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The Sikh Coalition News
September 22, 2021

  • [INVITE] Virtual Community Forum on Protecting Gurdwaras in Your State

    September 22, 2021 -- In the month of October, the Sikh Coalition will host a series of virtual community forums focused on Protecting our Sangats and Gurdwaras for sangats in Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, and Washington.

    Hate crimes and bias incidents tracked by the FBI routinely show Sikhs among the top five most targeted religious communities in the country; unfortunately, houses of worship are often targets for hate and discrimination. In the past two months alone, Khalsa Gurmat Center (a community center in Federal Way, WA) was broken into, ransacked, and robbed, and a gurdwara in New Hyde Park, NY--which is still under construction--was damaged and vandalized with graffiti.

    We would like to invite local leaders like you, who are interested in enhancing sangat safety and security procedures at your local gurdwara, to participate in virtual community forums on Protecting our Sangats and Gurdwaras. Following the success of a similar discussion in California earlier this year, we are replicating this initiative in Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, and Washington given the significant Sikh presence in these states.

    The purpose of these community forums is to learn more about resources, tools, best practices, and financial support that exist at the federal and state level that can help prevent and combat hate crimes and bias incidents in our houses of worship. RSVP is required and space is limited, so please sign up today!

    WHO: Our team members will moderate a panel discussion on best practices and federal resources with representatives from the Department of Justice Community Relations Service (DOJ CRS) and representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, and will provide critical information on the funding process for federal and state grants. In addition, gurdwara leaders will speak about their experiences on how they procured funding and took additional steps to secure their local sangats.

    WHEN:
    Michigan: Saturday, October 23, 2021: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT
    Indiana: Saturday, October 23, 2021: 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM EDT
    Virginia: Saturday, October 30, 2021: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT
    Washington: Saturday, October 30, 2021: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM PDT

    WHERE: Virtual Community Forum: RSVP required and space is limited, so sign up now.

    Note: We welcome all interested sangat members to participate and we encourage at least one person from your Gurdwara’s leadership committee to attend this forum.

    This meeting is an opportunity for us to understand that these are real threats facing the community, and to learn what resources are available for us to protect our community and community spaces. We look forward to your participation in this important conversation.

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

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