Dear Supporter Ji,
It is my honor to write to you today as the new Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition.
By now, you may have had the chance to read a bit about me, but I wanted to tell you a little more about my journey to this position, why this moment is so important, and what I hope we can do together to take the Sikh Coalition to the next level as it enters its third decade.
I grew up in Florida, attending the Sikh Society of Florida gurdwara. My early work in Sikh civil rights, like for so many of us, began after 9/11. While I mourned with my country, I was also confused, heartbroken, and outraged as I grasped for reason behind the ignorance and hate flooding our society and targeting our community. When I was in college, I volunteered for the Sikh Coalition as the organization was first responding to community members facing bias, hate, and bullying. I joined efforts to educate non-Sikhs about the wonderful teachings of Sikhi and our long history in this country. And most importantly, I recognized that I didn’t have to survive a hate incident—or even know someone who did—to feel a passion for civil rights and know that change could start with me. My desire to advocate for equality came from that realization, and it fueled my career path—first to law school, and then on to several prominent social justice organizations.
Since December, I have been getting to know the team that makes up the Sikh Coalition. I have spoken one-on-one and collectively with the board members, former executive director, and current staff. What drew me in during each conversation was the compassion and care each individual displayed; I could feel how much they cared about the organization, the team, and—most of all—the community we serve. As I step into this role and the organization enters our third decade, I am reflecting on what our community has built in the 20 years since 9/11 and the almost 10 years since Oak Creek through our chardi kala spirit. I start this position keenly aware of not just the challenges that persist and the national reckoning we continue to experience regarding civil rights and democracy, but also the vision of a just and equal society envisioned by our Gurus.
I’ve built my career around the idea that we don’t have to experience injustice ourselves to know we must respond—a core requirement of Sikhi, and the promise of the Sikh Coalition as well. Together, our staff, sevadaars, and the board are dedicated to not only serving individuals in need, but also fighting proactively for the whole community. Through our work, the Sikh Coalition will endeavor to help you feel safe and secure in the support available to you, empowered to influence the most important conversations of the day, and ready with the resources you need at a moment’s notice to address the most critical issues of our time. And as we continue to build and grow this organization, the victories we achieve should keep raising the standard of understanding, inclusivity, and justice for all.
It’s an ambitious mission. And I know we can’t do it alone, so I hope you’re as excited as I am for what we can achieve together. Whether you contribute to the Sikh Coalition’s work through volunteer hours, donations, or taking digital action, I am so grateful for your partnership—and I look forward to collaborating with you in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
The Sikh Coalition
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