Photo: CNN iReport, KhalsaSingh
What happened on August 5 in Wisconsin was the biggest incident of hate involving Sikh Americans in history. In the wake of this tragedy, many of you have approach the Sikh Coalition and asked how you can help.
While we are deeply saddened and still grieving, we must do something to ensure that an event like this never happens again. This is a pivotal moment for us. We've never before been in a position where people are primed and ready to listen, understand, and appreciate Sikhs in their community. So let us work together to create and lead projects that do just that.
What can you do to ensure Sikhs are appreciated and respected in your city?
- Invite local law enforcement, elected officials, and educators to Vaisakhi/Gurpurab celebrations.
- Participate in local parades and celebrations in your city for Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Thanksgiving.
- Appoint members of your gurdwara committee to be interfaith leaders. Invite non-Sikhs to your gurdwara, and also visit other houses of worship in your city.
- Participate in charity walks/runs and encourage your gurdwara to create a team.
- Place advertisements in local newspapers around American holidays. For example, “The Sikh community of X wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving/Happy Independence Day!”
- Reach out to local media to pitch stories about local Sikhs or the post-Wisconsin climate for Sikhs.
- As a parent, join your child’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and be visible in the school; offer to do presentations on Sikhi in your child’s classroom.
- As a Khalsa School, partner with community service organizations in your city to do different types of seva; for example, Adopt a Highway project, volunteer at nursing homes, join SikhCess and prepare food for homeless shelters, etc.
- As a Sikh Student’s Association, host a Turban Tying Day or a langar event.
Educational Resources – Below are resources to help you educate others on Sikhi when participating in these events:
Click here to read the Education Bulletin – How YOU Can Help: Part 2 for information on what you can do as a gurdwara to spread awareness about Sikhs in your city.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges all Sikhs to fearlessly practice their faith.