November 10, 2022 (Oak Creek, WI) -- This year, the Sikh Coalition was proud to join sevadaars, sangat members, partner organizations, and allies from across the United States to commemorate 10 years since the tragedy in Oak Creek.
We were honored to be a part of the local sangat’s beautiful candlelight vigil and program commemorating the lives lost one decade ago. But we also recognize that conversations about Oak Creek--and the root cause of that tragedy and violent hate--must be had outside of our local communities.
Accordingly, the Sikh Coalition undertook work across the United States to ensure that all Americans would #RememberOakCreek:
- We worked with 21 sangat members across the country to publish op-ed pieces urging Americans to remember Oak Creek and calling on our elected officials in Congress to take action. These pieces were published in national outlets like USA Today, the Emancipator, and Teen Vogue, as well as state newspapers in Colorado, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Georgia, Massachusetts, and California.
- We empowered sangats across more than 20 cities to hold their own National Day of Seva or National Night of Vigil events, remembering Oak Creek and building stronger relationships within their own communities.
- We saw thousands of people visit our learning hub, co-developed with the Revolutionary Love Project, where they could access a video, educational material, and policy action items related to Oak Creek.
Finally, in collaboration with both the Revolutionary Love Project and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Sikh Coalition pushed advocates across the nation to contact Congress in support of three pieces of legislation that would help make all communities safer against the threat of targeted violence: The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program Improvement Act, and the Justice for Victims of Hate Crimes Act. All told, hundreds of users sent more than a thousand messages in support of these bills to their elected officials. This push followed the Sikh Coalition’s July 26 virtual congressional briefing, which featured community perspectives from the Oak Creek sangat, Charleston’s Black community, and Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, as well as leaders in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
We will continue working across the nation to prevent the next Oak Creek tragedy. But we can’t do this work alone--it is the continued support of sevadaars like you that make it possible. Together, we will keep pushing for a country free from the threat of violent hatred.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.