Reflecting on January 6, 2021
On January 6, 2021, the President of the United States incited a mob of his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol. The Sikh Coalition condemns the violence of these extremists and white supremacists, and we call for every political leader who inspired this insurrection--especially President Trump--to be held accountable.
Read a reflection from our Executive Director, Satjeet Kaur, on the challenging road ahead
--including the work that we continue to do to fight civil rights, despite dangerous policy proposals being quietly pushed forward in the final days of this administration.
Thank you for your support!
The Sikh Coalition team is excited to share that we met our fundraising goal and would like to thank our donors for their support in 2020. Your investment, large or small, enables us to continue to fight for progress through our advocacy, community development, education, legal, and media work. Given the unique challenges we face in this new year, we hope we can count on your continued engagement moving forward. Together, we will build a future in which everyone can practice their faith fearlessly.
Supporting the #FarmersProtest
As up to a million farmers in India continue protesting on the outskirts of Delhi in response to the Modi government’s radical and inequitable deregulation of the agricultural industry, the Sikh Coalition continues our work to stand in solidarity with and amplify the voices of the farmers. Though our work is focused here in the United States, we stand with our Sikh siblings in India who are grossly impacted by these laws and are leading the protests.
We have undertaken several approaches to raising awareness and spurring action on this issue, including:
- More than 1,700 community members have used our advocacy tool to call on their elected officials in Congress to speak out about the #FarmersProtest. Can you join them? Click here to email your lawmakers in less than one minute asking them to show solidarity with farmers and condemn the Indian government’s response to the protest.
- Click here to read the letters that we sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and members of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus about this issue.
- Click here to read letters that U.S. elected officials have sent to Indian Ambassador Taranjit Sandhu and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a result of our and other Sikh organizations’ direct outreach efforts.
- Click here to read a speech from Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI) on the floor of the House of Representatives. (The Sikh Coalition applauds Seva4Everybody’s work on this strong speech!)
- Inspired by the Seattle City Council who, in partnership with the Washington Sikh community, passed a resolution in support of the #FarmersProtest, we drafted model resolution/proclamation language that you can use to ask your local, county, state, and federal government officials to stand with farmers.
- Click here to read and watch interviews in NBC Asian America, NowThis News, and JUS Punjabi, as well as several opinion pieces, about how Sikh Americans are leading demonstrations across the country in solidarity with protesting farmers.
- The Sikh Coalition led media engagement in support of the California Kisaan Solidarity Car and Truck Rally (organized by the Jakara Movement), a rally from Kent to Seattle (organized by Washington Sikh community leaders), and other similar demonstrations across the country. Click here to catch up on news coverage, including in KQED, ABC 7 Bay Area, Sacramento Bee, Kent Reporter, CBS KIRO 7, and more.
Opposing New EEOC Discrimination Guidance
In November, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) drafted a 112-page overhaul of its guidance on religious discrimination in the workplace. Once final, it will guide how anti-discrimination law is applied to employers across the country. The new changes to the guidance were abruptly announced with an impossibly short 30 day public comment period. These last-minute changes have the potential to negatively affect Sikhs, other religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and others in the workplace for years to come.
In response, the Sikh Coalition submitted a public comment against the proposed changes, and recruited 50 organizations to sign our letter urging the EEOC to reject the proposed guidance and begin a new, more inclusive process to revise it (and to include the voices of Sikhs and other groups affected). Learn more about this work on our website here
; these efforts are also featured in ProPublica
Security Webinar for California Gurdwaras on January 16th
The Sikh Coalition is hosting a virtual community forum, “Protecting Our Gurdwaras and Sangats
,” for California sangat members next Saturday, January 16, 2021.
“Protecting Our Gurdwaras and Sangats” panel discussion
Saturday, January 16, 2021, from 1:00 to 2:45 PM PST
Virtual! RSVP is required and space is limited. Click here to sign up for free now
Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice Community Relations Service, and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will discuss the importance of securing our community spaces and share the resources, tools, best practices, and financial support that exists to help sangats prevent and combat hate crimes and bias incidents in our houses of worship. We welcome all interested sangat members to participate, but please note that the grantmaking information in particular will be specific to those living in the state of California.
Details on New COVID Stimulus Relief
Over the final weekend of 2020, President Trump signed a bipartisan $900 billion stimulus package. This latest agreement extends several parts of the CARES Act (passed in March 2020) and is the second major stimulus package aimed at addressing the needs of millions of Americans affected by COVID-19.
Click here to read our full analysis
of what the new stimulus bill means for you and your family here in the United States. This summary is available in English and Punjabi, and addresses impacts on citizenship, unemployment benefits, stimulus payments, small business assistance, and more. Our full library of COVID-19 resources remains available and free to access on our website here
Houston Post Office Renamed for Late Deputy Dhaliwal
On December 21, 2020, President Trump signed
a package of bills to name several post offices across the nation--including a post office in Houston, TX, after fallen Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal. The Sikh Coalition was honored to work with Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), and other members of Texas' congressional delegation to move this resolution to law.
Deputy Dhaliwal was killed during a traffic stop in northwest Houston, TX, on September 27, 2019. For more than a year, the Sikh Coalition worked alongside Texas lawmakers, Houston community leaders, and the Dhaliwal family to recognize Deputy Dhaliwal’s legacy and impact on the Houston community. We look forward to joining Houston community leaders and the Dhaliwal family for the renaming ceremony this year.
Georgia Runoff Election: Thank you sevadaars!
On Tuesday, the historic 2020 election cycle concluded as voters in Georgia cast their final ballots in the state’s Senate runoff elections. We are immensely grateful to the outstanding sevadaars who joined us to phone bank in December and prepare thousands of Sikh voters with nonpartisan information about voting, candidates, and more!
With the 117th Congress sworn in just this week and ready to assume office, the Sikh Coalition remains committed to working with both parties in Congress and the new Biden administration to advance the civil rights of Sikh Americans. Click here
to learn more about our efforts to mobilize Sikh Americans towards greater civic participation.
California Ethnic Studies Update
In early December, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement were notified that information about California’s Sikh community has been better included in the latest draft of the state’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC). State education authorities have added content and the lesson plan originally proposed by both organizations (and endorsed by 52 California gurdwaras
, hundreds of petition signers, and a bipartisan group of state legislators
), as well as some additional educational material.
This progress comes after nine months of public engagement and behind-the-scenes advocacy to ensure that California’s Sikh community is part of this standard-setting curriculum in a positive and appropriate manner. Thank you to all who have supported this effort! As this next draft is considered by state education authorities before the final meeting and review in March, both organizations are working to ensure that all included information is accurate and appropriately placed in the curriculum. In addition, we continue to advocate for an inclusive ESMC that accurately and appropriately represents all of the diverse groups that make up the rich cultural fabric of California.
In this Issue