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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
February 9, 2019
  • Response to Oregon Hate Crime

    On January 14, 2019, a Sikh convenience store owner was attacked in a hate crime in Salem, Oregon. An arrest and hate crime charges were quickly brought against the attacker. The Sikh Coalition is currently providing free legal aid and resources to the community member involved, while also continuing to monitor the prosecution. Additionally, the Sikh Coalition is in direct talks with the Oregon Attorney General’s Office regarding their newly-created hate crime task force to identify ways to support new hate crime legislation and law enforcement training measures that would better protect Sikh community members across the state.

    The Sikh Coalition provides completely free and confidential legal assistance to Sikhs who have been discriminated against or subject to bias based upon their religious beliefs or identity. If you believe you have been discriminated against or subject to bias, please fill out our legal intake form to request free legal assistance.
  • Sikh Awareness Is Easy This April!

    This April, Sikhs will celebrate Vaisakhi, one of the most historically significant days of the year in the Sikh tradition. Vaisakhi celebrations are also an opportunity for Sikhs to invite their neighbors to partake in the festivities.

    The Sikh Coalition can support you in securing a Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month (SAAM) recognition in your city, state or school district. Our short guide details how to work with your elected officials on official SAAM recognitions as well as listing a host of other ideas to spread Sikh awareness and educate your communities.

    Click here to learn how you can get started. If you have any questions, please email Policy and Advocacy Manager Nikki Singh at nikki@sikhcoalition.org. The sangat is counting on you to bring Sikh awareness to your community this year!
  • Sangats Support Government Employees Through Seva

    In January, the Sikh Coalition urged gurdwaras and Sikh community leaders to provide seva to those in need due to the government shutdown. For five weeks, the United States government remained shut down, leaving hundreds of thousands of government employees without pay. As a result, many struggled to pay bills and provide basic essentials for their families. The shutdown also had a painful impact on government programs that serve some of the most vulnerable Americans.

    Inspired by many Sikh community members and interfaith partners supplying necessities to government employees, the Sikh Coalition shared five ways for sangats to take action and provide direct seva to those impacted. Click here to learn more.
  • Communications Team Supports New Jersey Community Event

    On January 19, 2019, Sikhs in Trenton, New Jersey, came together to honor the life and legacy of Mercer County Sheriff's Officer Pablo Santiago, who forged a relationship with the local Sikh community through his shared devotion to seva. Working with local Sikh community members, our team was honored to provide direct communications support in our never-ending shared efforts to further highlight positive Sikh stories in America.

    The Sikh Coalition built and executed a communications strategy to engage local news outlets. This effort contributed to media coverage across the local media market including NJ.com, Patch.com, On Scene News, and the Times of Trenton.

    We look forward to continuing our grassroots media support for initiatives throughout the United States.
  • Announcing Job Transitions and New Job Opening!

    The Sikh Coalition is excited to announce that Mark Reading-Smith will now serve as Senior Managing Director of Programs, transitioning from his previous role as Senior Media & Communications Director. In this position, Mark will be overseeing the strategic direction and daily implementation of the Sikh Coalition’s advocacy, community engagement, education and communications work.

    We are also excited to announce our newly-promoted Policy and Advocacy Manager, Nikki Singh. Nikki was previously a Fellow in the same department for over a year; in her new role, she works with elected officials and Sikhs across the nation and supports the organization’s advocacy to combat hate crimes, bullying and employment discrimination. 

    We are now looking to hire a Media and Communications Director based in our New York City headquarters. This position will be responsible for guiding and implementing the long-term strategies that educate millions of Americans through large-scale media initiatives. Additionally, this position will manage the entire communications department, which contributes to every facet of the Sikh Coalition’s work. Click here to apply today!
  • Tri-State Sikh Awareness Training

    On February 23, 2019, the Sikh Coalition will conduct a Sikh awareness presenter training, and we invite the sangat in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut to join us! This training will provide the skills and knowledge to walk into a classroom, workplace or public forum and deliver a Sikh awareness presentation that is accurate, informative and highly engaging.

    This training has been successfully designed and implemented with other sangats across the country, and we are excited to be bringing it to New Jersey. Click here to register for the training before seats fill up! For additional information or questions, please contact Community Development Director Rucha Kaur at rucha@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Education Resources Made Easy for Parents and Kids

    Last summer, we 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. These resources make it easy for Sikh kids and parents to engage their educators in every area of Sikh awareness, school bullying and religious rights.

    In addition, consider adding "Ajeet Singh: The Invincible Lion" to your collection. This book shares an immensely valuable message for young Sikh children and opens the conversation on how to stand up to bullying.
  • Sikh Project On Display At California Museum

    The critically-acclaimed Sikh Project photography exhibition continues to be on display at the California Museum in Sacramento, California. The free 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. Additionally, in January 2019, Amit and Naroop released the official Sikh Project book, “Turbans and Tales.”

    Check out the exhibition before it hits the road again on March 10th! Visit the event page, and please share the #SikhProject with your family, friends and colleagues.
  • Bringing Youth Workshops to New Jersey

    On January 6, 2019, Community Development Director Rucha Kaur and Junior Sikh Coalition leaders led a workshop for Khalsa school youth in Bridgewater, New Jersey. During the workshop, Khalsa school youth of all ages practiced Sikhi elevator pitches to learn to talk about Sikhism effectively. On January 27th, Rucha conducted a similar workshop with Khalsa school students in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Additionally, parents joined a workshop addressing how to effectively engage educators in their children’s schools.

    If you are interested in bringing a workshop to your local Khalsa school, please email our Community Development team at community@sikhcoalition.org.

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