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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
February 12, 2022
  • NYC Attacker of Sikh Taxi Driver Arrested

    On January 14, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD) arrested Mohamed Hassanain for the January 3 attack of “Mr. Singh,” a Sikh taxi driver, at JFK Airport. Hassanain was charged with Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime, Assault in the Third Degree, and Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree. As a reminder, Hassanain allegedly repeatedly hit Mr. Singh in the head, chest, and arms, causing his dastaar to become unraveled and fall off, and called him “turbaned people” and shouted at him to “go back to your country.”

    The Sikh Coalition provided free legal support to Mr. Singh, who filed a report with the PAPD immediately after the incident, to ensure that the report included all of the details of the attack, given the language barrier during the initial conversations. Our staff accompanied Mr. Singh to a meeting with a detective to provide language assistance and legal support. We remain engaged on this case as Hassanain heads to court next month. 
  • Distribution of Taxi and Rideshare Driver Hate Crime Resources at JFK Airport

    Today, the Sikh Coalition will join city agencies and other civil rights organizations around New York City to distribute taxi and rideshare driver hate crime resources at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, NY. This community mobilization comes on the heels of the abovementioned assault of Mr. Singh at JFK airport as well as a continued general increase in bias-motivated attacks across the city.

    Taxi and rideshare drivers from our and other communities are vulnerable to hate and discrimination given their interactions with the public; in the past several years, the Sikh Coalition has provided free legal aid to a number of Sikh drivers who have been violently attacked. We continue to proactively distribute resources in the hope of helping drivers to prevent hateful incidents or protect themselves when they do occur; in October of last year, the Sikh Coalition also 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.
  • Sikh Coalition Staff Speak in the Asian Justice Rally 

    On January 30, the Sikh Coalition joined the Asian Justice Rally, taking place in six cities across the country, in solidarity to commemorate the one year deadly assault of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee. Mr. Ratanapakdee was assaulted during his daily walk in his San Francisco neighborhood; he never regained consciousness after the attack, and ultimately died from his injuries. Mr. Ratanapakdee's death is among many incidents of violence that are believed to have been targeted against the Asian community due to xenophobia around the COIVD-19 pandemic. Senior Legal Client Manager Aasees Kaur and Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy Nikki Singh spoke in the Atlanta and New York City rallies respectively. The Sikh Coalition continues to stand with the larger AAPI community in our efforts to #StopAAPIHate. 
  • Sikh Coalition Joins Panel to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    On January 17, to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Nikki Singh, joined the Arab American Association of New York and other community groups and city agencies to remember and celebrate one of the most prominent leaders in American civil rights. As a panelist, Nikki shared background on the Sikh faith and our work to combat hate and discrimination. You can watch the discussion here
  • New Team Capacity; Open Legal Position Available

    We are excited to welcome Nimarta Kaur Narang as our Communications and Media Manager! In this role, Nimarta supports a high-impact communications team that contributes to nearly every facet of the Sikh Coalition’s work and drives groundbreaking media results on behalf of Sikhs in America. Her work includes supporting the organization’s messaging strategy, pitching traditional media outlets, and developing original storytelling content.

    In addition, the Sikh Coalition is currently hiring for a full-time position in our legal department: The Senior Staff Attorney will provide direct legal assistance and advocate on behalf of Sikhs in high-impact litigation matters. On a pro bono basis, we represent individuals who have been discriminated against or subjected to bias based upon their religious beliefs or Sikh identity. These matters include areas of hate crimes, employment discrimination, bias-based school bullying, profiling, public accommodations, and other forms of religion-based discrimination. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • New Resource Request Form Available

    Did you know you can request printed Sikh Coalition resources? Whether you need know-your-rights reminders for specific professions like taxi drivers or truckers, Punjabi-language information about hate crimes to hang in your gurdwara, or brochures to help others learn about the Sikh faith, our team is ready to help. Please fill out the new form on our website to request resources, and email resources@sikhcoalition.org if you have questions. 
  • Sikh Coalition Charity Rating Upgraded

    This month, the Sikh Coalition applied for and received the highest rating offered by GuideStar: the 'Platinum' Seal of Transparency. GuideStar has been ranking charities and nonprofit organizations since 2013, and is recognized as "the most widely adopted symbol of transparency in the U.S. social sector." Because the Sikh Coalition overwhelmingly relies on the financial support of donors like you to sustain our initiatives and broaden our services, we remain committed to maintaining the highest standards of financial transparency and accountability.

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