April 26, 2021 (Indianapolis, IN) – 11 days after the tragedy in Indianapolis, we recognize that the families of those affected--and the broader community--have both immediate- and long-term needs. The Sikh Coalition’s goal is to continue working to meet those needs and ensure that the sangat understands their rights and has a broad network of support on a wide range of issues. Accordingly, we want to update you on this work.
First and foremost, however, it is critical to note that none of these efforts would be possible without the leadership, cooperation, and support of sangat leaders on the ground. Thank you to all in the community who have stepped up to help those most urgently in need.
Indianapolis Remembrance Event Scheduled for Saturday, May 1
The Sikh community invites you to Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 1 to 4 p.m. EDT for a free public event honoring the eight beautiful lives needlessly lost, the five injured, and all those impacted by the mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on April 15.
The Sikh Coalition looks forward to supporting this Saturday’s remembrance event along with other Sikh organizations. Stay tuned; further details will be coming very soon.
Sikh Coalition staff have spent the last week on the ground speaking with survivors and, in some very specific cases, the Sikh Coalition is being retained as counsel to support impacted families as they navigate next steps. The Sikh Coalition has also drafted language-accessible ‘Know Your Rights’ resources for FedEx employees regarding how they can request leave and workers' compensation, and we will be holding a free English/Punjabi presentation on workers' compensation issues for those present during the attack today, April 26, at 4 PM ET.
The Sikh Coalition has also worked directly with Indianapolis community leaders to provide some families with assistance on questions related to visas for grieving family members who were abroad. Additionally, we are also pointing impacted families towards other legal resources, including referrals to Indiana attorneys who specialize in areas outside our organizational expertise like tax law and civil suits. If someone you know in the Indianapolis sangat needs assistance with regard to these or other pressing legal issues, please reach out to our legal team.
Advocacy with Law Enforcement and Lawmakers
The Sikh Coalition continues to underscore the need for a thorough investigation of the shooting, including the possibility of bias as a motivation. On Tuesday, we sent letters to law enforcement and state and federal lawmakers reiterating this demand, especially in light of news that the shooter was known to have visited white supremacist websites and had a propensity for violence. The FBI has confirmed that they are pursuing a full investigation, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department have done the same through informal channels.
We will continue to engage the appropriate authorities and provide updates when possible. We also remain engaged with local and federal lawmakers, including the White House.
The Sikh Coalition has consulted with the Sikh Healing Collective, Sikh Family Center, and professional therapists to collect and distribute mental health resources after the April 15 shooting. We have also secured commitments from at least three Punjabi speaking mental health care providers who are willing to support the local sangat, and have begun to set up appointments for urgent needs. In the days ahead, we will look to find new ways to support a long-term model given the grief that the sangat is going through.
Finally, the Sikh Coalition has engaged with more than 70 local, national, and international reporters on a wide range of print, TV, radio, and digital news stories regarding the constantly developing situation in Indianapolis. All of our media engagement continues to emphasize centering the Indianapolis Sikh perspective, and we will continue working with news outlets to ensure responsible and respectful coverage of the Indianapolis sangat.
We would like to thank everyone who has attended community vigils, whether on the ground in the greater Indianapolis area or via the national digital program organized by Revolutionary Love and Faith in Action. We will continue to provide further updates whenever they become available; for real-time information, please follow the Sikh Coalition on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. And if you are looking for ways to support the local sangat or have suggestions for resources, please let us know.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.