October 25, 2011 (Washington, DC) – Just four months after graduating from the inaugural Sikh Advocate Academy, the Sikh Coalition's Volunteer Advocates have recorded over 100 actions nationwide in support of civil rights and continue to make a positive impact in their local communities.
The Sikh Advocate Academy is a groundbreaking initiative designed to create a national network of professionally-trained social justice advocates. Twelve passionate individuals from around the nation received advocacy training from the Sikh Coalition and pledged to promote civil rights through engagement with government officials, media outlets, and community groups.
Some of their high-profile achievements to date are listed below:
- Meetings with Congressional offices to discuss school bullying
- Sharing bullying survey results with a Maryland Congressional office
- Publication of a featured essay on CNN.com
- Publication of an essay in Hyphen, an Asian American magazine
- Interviews on local television and Democracy Now news programs
- Publication in the Houston Chronicle
- New bullying surveys in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Massachusetts
- Organizing a petition drive in Missouri to support an anti-bullying law
Additional school bullying surveys are underway in California, New York, and Texas. In recent weeks, the Volunteer Advocates have also met or communicated with several Congressional offices in California and New Mexico to support the Sikh Coalition's campaign to end workplace segregation. They have also undertaken efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and build alliances with civil rights and social justice organizations outside the Sikh community.
The Sikh Advocate Academy has been made possible through the generous support of the Security & Rights Collaborative, a Proteus Fund Initiative; Open Society Institute National Security and Human Rights Campaign; and individual contributions from the Sikh American community.