Dear Supporter Ji,
Today is #GivingTuesday, one of the largest fundraising days for our organization and many others. Like every year on #GivingTuesday, we share one of the many stories of impact from the year to encourage you to support and match your donations with our 24-hour only matching fund. As you see below, this year we are sharing the story of a young Sikh medical student who was asked to shave his beard during COVID-19 in order to continue his rotations.
But the truth is our hearts and minds are with our grandparents, parents, and sibilings in India who have been met with violence as they try to peacefully protest for the collective rights of farmers. While the Sikh Coalition focuses on US-based issues, we stand with all our Sikh siblings who are fighting for broader civil and human rights. We are working behind-the-scenes to amplify these voices and stories and will continue to share updates on social media.
Moments like this remind us of how critical it is to organize and build institutions to fight for our rights. No one organization can do it all, but we must continue to help one another grow. Please take a minute to read Simranpreet's note and join us in ensuring that our work in the United States can continue.
The Sikh Coalition
----------------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Simranpreet Kainth
Date: Tues, Dec 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Subject: Fighting Workplace Discrimination on #GivingTuesday
Dear Supporter Ji,
I am a fourth-year medical student studying to practice family medicine in New York City. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, I was prepared to provide help where I could--either as a medical school student or a recent graduate during my first year of residency.
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was being told that I had to shave my beard in order to continue my rotations. I was given less than a week to choose between my faith and my career. We’ve all heard stories of Sikhs in other countries having to make very difficult decisions to keep their medical jobs, but I knew that shaving wasn’t an option for me.
After encountering only roadblocks and denials on my own, I reached out to the Sikh Coalition. They provided me free legal counsel immediately, drafting language on my behalf and advising me on how to escalate the issue quickly. Thanks to their rapid assistance, I was able to secure a religious accommodation before my rounds began.
Since the pandemic began, the Sikh Coalition, with support from community members like you, has provided free legal guidance to Sikh doctors, dentists, and nurses with problems like mine on a case-by-case basis. Their team also produced multiple memos advising those of us in the medical field of our legal rights, and even secured a donation of PAPRs for those in urgent need.
Because of the Sikh Coalition’s work and your support, I am able to graduate medical school on time and without any challenges. For that reason, I hope you’ll join me in giving back and helping the next group of Sikhs in need. Together, we must ensure that the Sikh Coalition is able to continue this work in 2021. This #GivingTuesday, a donation to the Sikh Coalition will help ensure that no one has to choose between their job and their faith: Every dollar donated before midnight will be matched 1:1, up to $95,000!
The Sikh Coalition is constantly working to combat workplace discrimination--it’s just one area of their work that has gotten busier this year, with pandemic-related legal issues like mine added to their normal workload of cases on behalf of professionals in fields from customer service to the military to public transportation.
Thank you again for the part you played in helping me pursue my career and preserve my faith. If you are able to make a donation this year, I urge you to donate to the Sikh Coalition so that they can keep fighting for all of us through the pandemic and beyond.
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