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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
January 12, 2019
  • Amazon Update: Your Action Led to Results

    On December 18, 2018, the Sikh community reported that offensive products were being sold on Amazon using the likeness of Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), including doormats, rugs and toilet seat covers. In response, the Sikh Coalition directly contacted Amazon and swiftly moved to launch a community email and phone campaign that led to over 1,500 Sikh community members taking direct action.

    Within hours, Amazon started removing offensive merchandise from their marketplace and their teams in India, Seattle and Washington, D.C. contacted the Sikh Coalition to provide direct updates on their work to remedy the problem. By December 21, 2018, many offensive links to third-party merchandise had been removed and Amazon made assurances that their protocols for selling third-party content were being reviewed. The Sikh Coalition remains in direct touch with Amazon’s team and is helping the company better identify problematic merchandise that could be offensive to Sikhs.
  • Thank You to Our 2018 Supporters; We Only Have $30,843 to Raise

    The Sikh Coalition is pleased to share that we have raised $1,169,157 in our end-of-year fundraising campaign. Thank you! The sangat’s support allows us to continue our work in 2019 and beyond, but we still have $30,843 to raise to meet our budget goals. 

    It is not too late to donate! If you did not make your 2018 donation, start the year off right by making sure our work has the crucial funding needed to continue all the way through 2019. 

    Fundraising highlights include: 
    • $255,904 raised on #GivingTuesday, including a generous community matching fund of $100,000. 
    • $76,642 at the ninth annual NYC Bowl-a-thon (click to see photos).
    • Media donation was $101.
    • Average donation was $628.
    • Support came from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Thailand and Singapore. 

    For more information on our year-end highlights, check out our 2018: A Year in Review or watch this video
    .
  • Sikh Project Extended Until Mid-March at California Museum

    The California Museum in Sacramento recently extended the Sikh Project exhibition run until March 2019. The photography exhibition, a collaboration with the talented British photographers Amit and Naroop, captures the beauty of the Sikh faith and the depth of the Sikh American experience. Catch the exhibition in the Northern California area before it moves on to its next destination!
  • Sikh Religious Rights & Service Featured in Police Chief Magazine

    On January 9, 2019, the Sikh Coalition facilitated a lengthy profile story on the importance of religious diversity in the police force, focusing on how Sikhs have successfully achieved religious accommodations and effectively served in this profession. 

    The article ran in Police Chief Magazine, which reaches nearly 28,000 police department subscribers nationwide. The story features the successful service of Sikh police officers in Harris County, TX, and the positive impact that service has on the police department and the community they serve. The work to engage and educate every U.S. police department is a part of our never-ending campaign to end employment discrimination in the United States.
  • Sikh Presenters Training in Houston

    On December 30, 2018, Sikh Coalition Community Development Director Rucha Kaur and Board Member Manpreet Kaur conducted a Sikh Presenters Training in Houston, TX. The training was specifically designed to equip Houston-area sangat members with tools and information so that they can conduct accurate Sikhism presentations in their own communities.

    If you would like to host a Sikh Presenters Training in your sangat in 2019, please contact us at community@sikhcoalition.org.
  • 1984 Conviction a Beginning, Not the End

    On December 17, 2018, the Delhi High Court convicted Sajjan Kumar for his former government role in inciting the mass murder of thousands of Sikhs in 1984. The conviction of Sajjan Kumar would not have been possible without the relentless pursuit of justice by Sikh leaders H.S. Phoolka, R.S. Cheema, Jagdish Kaur and Nirpreet Kaur. While there are still multiple open court cases against Sajjan regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, he was convicted for his involvement in the killing of a Delhi-based family of five.

    Sajjan’s conviction remains the most high-profile of all recent convictions surrounding the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, and we fully welcome and support this belated accountability. While an important start, there is still a long road ahead - we demand further justice and accountability.

    To learn more about the conviction, please read “India’s Conviction of a Mass Killer Falls Short of Justice,” an analysis by Sikh Coalition Senior Religion Fellow Simran Jeet Singh.
  • Sentencing in Washington Attack Against Sikh Taxi Driver

    On December 14, 2018, a man was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to the 2017 assault of Swarn Singh with a deadly weapon. Mr. Singh is a 53-year-old Sikh American husband and father who works as a Seattle-area taxi driver. 

    The Sikh Coalition worked with Mr. Singh for 11 months to make sure the Bellevue Police Department and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office were properly investigating the incident and reviewing appropriate charges.

    The Sikh Coalition has also developed a new Taxi Cab/Rideshare Know Your Rights Guide designed to ensure Sikh drivers take all of the necessary precautions while driving. If you or somebody you know drives for a living, please share this guide. It’s available in English and Punjabi, and you can request printed versions by emailing education@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Sikhs Show Interfaith Solidarity with Pittsburgh Jewish Community

    On December 17, 2018, the Greater Pittsburgh Sikh community joined Auburn Seminary, Groundswell Movement and Revolutionary Love to deliver messages of solidarity to the Jewish community during a private interfaith gathering at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The gathering was in response to the October 27, 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation, when a shooter murdered 11 congregants and injured several more.

    “Our Pittsburgh neighbors were a tremendous support for Sikhs after the 2012 gurdwara shooting in Wisconsin,” said Pittsburgh Sikh community leader, Chitratan Singh. “Now, Sikhs across the country are standing in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters as they work to heal from this horrific attack.”

    In light of the threats posed to American houses of worship, please share our free Gurdwara Security Toolkit with your gurdwara. This toolkit, which has been used by over 50 gurdwaras nationwide, includes information on resources provided by federal and state government agencies to help places of worship, including gurdwaras, minimize the risk of attacks. For more information, please email contact@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Sikh Coalition Featured on Newseum Panel in Washington, D.C.

    On December 13, 2018, Sikh Coalition Executive Director Satjeet Kaur joined three other female leaders for a discussion on the rising role of women leading religious liberty organizations at the Religious Freedom Center in Washington, D.C. Entitled “Still Rising: the Increasing Role of Women as Heads of Religious Freedom Organizations,” the panel focused on how religious freedom issues affect women, how their experiences expand the creativity of religious freedom organizations and how religions and religious organizations have changed as a result. The full panel discussion is available online here.
  • SoCal Sangat Showcases Award-Winning Rose Parade Float on National TV

    For the fifth consecutive year, the Southern California sangat participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. The float, which was seen on national television, highlighted kirtan (Sikh devotional music) and emphasized the religious significance music holds in the Sikh community and faith. The 119,000 flowers on the float also won the Isabella Coleman Award for outstanding float presentation of color and color harmony through floral design. To see more photos and videos of the float, click here.

In this Issue

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