CBS Documentary Features Sikh Youth This Month!
The Sikh Coalition is excited to announce that CBS’s Religion & Culture documentary series will feature the Sikh community and examine religious-based bullying in schools. The 30-minute episode is scheduled to begin airing in regional media markets and across digital platforms on Sunday, March 31, 2019.
In January, the Sikh Coalition directly pitched CBS with this idea and has been supporting their production team with background resource material and facilitating all of the Sikh interviews. Building off the momentum of last year’s work with CNN’s Emmy Award-winning show United Shades of America
and the 2016 Sikh-focused segment in Comedy Central’s The Daily Show
, we continue to reach national audiences with the goal of educating the larger American public about the Sikh community. The episode will deepen the conversation about the impact of bullying and the work being done within the Sikh community to collectively combat this problem. This CBS project is part of a multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness and include the Sikh perspective nationwide.
Responding to El Paso Hunger Strike
This month, the Sikh Coalition joined other civil rights organizations, immigration attorneys and activists for a day of action
in response to Sikh and Cuban detainees protesting their detention conditions and unfair asylum bond denials at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) El Paso Processing Center.
We continue to work with organizations and sangats to gather actionable data on Sikhs who are detained so that we can better identify needs and resources. This support includes connecting detainees to Punjabi translators and lawyers, while providing oversight on humanitarian conditions within the detention facilities. Click here
to learn more, including how you can help.
Easy Ways to Spread Sikh Awareness for Vaisakhi!
As Sikhs prepare to celebrate Vaisakhi this April, we invite everyone across America to help pass Sikh awareness resolutions in school districts, city councils and state governments. The Sikh Coalition is here to help you make Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month (SAAM) a reality in your community!
We have created a two-minute guide
on how you can ask elected officials to honor and celebrate the Sikh community and an additional, easy-to-use messaging resource
for how to talk with an elected official about Sikh awareness. Also, watch our Facebook Live video
featuring Sikh Coalition Advocate Sudha Kaur, who discusses her experience successfully passing a Sikh awareness recognition in her hometown. We hope you can join the numerous cities and states proclaiming April as Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month.
Take Action: Indiana’s Flawed Hate Crime Bill
Indiana is one of only five states without a hate crime law. Last month, the Indiana Senate gutted a proposed hate crime law
, removing the most basic protections for groups targeted by bigotry. If this bill becomes law, it would do virtually nothing to protect Sikhs and other minority communities.
If you live in Indiana, take action today using our online form
! For a hate crime law to adequately protect Indiana, it must include specific language that protects one’s perceived or actual color, creed, disability, age, national origin, ancestry, race, religion, gender identity, sex or sexual orientation. We ask the Indiana community to tell your elected officials that you demand better hate crime protections.
Training Sikh Presenters in New Jersey
Community Development Director Rucha Kaur conducted various Sikh awareness presenter trainings for both Khalsa school students in Glen Rock and in Piscataway, New Jersey, during the month of February. Participants not only learned how to effectively talk about who Sikhs are and the basic tenets of the religion, but they also had the chance to deliver their own elevator pitches and presentations.
If you would like to host a Sikh Presenter Training for your sangat, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
California Museum’s Sikh Project Exhibition Closes March 10
The California Museum
’s Sikh Project exhibition is set to conclude March 10, 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. The exhibition is traveling across the country so stay tuned to find out where the Sikh Project will come next!
The Sikh Project, which launched to critical acclaim in 2016, includes portraits of turbaned men and women that embody the diversity of the Sikh community and recognize the challenges and triumphs of what it means to be Sikh in the United States.
Sikh Coalition Featured on “Overcoming Hate” Panel in New York City
On February 27, 2019, Executive Director Satjeet Kaur spoke on the "Overcoming Hate: What's Working and What's Next" panel, hosted by the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council. Fellow panelists tackled the need for accurate reporting and community engagement, while Satjeet discussed how the Sikh community works to protect other minority communities. She also highlighted the pervasive nature of school bullying, and how Muslim, Sikh and LGBTQ students are disproportionately affected by this issue. Click here
to see pictures from the discussion.
Teacher Trainings in Connecticut
On February 15, 2019, Executive Director Satjeet Kaur led a training for teachers in Westport, Connecticut. The workshop was organized by student Sahiba Kaur Dhindsa, in an effort to raise Sikh awareness and create more inclusive classrooms. Over 20 educators attended and were able to learn more about Sikhi and the issues that Sikh students face. Educators who attended now have a better understanding of Sikh beliefs and fun facts about Sikh Americans, along with a better understanding of signs of targeted school bullying that tends to affect Sikh students predominantly.
Sikh students tend to experience higher rates of bullying compared to their white counterparts. The Sikh Coalition, as a result, has worked tirelessly to identify spaces where Sikhism can be introduced to both teachers and students. The Sikh Coalition has partnered with policymakers, school officials, textbook companies and educators to systematically address these interlocking issues and remedy this education-based problem. Click here
to view photos from the event.
We’re Hiring! New Opening & Team Addition
The Sikh Coalition is excited to announce the addition of our new Senior Staff Attorney Cindy Nesbit to our New York office! In this role, Cindy will support our robust work of free legal assistance and advocacy for community members. Please join us in welcoming Cindy to the team!
In addition, we are 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!
Lastly, we have seasonal internships available, including in our Advocacy and Community Development departments. If you are passionate about civil rights, are college-aged and want to gain real-world experience at one of the most prominent civil rights nonprofits in the United States, click here
to learn more about the requirements and application process.
In this Issue