(March 4, 2010) Last month, the Sikh Coalition launched a brand new training program for Sikhs - the Sikh Presenter's Course! The Course is a 3-day series of workshops designed to train Sikh community members on how to effectively convey a presentation on Sikhs to non-Sikhs in their local area. The Course was led by Coalition staff and a trained professional, well versed in teaching individuals presentation and public speaking skills.
Why the Sikh Presenter's Course?
The Coalition has conducted countless presentations in schools, government agencies, and interfaith panels. The great demand for these trainings exceeds the capacity of our staff to meet the number of requests for these Sikh Awareness Presentations. We also know that one of the best ways to dispel bias is through education.
For these reasons, the Coalition launched the Sikh Presenter's Course so that local Sikhs can skillfully present information on Sikhs and Sikh issues.
The first Course was held in New York City during the weekend of February 13-15. This pilot Course trained 15 Sikhs on effective presentation skills and using those skills to relate basic Sikh beliefs to a non-Sikh audience.
At the conclusion of the 3-day Course, these 15 participants were evaluated based on their ability to effectively deliver the Sikh Awareness Presentation. The participants who passed the evaluation are now certified by the Coalition to deliver these presentations in their local communities. Their certification requires that they deliver at least two Sikh Awareness Presentations each year.
It is our long-term vision that we will be able to train thousands of Sikhs using this model over the next decade. In this way, the Coalition hopes to address bias against Sikhs through education on a grassroots level at each school, government agency, or community gathering where such education is welcome and needed.
The Coalition would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for making this Course a success: Fred Polirer, NYU United Sikh Association, Sikh Research Institute, Saffron Press, and Harpreet Singh.
The Coalition seeks to replicate this Course in several cities across the country. If you are interested in hosting a Sikh Presenter's Course in your area, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We know that often times when someone meets a Sikh, people have negative associations with us based on our external appearance. By delivering these Sikh Awareness presentations, we hope to dispel any myths people may harbor about Sikhs and create an environment that is Sikh-friendly."