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The Sikh Coalition News
March 11, 2021

  • Request a Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month Proclamation from Your Local Government!

    March 11, 2021 (Washington, DC) -- As Sikhs prepare to celebrate Vaisakhi this April, we want to ensure that sangats across the United States are equipped with the tools to work on passing Sikh awareness resolutions or proclamations in school districts, city councils, and state governments.

    In the past, community members have leveraged the significance of Vaisakhi to deliver Sikh awareness presentations, share anti-bullying resources in schools, and facilitate important conversations with non-Sikh community leaders. One core component of these conversations have been Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month (SAAM) proclamations, which serve to increase understanding between Sikhs and our non-Sikh neighbors at the local level. Since most state, county, and local governments have embraced virtual meetings, requesting and obtaining a Sikh awareness resolution or proclamation is easier than ever before!

    The Sikh Coalition is available to help you make SAAM a reality in your community, even if that means celebrating at home or virtually! We have created a step-by-step guide on how you can ask your elected officials to honor and celebrate the Sikh community in this way. Follow these three easy steps to help your local government proclaim April as SAAM:

    Step 1: Decide which government official you want to request a resolution from and look up their contact information at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. You can request a proclamation from your Governor, State Legislature, City or County Council, and/or School Board. Please note that some government websites have a proclamation or resolution request form, where you can ask for a SAAM proclamation or resolution using this draft proclamation language. If you are unsure of how to submit a proclamation request, it is best to contact the office directly via phone or email.

    Step 2: Introduce yourself and share a little more information about the local Sikh community with the government official’s office (e.g. when the first gurdwara was established in the area, notable news or seva in the sangat, etc.). Ask them to introduce a SAAM resolution or proclamation to ensure that more community members are aware of the Sikh American community and our positive contributions to the United States. Click here for an additional easy-to-use messaging resource for how to talk with an elected official about Sikh awareness, and share this draft proclamation language with them.

    Step 3: Regularly follow-up with the office and keep the Sikh Coalition updated about the status of your resolution request. You can email Sikh Coalition staff at community@sikhcoalition.org with questions or concerns.

    This resolution request is intentionally specific to only SAAM efforts. If you are interested in providing your officials with a resolution in solidarity with farmers protesting in India, you can find more information--including a draft resolution for that purpose--here. To keep farmers’ protest resolutions focused on the large, diverse group of protestors currently demonstrating (rather than recognizing only Sikhs), we strongly recommend that resolutions be introduced separately.

    Even if your city, state or school district has recognized SAAM before, it does not necessarily mean that it will automatically happen again. Many proclamations and resolutions must be renewed every year, which means that government offices have to hear from the sangat. Asking for the proclamation or resolution before April gives the best chance of success in getting an official Sikh awareness recognition.

    In the past, the Sikh Coalition has provided assistance to community members securing SAAM proclamations in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Utah, and Washington. This work has been complimented by congressional recognitions as well as proclamations in cities nationwide.

    Finally, the Sikh Coalition continues to update our COVID-19 resources and COVID-19 vaccine information as the pandemic persists. Per guidance released earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still recommends wearing a mask, physical distancing, and other measures to protect us all as vaccinations continue across the country. In the weeks ahead, we will provide updated guidance with respect to best practices for Vaisakhi celebrations; in the meantime, please review our previous summary of CDC guidance for COVID-19 prevention specific to houses of worship.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

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