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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
October 12, 2019
  • In Memory of Deputy Dhaliwal

    Our heartbroken thoughts and prayers remain with the family and community of slain Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal. Deputy Dhaliwal, the first Sikh to serve in Texas law enforcement with his articles of faith beginning in 2015, was killed during a traffic stop in northwest Houston, Texas, on September 27, 2019. So far, two arrests have been made in relation to the murder, and we remain in close contact with community members and family spokespersons in Houston.

    In an effort to honor the legacy of Deputy Dhaliwal, the Sikh Coalition joined 98 current and former Sikh military and law enforcement officials in releasing letters urging reforms to police and military religious accommodation practices. The first letter urges state and local law enforcement to adopt clear accommodation policies for aspirant officers following in Deputy Dhaliwal’s footsteps. The second letter calls on the U.S. Department of Defense to implement a streamlined accommodation process across all branches of the U.S. military, similar to the policy change implemented by the U.S. Army in 2017.

    Click here for more information. Click here to view pictures from the memorial service. Click here to urge your member of Congress to honor the late Deputy Dhaliwal through a congressional resolution.
  • Fateh! North Dakota Becomes 11th State to Teach Sikhism

    On October 1, 2019, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) released new social studies standards, which, for the first time ever, include Sikhism. The new standards will give 109,000 students, this time in North Dakota, the opportunity to now accurately learn about the Sikh community.

    Now, North Dakota becomes the 11th in a growing list of states--including Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Tennessee, Idaho, Colorado, Michigan, and Oklahoma--that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school social studies standards. These efforts have the ability to positively educate approximately 42% of all public school students in the United States about Sikhism.

    Click here to learn more, including about the months of behind-the-scenes advocacy efforts led by the Sikh Coalition which resulted in this update.
  • Sikh Project Exhibition Launches in Los Angeles

    On September 11, 2019, the Sikh Project photography exhibition went on display in Los Angeles, California. The Sikh Project, 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 will be on display at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance through November 3, 2019. Visit the event page for more information and updates.

    More than 180 community members attended a special reception to celebrate the launch of the exhibition on September 15, 2019. Click here to view pictures.
  • Michigan Sikh Awareness Training

    On October 5, 2019, the Sikh Coalition delivered a Sikh Presenter’s Course training to 34 community members in Plymouth, Michigan. During the training, Community Development Director Rucha Kaur prepared attendees on how to deliver effective presentations on the Sikh faith and community in public spaces. Afterward, each attendee practiced delivering part of the presentation to the other attendees.

    Click here to view pictures from the training. If you are interested in bringing a Sikh Coalition training to your community, please email our Community Development team at community@sikhcoalition.org.
  • New York City Bowl-a-thon Only a Week Away!

    The Sikh Coalition’s annual New York City Bowl-a-thon is on October 20, 2019, 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.
  • Gurdwaras Nationwide Celebrating Guru Nanak’s 550th Gurpurab

    This year, Sikhs worldwide are commemorating Guru Nanak’s 550th gurpurab. In the United States, sangats are marking this historic anniversary by building bridges with their neighbors.

    Dozens of sangats nationwide have partnered with the Sikh Coalition to host open houses, which will welcome elected officials, law enforcement, and members of the community; many are also hosting service projects with national partners. The open houses are scheduled to take place throughout October and November. To stay up to date with each open house, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Educating Educators in Georgia

    On October 10-11, 2019, the Sikh Coalition attended the Georgia Council for the Social Studies conference, which attracts hundreds of teachers and administrators from across the state. During the conference, Media and Communications Manager Harkeet Singh and Volunteer Sukhin Kaur engaged with educators, shared Sikh Coalition teaching tools, and facilitated a teacher training session on Sikhism. Additionally, Harkeet led a presentation on how to teach about Sikhism through pop culture, in line with the conference’s theme of “All Systems Go: Launching Social Studies for the Future.”
    Click here to view pictures from the conference.
  • #KnowYourRights Forum in New York City

    On September 21, 2019, the Sikh Coalition joined the New York City Commission on Human Rights to host a Know Your Rights forum for faith communities across the city. The forum discussed hate crimes, discrimination, and bullying and brought together dozens of people of different faiths, including Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians. During the forum, Community Development Manager Sahej Preet Singh and Junior Sikh Coalition alum Harwinder Singh also answered community questions on a panel.
  • Bringing Sikhism to our Nation’s Capital

    On September 27, 2019, the Sikh Coalition attended the National Summit on Religion and Education in Washington, D.C. The conference focused on long-term solutions for further improving religious education, including the teaching of Sikhism, in our nation's public classrooms.

    The conference was hosted by the Religious Freedom Center, American Academy of Religion, Boston College's Lynch School of Education and Human Development, and the National Council for the Social Studies. Conference participants included public school teachers, religious scholars, community organizations, and educational institutions working to enhance religious literacy through social studies courses and curricula.
  • Preview: Yuba City Nagar Kirtan

    In a few weeks, the Sikh Coalition will join thousands at the Yuba City Nagar Kirtan in California. For the second year in a row, our booth will host family-friendly activities while also providing direct access to our various legal and educational resources. We hope to see you there!

    Click here to view pictures from our 2018 booth.

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