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The Sikh Coalition News
November 8, 2021
  • Have You Engaged Officials or Educators about California SAAM?

    November 8, 2021 (Sacramento, CA) -- California is celebrating Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month (SAAM) this month! To help mark the month, the Sikh Coalition has submitted a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and the California State Board of Education showing appreciation for passing AB101, a historic effort to ensure that ethnic studies--including accurate information about the Sikh faith and community--are required for high school graduation in the state.

    “Including Sikhs in ethnic studies curricula across California’s school districts will not only make for a more comprehensive education for all of our state’s students, but safer classrooms for Sikh children,” reads the letter. It goes on to argue that “[The] positive assertion of our identity begins with the proactive inclusion of the contributions of Sikhs to our state and our nation through the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.” For more information about our work, along with the Jakara Movement and the California sangat, in support of this historic victory, please click here.

    California sangat members have previously recognized SAAM by delivering Sikh awareness presentations, sharing anti-bullying resources in schools, and facilitating important new conversations with non-Sikh community leaders. This year, we continue to encourage community members to build on these previous efforts while abiding by COVID-19 public health guidelines and best practices. Here are two ways to do so:

    Introduce a Local Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month Proclamation: We have created a step-by-step guide on how you can ask your elected officials to honor and celebrate the Sikh community this year, which helps to broaden public awareness of the issues that matter to the local Sikh community! You can pass Sikh awareness resolutions or proclamations at the school district, county board, or city council levels.

    Engage California Educators: The passage of the abovementioned ethnic studies legislation and California SAAM is the perfect opportunity to engage K-12 teachers and present Sikh awareness in classrooms. Our new-and-improved Back to School Toolkit features even more lesson plans, teaching tools, and the first-ever C3 Resources on Sikhism for educators to effectively teach students about this topic through inquiry.

    As a reminder, due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, the SAAM resolution did not have enough time to pass the Senate; however, because it was introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra and passed in the Assembly, it still marks a statewide recognition and celebration. If you have questions about how to best leverage California SAAM to increase Sikh awareness, please reach out to advocacy@sikhcoalition.org.

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

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