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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
July 10, 2021
  • Ethnic Studies and the California Sikh Community

    On June 30, the Sikh Coalition partnered with the Jakara Movement and Punjabi Radio USA for a webinar discussion: Ethnic Studies and the California Sikh Community. If you were unable to join the webinar, you can still watch the full discussion by clicking here. Then, learn the three steps that you can take to ensure Sikh stories are included in your classroom in the upcoming school year by clicking here.
  • Will Your Gurdwara Help Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines?

    In June, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new toolkit for houses of worship, including gurdwaras, interested in serving as vaccination centers. Community leaders can use the toolkit to work directly with nearby vaccine providers--including healthcare organizations and pharmacies--to set up vaccination clinics at their gurdwara. For additional questions about the HHS We Can Do This campaign, please email our team at community@sikhcoalition.org.

    To access all of our vaccine safety information in English and Punjabi, visit thesikh.co/vaccine; these resources have been updated as of June 24. You can also watch our latest episode of Vaccine ਵੀਰਵਾਰ and hear Dr. Jasneet Kaur addressing common concerns regarding the different COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Hate Crimes Data Collection News Features Sikhs

    While the passing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in May is an important first step to countering the threat of hate in America and the first significant piece of federal hate crimes legislation in 12 years, it is far from the end. The Sikh Coalition continues pushing for mandatory federal reporting for hate crimes--a critical policy improvement that will require law enforcement agencies to report hate crime data.

    Click here to read a PBS NewsHour story about the issues related to hate crime under-reporting as demonstrated by the experiences of the Sikh American community. The Sikh Coalition was proud to contribute to this thorough reporting, which included an interview with Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy Sim J. Singh.
  • Screening with Dignity Act Introduced in the House

    Rep. Kathleen Rice re-introduced the Screening with Dignity Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives on June 30. The Sikh Coalition was proud to help draft this bill, along with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Transgender Law Center.

    Originally written after congressional testimony on TSA profiling by Sikh Coalition and NAACP LDF staff, the bill will prohibit discrimination and profiling, improve TSA screening procedures, establish alternatives to screening and protections for travelers' rights, and more. This legislation doesn’t just benefit Sikhs or others with articles of faith: races with thick hair, people with disabilities, and transgender and non-binary travelers also frequently face discrimination. The bill was reintroduced during Pride Month to recognize the latter. Together with allied organizations and principled leaders in Congress, we will continue working to ensure that no travelers have to abandon their civil rights, privacy, or basic human dignity to board a plane.
  • [Op-Ed] Pushing for Sikh Inclusion in Minnesota Schools

    Since February 2020, the Sikh Coalition has been working with Sikh community members to ensure that the Minnesota Department of Education includes Sikhism as they make revisions to the state's social studies standards.

    Click here to read the June 17 Pioneer Press op-ed from MN Sikh community leader and parent Randeep S. Arora, who explains how including Sikhi in the state’s education standards would make a significant difference in ensuring students feel safe at school. We were proud to work with Mr. Arora to place his op-ed in the Pioneer Press.
  • Advocating for Afghan Sikhs and Hindus

    During President Biden’s meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last week, the Sikh Coalition continued calls for the United States to prioritize the resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, who face ongoing threats of persecution and genocide. This community must find security and opportunity through resettlement to the United States.

    To watch a recent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom briefing on the situation for Afghanistan’s religious minorities, click here. You can also read a Washington Post op-ed on the threat to Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, co-authored by Senior Fellow Simran Jeet Singh.
  • Resources Available for Indianapolis Sangat

    Law enforcement in Indianapolis continues to investigate the motive behind the April 15 mass shooting at a FedEx ground facility that killed eight and left several others injured. The Sikh Coalition continues to engage elected officials and law enforcement to ensure that every aspect of the shooting’s investigation explores the potential for bias as a motivator. In addition, we continue to support the Indianapolis sangat and have put together resources on legal services, workers’ compensation, and other needs; if you know members of the Indianapolis sangat in need of support, please direct them to this document so that the Sikh Coalition can provide the services or referrals they need.
  • Educating Educators and Students in California

    In June, the Sikh Coalition virtually engaged teachers and students at the REACHABLE initiative in California’s Central Valley with lessons about Sikh immigration stories. Our education team presented a lesson to 60 students on Sikh immigration to the United States and provided 40 teachers with resources and lesson plans to teach about Sikh immigration and contributions in the classroom. We are thankful to REACHABLE for inviting us to join their initiative and connect with so many teachers and students about Sikh stories!
  • Sikh Coalition Updates Policy Priorities Brief

    In 2020, as part of our efforts to raise the Sikh American voice through civic engagement, the Sikh Coalition published Combating Bias, Bigotry, and Backlash: Sikh American Civil Rights Policy Priorities. We are proud to update this policy document to now include specific recommendations for inclusion and representation in government, reducing hate crimes, addressing the rising threat of white nationalism, ensuring equal employment opportunities, creating safe and inclusive classrooms, and much more. Click here to read the Sikh Coalition’s policy guidance in several areas of our programmatic work.

In this Issue

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