April 30, 2019 (New York, NY) – The Sikh Coalition thanks all the community members whose grassroots efforts helped raise Sikh awareness nationwide. Momentum for Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month and official recognitions of Vaisakhi have reached new heights. Through the Sikh Coalition’s easy guide on raising Sikh awareness, more community members were empowered to speak with government officials and share the importance of Sikhi than ever before.
As states like California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington renewed and deepened their celebration of Sikh Americans, states like Colorado, Utah, Connecticut and Wisconsin passed their first-ever state-wide resolutions.
“The courage, strength and resilience of the Oak Creek Sikh community represents the very best of who we are,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. “Sikhs are an integral part of the Wisconsin fabric and it’s an honor to celebrate Vaisakhi and recognize the vital contributions that Sikhs make across our state.” Gov. Evers visited the Oak Creek gurdwara to personally deliver the proclamation on April 30th.
Additionally, the Sikh Coalition worked with 54 bipartisan Congressional and Governors’ offices to celebrate Vaisakhi and show their support for the Sikh community by sharing social media posts
on their platforms on April 14th, reaching a potential four million Americans. These Sikh awareness initiatives complimented federal developments, where legislators were able to introduce a Vaisakhi resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Locally, Sikh community members worked with elected officials to secure at least 33 official Vaisakhi and Sikh Awareness resolutions and proclamations in cities, counties and school districts across the United States. Thanks to local Sikh leaders, this included first-time recognitions in Salt Lake City, UT; Lexington, KY; Olathe, KS; and more.
The Sikh Coalition also worked with community members to facilitate Vaisakhi celebrations in places such as East Queens, NY; New Castle, DE; New York City, NY; and Los Angeles, CA. Our staff also delivered Sikh Awareness Presentations to school children, law enforcement officers, museum attendees and to interfaith partners. At the Nagar Kirtan in Los Angeles and the Sikh Day Parade in New York City, we also made sure to focus on youth leadership and development, engaging youth community members in conversations and dialogue around Sikh awareness and identity. These are just a few of the many locally-organized events that occurred across the country.
“Sikhs mobilized in record numbers to use Vaisakhi as a proactive opportunity to engage their government officials,” said Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Sim J. Singh. “Asking for Sikh Awareness and Vaisakhi recognitions is an excellent opportunity to begin building relationships with elected officials from both sides of the political aisle. These relationships increase Sikh awareness and community power.”
The Sikh Coalition would like to thank the hundreds of Sikh community members that worked to raise awareness this month, as we continue our shared mission to educate our community and neighbors about the positive contributions that Sikhs in America continue to make.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.