their beliefs or identity. If you believe you or somebody you know has experienced bias, bigotry or backlash, please fill out our confidential legal intake form or call (212) 655-3095. Our legal services are completely free and confidential.
  • Las Vegas Know Your Rights Training Empowers Community

    On September 30, 2018, Legal Client & Community Services Manager Aasees Kaur led a Know Your Rights session with the sangat at Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh Ji in Las Vegas, Nevada. The training covered school bullying, workplace discrimination, hate crimes, and how to best address situations rooted in anti-Sikh bias. This training was conducted following the sentencing of a California man for the February 4, 2018 battery of Rajinder Singh.
  • Join the Opening of the Sikh Project in Sacramento on October 27th

    On October 27, 2018, the critically acclaimed Sikh Project photography exhibition will open at the California Museum in Sacramento, CA. Since the Sikh Project first launched in 2016, it has traveled across the country teaching the American public about the challenges and triumphs of what it means to be Sikh in the United States. Click here to register now for the free family-friendly opening reception on, and share our Facebook event page with your friends, families and colleagues.

    Additionally, the Sikh Project continues to be on display at Towson University in Maryland through October 26, 2018. Click here for event information.
  • Sikhs Register to Vote Across America

    In advance of the midterm elections on November 6, 2018, the Sikh Coalition worked with over 25 sangats across America who hosted drives for National Sikh Voter Registration Day. This project was in support of ongoing efforts to register Sikh Americans to vote and stay civically engaged nationwide.

    Register to vote before the deadline in your state! In some states, it’s still not too late to register, and you can do this by using our voter registration portal. If you are registered, then this portal can help you look up your nearest voting poll location. In addition, Uber and Lyft will be providing free and discounted rides for voters to their designated polling location.
  • Sikh Awareness Night with the LA Clippers

    We are thrilled to announce our fifth annual “Sikh Awareness Night” with the LA Clippers. Tickets for the October 28, 2018 game are now on sale. Click here and use promo code ‘Sikh’ to sign up for the event. The game will feature Sikh youth basketball players, a national anthem performance by a Sikh musician accompanied by a Sikh color guard, and Punjabi bhangra halftime entertainment.

    Email casikhs@sikhcoalition.org for information about how you and your children can enter a raffle to access the “Fan Tunnel,” which is a special greeting zone to meet the NBA players before the game, and other fun activities. Priority will be given to youth 21 and under. Include name, email, phone and age.
  • Children’s Books Feature Sikh Characters

    On October 2, 2018, the Sikh Coalition hosted Raakhee Mirchandani and Navjot Kaur – authors of groundbreaking children’s books with Sikh characters – for a Facebook Live session facilitated by Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh. We discussed each author’s work, the importance of representation and the value of educational resources for parents and educators, including our new Sikhism Educators Guide and Back to School Toolkit.

    Click here to watch the conversation. For more information about our Back to School Toolkit or to discuss opportunities about how we can support your outreach efforts to educators, email education@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Back to School Forums Engage Sangats Nationwide

    Over the past month, the Sikh Coalition Community Development team has connected sangats in several states with our game-changing Back to School Toolkit. Parents in Bridgewater, NJ; Silvis, IL; Chicago, IL; Sterling, VA; and Fairfax, VA have learned how to better engage their children’s educators in every area of Sikh awareness, school bullying and religious rights.

    For more information about our Back to School Toolkit or to discuss opportunities about how the Sikh Coalition can support you or your local community in outreach efforts to educators, please contact education@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Sikh Awareness Training Kickstarts Planning For California SAAM

    On October 6, 2018, the Sikh Coalition held a Sikh awareness presenter training for 17 community members in Southern California. Led by Education Director Pritpal Kaur and Southern California Community Development Manager Inderpreet Kaur, this training prepares community members to deliver Sikh awareness presentations in public forums that are accurate, informative and engaging.

    As we plan for California Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month (SAAM) in November, the Sikh Coalition is hard at work to make it the most successful ever! Click here to view exciting opportunities and stay engaged this November.
  • New Fellow Starts; Two Positions Remain Open

    The Sikh Coalition is excited to announce the hiring of our new Community Engagement Fellow, Sahej Preet Singh. In this role, Sahej will be supporting community and media engagement, fundraising and the creation of Punjabi materials.

    In addition, we are currently hiring for two full-time positions based in our New York City headquarters. 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. The Media & Communications Manager will be responsible for managing projects across all of the organization’s various communications channels. Please click here to apply today.
  • NYC Bowl-a-thon Only a Week Away!

    The Sikh Coalition’s annual New York City Bowl-a-thon is on October 21, 2018 at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers. You can still join us as we bowl a strike for Sikh rights! Click here to register as a cheerleader and/or to play laser tag.

    There are also very few bowling spots left! If you are interested, please immediately email Senior Development Manager Ava Master at bowlnyc@sikhcoalition.org, and she will try to accommodate you on a first come, first served basis.
  • Junior Sikh Coalition Leads Anti-Bullying Workshops in NJ

    On September 9, 2018, the Junior Sikh Coalition (JSC) led a series of anti-bullying workshops with Sikh youth at a Khalsa School program in Bridgewater, NJ. During the workshops, the Khalsa School youth learned how to combat and prevent bullying in their schools and online networks. Additionally, the small group discussions about bullying left the Sikh youth feeling empowered to create positive change.

    If you are interested in scheduling an anti-bullying workshop with the Junior Sikh Coalition for your sangat, please email Community Development Manager Harleen Kaur at harleen@sikhcoalition.org. Click here to learn more about the Junior Sikh Coalition.
  • Department of Justice Forum Discusses Hate Crimes

    The Sikh Coalition participated in a community Hate Crimes Forum on September 17, 2018. The forum was facilitated by the Department of Justice's Community Relations Service in Brooklyn, NY. Legal Client & Community Services Manager Aasees Kaur presented on anti-Sikh bias and its impact on the Sikh community. Additionally, Staff Attorney Giselle Klapper discussed the legal resources and services provided by the Sikh Coalition in the aftermath of a hate crime.

In this Issue

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