In Response to Hate, California Gurdwara Welcomes Hundreds
On January 25, 2020, the Sikh Coalition assisted with an open house and interfaith solidarity event
at Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara Sahib in Orangevale, CA. Hundreds of people--along with elected officials, faith and community leaders, and partner organizations--joined the Orangevale sangat on the heels of the discovery of white nationalist graffiti
on the gurdwara property earlier in January.
Check out media coverage of the open house in the Sacramento Bee
, and CBS13
, and learn more about the Sikh Coalition’s rapid response work to support the Orangevale community and ensure local law enforcement investigate this incident appropriately by clicking here
. Also, read Social Justice Fellow Winty Singh’s op-ed in the Sacramento Bee
, which calls for full reporting on bias incidents from California law enforcement agencies and a Sikh voice on Attorney General Becerra's Hate Crime Rapid Response Team in response to this and other anti-Sikh incidents.
Bellingham, WA Hate Crime Update
Following the vicious attack of a Sikh Uber driver in Bellingham, Washington last December, the local community held a drive to write encouraging letters and notes of support
. The driver, who retained the Sikh Coalition for pro bono legal consultation, remains in chardi kala
and is continuing to recover from the attack.
As the hate crime case continues to be investigated, our legal team is working with the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on potential restorative justice measures that can be mandated as part of the attacker's sentence. As of now, we know that a guilty plea will include the hate crime charges that were brought forth in December 2019. We will continue to provide updates as this case progresses. Click here
to learn more about this case.
Steps Forward for Sikhs in Law Enforcement
The Sikh Coalition is excited to share a few important updates
about Sikh Americans who are serving their communities without compromising their faith.
On January 1, 2020, the Irvine Police Department in California announced a policy development
that will allow observant Sikhs to serve in uniform with their articles of faith. Sikh Coalition staff and volunteers had previously conducted Sikh Awareness Presentations for more than 120 employees of the same department last November. Then, on January 21, 2020, the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office in Texas held a public ceremony for Deputy Amrit Singh
, a Sikh Coalition client who recently joined their staff. The policy change that enabled Deputy Singh to serve in Precinct 1 was spearheaded by Constable Alan Rosen, and has been implemented across all 8 Constable Precincts in the city.
Anti-Sikh Hate Crimes Testimony at California State Capitol
On January 28, 2020, Social Justice Fellow Winty Singh attended an oversight hearing at the California State Capitol in Sacramento about the tracking and reporting of hate crimes. He submitted public comment to the California State Legislature regarding the absence of California anti-Sikh hate crimes in the FBI database, and advocated for greater Sikh participation in police officer trainings and other task forces meant to address the growing trend of hate crimes. Click here
to watch the complete testimony.
Registration Open for Washington Trainings
Washington, we are hosting two upcoming trainings in a few weeks!
On February 29, 2020, we are hosting a Civic Engagement Seminar in Federal Way, which will prepare community members to successfully advocate for their community's interests with lawmakers. On March 7, 2020, we are hosting a Sikh Presenter’s Course in Bellingham for community members who are willing to lead out on Sikh awareness presentations for law enforcement, educators, and others in their communities.
to register for the Civic Engagement Seminar in Federal Way, and click here
to register for the Sikh Presenter’s Course in Bellingham. Please contact our Community Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions.
Empowering Sikh Students and Parents Across California
On January 12, 2020, Southern California Community Development Manager Inderpreet Kaur led a Back to School presentation for Khalsa school students and parents at Gurdwara Sahib Stockton
in California. Two weeks later, Inderpreet worked with the Khalsa school at the San Jose gurdwara
to help students recognize school bullying and learn how to address it. Parents also learned how to communicate with school administrators if their child experiences issues at school.
We are thankful
to local sevadaars in Stockton and San Jose for organizing these presentations! If you are interested in bringing a Back to School presentation to your sangat and equipping Sikh students and parents to address school bullying, please email our team at email@example.com
. Also, access our resources for students and parents for free on our website
Sikh Heritage Day with L.A. Kings on February 29
Last month, the Sikh Coalition announced that we will be partnering with the L.A. Kings professional hockey team once again for a Sikh Heritage Day on February 29, 2020. Tickets for the game
start at $40, and early sign-ups will also receive an invitation to enter the stadium early for a pregame photograph on the ice. For information about how you and your children can enter a raffle to access the “Fan Tunnel,” which is a special greeting zone to meet the NHL players before they come onto the ice and take a ‘Fanboni’ ride, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Securing Our Houses of Worship
Last week, the Sikh Coalition joined "No Hate in Our State," a security grant conference organized by the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Javits Center in New York City. Community Development Manager Sahej Preet Singh, alongside other Sikh community members, gained further insight into the government resources available for houses of worship across New York state. Click here
to view photos, and click here
to learn more about our gurdwara security initiative.
Apply for a Summer Internship!
If you are passionate about advancing Sikh awareness and civil rights for all, consider applying for our 10-week summer internship
program, with flexible start/end dates and a small stipend provided. Applications for our Media and Communications Internship, Policy and Advocacy Internship, and Legal Fellowship are currently open. All applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so apply today
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez Meets Sikh Constituents
The Sikh Coalition is committed to working with elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels to address bias-motivated violence targeting Sikhs and strengthen data collection to track hate crimes. On January 22, 2020, Sikh Coalition client Jaswinder Padda and his son, Armanjit Singh, met with U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez
to share their experiences of hate and bullying. As constituents of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Jaswinder and Armanjit discussed the importance of strengthening hate crime legislation and raising awareness of Sikh Americans alongside Staff Attorney Giselle Klapper and Policy and Advocacy Manager Nikki Singh.
Board Member Manpreet K. Singh on MSNBC
Last month, Sikh Coalition Board Member Manpreet K. Singh joined host Ari Melber for a panel conversation on his MSNBC show The Beat with Ari Melber
. The panel discussed the life and legacy of the late Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was killed in action in September of 2019. Singh rightly said that, “if [Deputy Dhaliwal] is remembered as the selfless servant that he was to all of us, that would be the most touching thing that could be left behind for his legacy.” She also made it clear that his Sikh faith empowered rather than detracted from his honorable service.
In this Issue