Dear Supporter Ji,
“...[R]ecognizing and celebrating our diversity remains our nation’s greatest strength.”
These were the words Gov. Tony Evers, the governor of my great state of Wisconsin, said when he visited the Oak Creek sangat at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and delivered the first-ever statewide proclamation declaring this April Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month.
The governor chose our gurdwara in an effort to honor those, including my father-in-law, who were killed by a gunman with neo-Nazi ties on August 5, 2012. While it was a solemn occasion, this proclamation was special: it marked the first time a governor of Wisconsin formally recognized our community’s contributions.
Since that tragic day in 2012, the Sikh Coalition has been here for our sangat, providing support to our community, and ensuring that no gurdwara experiences a similar tragedy. They continue advocating for stronger hate crime policies, developing community outreach projects, and offering gurdwara security resources. Through their campaign to ensure that elected officials at all levels of the government recognize the invaluable contributions of the Sikh community in the United States, the Sikh Coalition worked with community leaders in Wisconsin to make this happen. They’ve shown that these proclamations and resolutions help Sikh communities engage with local political leaders and raise Sikh awareness across the political aisle.
All this work is possible because of the donations and support from community members like yourself.
Just this year, Wisconsin became one of four new states to pass a resolution of this nature, joining the nine others that renewed their proclamations of Sikh Awareness & Appreciation. At the national level, the Sikh Coalition was also able to work with members of the U.S. Congress to introduce resolutions recognizing both the significance of Guru Nanak’s 550th gurpurab and more than 125 years of Sikh contributions to U.S. society.
We are thankful that the state of Wisconsin recognized the Sikh community in April, and look forward to deepening our relationship with the governor’s office. Organizations like the Sikh Coalition are instrumental in building this civic power by advising our sangat on government engagement, registering us to vote, and providing civic engagement trainings. As we near the end of the year, I implore each of you to donate to the Sikh Coalition so that they can continue these valuable community empowerment initiatives. It is because of your support that they are able to help us all have a greater voice at the table.
Jaspreet Kaur Kaleka
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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