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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
March 13, 2021
  • Updates on #FarmersProtest Work

    The Sikh Coalition continues to engage the Biden Administration in efforts to solicit a more forceful response in support of the farmers’ protest, which entered its sixth month last week. On March 4, the Sikh Coalition sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State as a formal response to the department’s reply to our January 21 and 27 letters to President Biden. Click here to read our latest letter to the Biden Administration.

    In addition, the Sikh Coalition continues to demand attention to this issue by engaging congressional offices, international human rights organizations, and tech companies. We also continue to push for responsible and respectful media coverage of the farmers’ protest by providing interviewees and background information to journalists in India and the United States. As a result of this work, media hits in the last month in NBC News, InkStick, The Carolina Desi, and Nice Work join previous successful coverage in NowThis, CNN, JUS Punjabi, The Guardian, Reuters, the Seattle Times, and more.

    Click here for more information about the Sikh Coalition’s work around the farmers’ protest. We look forward to providing further updates in the days and weeks ahead.
  • [VIDEO] COVID-19 Gurdwara Safety Webinar

    On February 27, the Sikh Coalition convened sangat members from across the country for a COVID-19 Gurdwara Safety Webinar. In this webinar, Sikh healthcare professionals and gurdwara leaders answer questions about COVID-19, vaccines, and how we can continue to keep sangats and families safe during the pandemic.

    Click here to watch “Managing the Next Phase of the Pandemic: Best Practices for Safety as the Sangat Gets Vaccinated,” and click here to read important takeaways from our panelists. We encourage you to share this webinar with others in your sangat.
  • March 31 Deadline: New PPP Application for Small Business, Nonprofits

    On February 22, President Biden announced changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (originally created by the CARES Act) that are promised to reach more minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits (including gurdwaras) that may not have previously received forgivable loans from the federal government.

    This new application window closes on March 31. Click here for guidance on how to apply for this latest round of funding.
  • NYC: Take Action on City Council Res. 1257

    On March 4, the Sikh Coalition joined with partner organizations at a digital press event unveiling a letter in support of New York City Council Resolution 1257. This resolution, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm of District 25 (Jackson Heights & Elmhurst) calls on the NYC Department of Education to provide age-appropriate religious diversity curricula for all students, and to offer professional development for teachers in this area.
     
    If you live in New York City, please take action today by sending a short, pre-written letter to ask your city council member to co-sponsor Res. 1257 so that it receives a City Council hearing. This resolution will make a safer, more educational, and more inclusive learning environment for students of all faith traditions--including young Sikhs.
  • New COVID-19 Vaccine Resources Available

    In the final days of February, the Food and Drug Administration granted Johnson & Johnson Emergency Use Authorization to manufacture and distribute a third COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. Learn about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in a short video (English or Punjabi) from Dr. Jasneet Kaur, a family physician in New Jersey.

    Additionally, on March 8, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance for fully vaccinated people. The Sikh Coalition summarized these recommendations, in English and Punjabi, and published a new graphic series across our social media platforms to help clarify what those who have received their final doses should and should not do to help everyone else stay safe as vaccinations continue across the country.

    Click here to view and download all of our resources (videos, infographics, and more) about vaccine safety and availability, which have been updated to include information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These resources are being developed in partnership with the North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association, the Sikh Family Center, and the Jakara Movement to alleviate confusion and misinformation around COVID-19 vaccinations. We will continue to update this information center in the weeks and months ahead.
  • Resources for Truck Drivers in English, Punjabi

    Paramjit Singh Sandhu, a truck driver, faced a violation of his religious rights when he reported to a medical facility in Sachse, TX, for what should have been a routine drug test as part of his job. Mr. Sandhu rightly refused to remove his dastaar, and with free legal aid from the Sikh Coalition, was able to successfully resolve the issue. The Sikh Coalition also facilitated Mr. Sandhu and Legal Client & Community Services Manager Aasees Kaur for media interviews in Punjabi Radio USA and Scroll.in to discuss Mr. Sandhu's case and share the legal resources that are available for Sikh truck drivers in the United States.

    Additionally, we are grateful to the North American Punjabi Trucking Association, which featured our Trucker Know Your Rights & Legal FAQ in their Punjabi Trucking Magazine! As Sikh Americans continue to join the trucking industry, we want to ensure access to this important information for all. If you believe that you have been discriminated against or subject to bias based upon your Sikh identity, please contact our legal team. Our legal services are free and confidential.
  • Junior Sikh Coalition in the Media

    Sehajpreet Singh, a Junior Sikh Coalition alum and high school senior in Queens, New York was featured in a New York Times piece about young people volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sikh Coalition was pleased to arrange for a Sikh perspective to be included in this piece.

    Read Sehajpreet discuss his experience as a Sikh Coalition GOTV phone banking volunteer in “These 5 Teenagers Managed to Volunteer This Year. Here’s How.”

In this Issue

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