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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
June 11, 2022
  • On May 18, after a comprehensive nationwide search, the Sikh Coalition was proud and excited to announce Anisha Singh as our new Executive Director. Anisha is a civil rights leader with more than 15 years of experience in public interest and social justice issues, legal and policy advocacy work, and grassroots organizing.

    Like many Sikh Coalition staff, board members, and sevadaars, the backlash against our and other communities after 9/11 shaped Anisha’s early career, and she is honored and excited to be returning to this work by stepping into her new role with the Sikh Coalition. Prior to joining us, Anisha led the courts and democracy programs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America; before that, she served as both Senior Organizing Director for Generation Progress and Campaign Manager at Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress (CAP). Throughout her career, Anisha has fought for the civil rights of all through work on legislation, direct lobbying, and organizing, and she brings additional expertise around core areas of the Sikh Coalition’s work, including anti-bullying efforts, employment discrimination, and accommodations for articles of faith.

    Read more about Anisha’s path to the Sikh Coalition here; you can also review her first email to the community here, watch her on JUS Punjabi here, and read her first op-ed--published by Philanthropy News Digest--here.
  • New Free Resource: ‘Accommodating Sikhs in the Workplace’

    On June 6, the Sikh Coalition launched our latest resource, Accommodating Sikhs in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers. This guide is a new online resource for public and private sector employers in the United States to learn about Sikhs, ensure that their employment decisions are legally-compliant, and welcome diverse talent to their teams. It provides background on the history of Sikhs living in the U.S., explains what the Sikh articles of faith are, and outlines existing U.S. legal protections for religious minority employees. Most importantly, it discusses and provides specific examples of how to achieve mutually acceptable solutions to the accommodation of Sikh religious practices in the workplace. Review the guide here, and as always, reach out to our legal team if you face discrimination in your workplace.

    Queens Day of Action Planned for June 24

    In response to recent attacks on Sikhs in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens, NY, the Sikh Coalition is recruiting sevadaars and allied organizations to join a Day of Action in the area on June 24. Participants will gather at the Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society Inc. on 118 Street at 11 AM and divide into groups to canvas the area for four hours; our goal is to meet with up to 200 local business owners, distribute flyers and posters, and raise awareness about how to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Langar will be available afterwards. For more information--or to volunteer, if you are in the area--email community@sikhcoalition.org.

    12 Organizations Join Fight for Justice in Case of CA Sikh Man

    On May 31, 12 advocacy, civil rights, community, legal, and faith-based organizations joined the Sikh Coalition to send a letter to Sutter County District Attorney Amanda Hopper urging her to take action by pressing charges against the aggressor who threatened, berated, and endangered the life of Mr. Rouble Paul Claire, a Sikh member of the Sutter community, in May of 2021.

    You can read more about Mr. Claire’s fight for justice here. More than 210 community members and allies have taken action by sending a message to DA Hopper asking her to move this case forward. The Sikh Coalition remains engaged with Mr. Claire as he considers his path forward, including his ongoing civil suit.

    Education Presentations Reach 750+ NYC Students

    On May 16, Sikh Coalition Senior Education Manager Harman Singh participated in a panel entitled "A Dialogue Across Lines of Religious Difference" at Trevor Day School in New York. The panel, presented to Middle and Upper School students, included religious leaders like Clarence B. Jones, the former speech writer and personal friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Then, on May 18, Harman was joined by a Sikh Coalition volunteer to hold four presentations for Pre K - 5th grade students in the Lower School on the Sikh faith and traditions. In total, these efforts reached more than 750 students. If you are a parent or teacher interested in having the Sikh Coalition speak to your children’s classroom, email education@sikhcoalition.org for more information.

    Sikh Coalition and SALDEF Join Sikh Civics Briefing

    On June 2, Sikh Coalition Executive Director Anisha Singh joined representatives from the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund and Proteus Fund for a virtual conversation on Sikh Civics: Philanthropy’s Role in Building A Multiracial Society. At the event, Anisha co-presented on what the philanthropic space can learn from the Sikh American community’s resilience, efforts to build community power, and allyship with other marginalized communities. We are grateful to our fellow presenters, as well as our hosts from Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), Proteus Fund, and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), for this opportunity.

    Remembering 1984

    In June, the Sikh Coalition joined Sikhs around the world in commemorating Operation Blue Star: A coordinated assault on Darbar Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, and dozens of other gurdwaras throughout Punjab. In addition to claiming thousands of Sikh lives, Operation Blue Star was the beginning of a years-long campaign of targeted killings, mass mob violence, disappearances, and general repression of Sikhs by the Indian state. As we continue the fight against bigotry and nationalism at home and abroad, review resources about June 1984 here.

    Print and Digital Resources Available

    The Sikh Coalition’s full library of legal, classroom, and community resources are available on our website, but did you know you can also request printed resources? Whether you need know-your-rights reminders for specific professions like taxi drivers or truckers, language-accessible information about hate crimes to hang in your gurdwara, or ‘Who are the Sikhs?’ brochures to educate others, our team is ready to help. Please fill out this form on our website to request printed resources, and email resources@sikhcoalition.org if you have questions.

    Federal Resources for Securing Your Gurdwara

    On May 14, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) opened its application cycle for fiscal year 2022. The NSGP provides funding support for physical security enhancements, trainings, and other line items to nonprofit organizations—including houses of worship like gurdwaras—to help them prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to terrorist attacks. The deadline for your gurdwara to apply for NSGP funding depends on the state where you live, but all applications must ultimately be submitted through your state to FEMA by June 13, 2022. Learn more about the program here, as well as the Sikh Coalition’s work in gurdwara security (including our free security toolkit) here.

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