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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
November 13, 2021
  • Sikh Coalition Launches End-of-Year Fundraising Effort

    The Sikh Coalition was created in a moment of emergency in the hours after the September 11th attacks and run by volunteers donating their time and resources to serve the sangat. Twenty years later, we have evolved into the largest Sikh civil rights nonprofit in the United States–and with the investment and support of sangat members like you, we’ve moved from not only reacting in crises to also leading deliberate, proactive efforts with far-reaching impact. We are grateful for the progress we have made as both an organization and a community, but the work is never done.

    In October, we kicked off our end-of-year fundraising efforts, with the goal of raising $1.2 million before December 31st. If you are in a position to do so, please consider contributing your dasvandh today so that we can continue to serve the community through 2022 and beyond.
  • Remembering 1984

    Thirty-seven years ago, from October 31 to November 3, 1984, thousands of Sikhs were hunted and murdered by government-orchestrated mobs throughout India following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Along with Sikhs around the world, the Sikh Coalition recognizes this solemn occasion as a turning point in our history.

    As we recognize the 37th anniversary of these atrocities, it is important to understand the deep history of these events and the issues of state repression and impunity that are still relevant today. According to eyewitnesses and human rights activists, the killings were organized by government officials and facilitated by police officials. Unfortunately, 37 years later, the Indian government continues to deny appropriate justice to the victims and survivors of the massacres.

    The Sikh Coalition remains committed to raising awareness about anti-Sikh violence in India and supporting efforts to promote justice and accountability. Our history is our responsibility. It is also our responsibility to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself with our community or any other community.
  • FBI Updates Record High Hate Crime Statistics

    In October, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published additional data on hate crimes and bias incidents for calendar year 2020. According to the latest FBI hate crime statistics, Sikhs are the third most targeted faith community in the United States, and hate crime numbers have reached their highest in 20 years of reporting. As alarming as these numbers are, we remain concerned that the data reported to the FBI is imperfect and does not accurately account for all hate crimes against communities. Click here for more information.
  • Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents

    The Sikh Coalition has been working tirelessly to assist students, teachers, and parents as they have returned to school this fall, whether online or in-person.

    On October 26, 2021, the Sikh Coalition hosted an Instagram Live with two Sikh parents--Simran Jeet Singh and Sonia Kaur--to discuss how parents can respond if their children face bullying at school. In addition, we shared tips on how parents can use our free back-to-school resources to work with educators and school administrators to promote Sikh awareness in curricula, classrooms, and other school environments. Then, on October 29, 2021, Community Development Director Rucha Kaur joined the New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Asian American Federation to host a virtual workshop on how Asian, Muslim, and Sikh parents and students can respond to incidents of bullying and harassment at school.
  • Resource for Sikh Taxi and Rideshare Drivers

    As part of the Sikh Coalition’s never-ending work to protect your rights, we have developed a new video resource for Sikh taxi and rideshare drivers on the necessary safety precautions to take while driving and how to respond if a bias-related incident occurs.

    Watch Hate Crime Prevention Tips for Sikh Taxi and Rideshare Drivers to hear from Community Development Manager Inderpreet Kaur and former New York City taxi driver Sukhjinder Singh Nijjar about the threats that Sikh drivers can face while working, what safety precautions they should take to protect themselves, and the resources that exist to support those who face hate incidents. We also encourage you to share this video resource with any friends or family you have who drive a taxi or rideshare full- or part-time.
  • New Asylum Resource Available

    This month, the Sikh Coalition released Well-Founded Fear: Understanding Legal Challenges and Best Practices for Sikh Asylum Applicants and Their Attorneys in partnership with our counsel at the Stanford Law School’s Religious Liberty Clinic and Harvard Law School’s Religious Freedom Clinic, along with the support of community experts and immigration attorney and Legal Advisory Committee member Deepak Ahluwalia.

    The purpose of this comprehensive report is to provide practical guidance to individuals navigating the asylum process as well as context into the plight Sikh asylum seekers face in India, both for those in the legal profession and individuals who are representing themselves. While the Sikh Coalition does not provide direct legal services on asylum or immigration cases, we encourage sangat members to share this new resource with those who may be in need of assistance.
  • Trainings in California and Colorado

    On October 20, 2021, Senior Counsel Harsimran Kaur joined the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for a virtual webinar to inform legal professionals about employment discrimination issues facing the Sikh community. Then, on October 29, 2021, Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy Nikki Singh hosted a virtual training for more than 60 professionals with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in Colorado. The training provided background on anti-Sikh bias crimes nationwide and specific to Colorado, and equipped professionals with the knowledge to both assist community members in reporting bias incidents and ensure accurate hate crime investigations by law enforcement.
  • Virtual Forums Provide Resources on Protecting our Gurdwaras

    Throughout the month of October, the Sikh Coalition hosted a series of virtual community forums specific to Michigan, Virginia, and Washington to help sangat members learn more about the resources, tools, best practices, and financial support that can help prevent and combat hate crimes and bias incidents in our gurdwaras.

    We are grateful to multiple representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, Harpreet Singh Mokha (Department of Justice Community Relations Service), Simrit Singh Kamboe (Sikh Gurdwara San Jose), and Gurmit Singh Kaleka (Sikh Temple of Fox Valley) for providing their expertise at the forums and answering questions from community members. If you are interested in learning more about safeguarding your gurdwara, please email our team at community@sikhcoalition.org or review our Gurdwara Security Toolkit online.
  • California Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month

    November marks Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month (SAAM) in California! In the past, community members have 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, to mark the occasion, we also submitted a letter thanking California Governor Gavin Newsom and the State Board of Education for their work to advance Sikh stories through the new ethnic studies graduation requirement.

    For this year’s SAAM, we encourage community members to engage local governments and schools while abiding by COVID-19 public health guidelines and best practices. Click here to learn how to do so this November; if you have questions about California SAAM, please reach out to our team at advocacy@sikhcoalition.org.
  • Resilience of South Asian Communities After 9/11

    On October 28, 2021, the Sikh Coalition joined activists and community leaders for a virtual event hosted by the AARP to reflect on the resilience of South Asian communities since 9/11. During the panel discussion, Community Development Director Rucha Kaur discussed the history of Sikhs in the United States and the wave of hate and backlash targeting community members in the last two decades. Click here to watch the full event.
  • Legal Director Honored for Public Interest Impact

    Our Legal Director Amrith Kaur Aakre was honored today as a 2021 recipient of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago’s Public Interest Attorney Award! Amrith was recognized for her positive contributions and impact in the legal profession and South Asian community. Click here to learn more about her outstanding legal work to protect the civil rights of Sikhs and other religious minorities.
  • Join Our Team

    Are you interested in joining the full-time staff of the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the United States?

    The Operations Manager will oversee the organization’s finances to ensure fiscal responsibility and compliance is met, provide overall operations support, manage human resources, further develop the technology infrastructure, support recruitment efforts, continue to develop board engagement, as well as provide support as needed to special projects and events. Click here to apply before the November 15, 2021 deadline.

    The Executive Director serves as the hands-on manager for senior staff and will be responsible for further developing and implementing the strategies that will lead the organization into its next phase of growth and development. If you or someone you know has senior-level management and leadership experience and is passionate about advancing Sikh civil rights, applications for this incredible leadership position are still being accepted. Click here to learn more and apply now.

In this Issue

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