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The Sikh Coalition Avaaz
October 9, 2010

This has been a month of significant legal victories for the Sikh Coalition! The organization’s legal program safeguards religious freedom, and takes cases that have the broadest impact for Sikh-Americans. Here is a recap of how the Sikh Coalition’s legal work is “Opening Doors”:

Protecting the Sikh Identity in Prisons

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation this past month into whether a California state prison violated civil rights law by disallowing a Sikh inmate to wear religious headwear and by subjecting him to disciplinary action for refusing to cut his beard. The Sikh Coalition represents the inmate. The DOJ's actions are in response to a civil rights complaint filed by the Coalition.

Diversity Video Competition Winner Announced

The Sikh Coalition's first Diversity Video Competition was a great success! After receiving entries from 5 different countries, a panel of 3 expert judges narrowed down the submissions to the top two. These two videos were then shown to the general public, and the grand prize winner was selected by a popular vote. Chandani Kaur Kohli took home the first place award with her film, "Elephant In The Room". The Sikh Coalition congratulates Chandani Kaur Kohli on this achievement. She will receive $1,000 and her film will be premiered at the Sikh Art and Film Festival on October 23.

Information about Sikhs Included in Interfaith Healthcare Guide

To promote delivery of culturally sensitive healthcare services to diverse religious communities, the Interfaith Alliance has published a booklet entitled, Treating Patients of Other Religions and Ethnicities: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. This booklet contains basic information about Sikh religious and cultural practices, among other faith traditions, and its authors hope to make it available to healthcare professionals nationwide through entities such as the American Medical Association.

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