Sikh Coalition Attends Women’s History Month Celebration at Vice President Biden’s Residence
On March 26, 2012 the Sikh Coalition's Executive Director, Sapreet Kaur, was invited to join Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden for a reception at their residence to celebrate Women's History Month. This intimate reception included women leaders from diverse fields including business, athletics, government, the arts and non-profits. The Sikh Coalition was proud to join the Vice President and Dr. Biden in recognizing and celebrating the vast contributions of women in our society. Satjeet Kaur, the Sikh Coalition's Development and Communications Manager, accompanied Sapreet in representing the Sikh American community at this special event. Click to see more pictures.
Sikh Advocate Academy Applications are Due Tomorrow
The April 15, 2012 deadline for applications to the second Sikh Advocate Academy is tomorrow. To learn more and apply, please visit our website:www.sikhadvocates.org
The Sikh Advocate Academy is an intensive, week-long workshop from June 4-8, 2012 in Washington, DC that will train approximately 12 individuals on the same advocacy techniques used by the Sikh Coalition to achieve justice. The Academy will be led by experienced social justice advocates and features guest speakers from government agencies, media outlets, and civil rights organizations. Click here to apply!
California Action Alert: Sign the Petition in Support of WRFA Legislation!
California Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada held a press conference last week at the West Sacramento Gurdwara to unveil new legislation to protect Sikhs and others from workplace discrimination. The legislation is known as AB1964 – the Workplace Religious Freedom Act – and will be considered by two legislative committees this month. If you live in California, we encourage you to sign a petition
to your elected representatives. Click here to sign the petition.
Sikh Coalition Attends White House National Philanthropic Briefing on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community
On April 2, 2012 the Sikh Coalition represented the Sikh American community at the White House for the Administration’s first ever National Philanthropic Briefing on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community. We joined Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, and Christopher Lu, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary, as well as esteemed colleagues in philanthropy, government and community based organizations to enhance our collective knowledge about the AAPI community and explore ways to better align and leverage strategies, policies, and investments to benefit AAPI populations. The full-day program featured a close look at challenges faced by this population and distinct opportunities to build on current assets, including a special presentation by Census Director Dr. Robert Groves, dialogue with key Administration and philanthropic leaders, and strategic discussions covering six critical areas: health, immigrant integration, housing, economic and community development, civil and human rights, arts and culture, and educational opportunities. Click to see more pictures!
Sikh Coalition Advocates Develop Empowerment Program with San Jose Khalsa School
In March 2012, hundreds of Sikh children gathered at San Jose Gurdwara to participate in a workshop that aimed at addressing school bullying. For several months, Sikh Coalition Advocates worked with the San Jose Khalsa School sangat in a community think tank to develop the discussion curriculum for the empowerment workshops. As a result, the San Jose Khalsa School community and the Sikh Coalition created an empowerment program, which provided children with skills and tools to address school bullying. Forty trained facilitators engaged 500 children in discussions relating super-heroes and societal heroes to Sikhs and how to handle bullies. According to the 2010 Sikh Coalition Civil Rights Report
, between 60-70% of Sikh American children in the Bay Area have experienced some form of bullying. Over the next several months, the Sikh Coalition will continue to work with the San Jose sangat to ensure that parents, Khalsa School educators and children have the tools they need to address school bullying concerns. In response to the workshop, the Sikh Coalition received 32 requests for Sikh Awareness presentations in schools - the presentations were requested directly by the children. Click to see more pictures
Sikh Defeats AutoZone in Federal Court, AutoZone Changes Practice
A Sikh employee, Frank MahoneyBurroughs, scored a significant victory in a religious discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, AutoZone, who harassed and then fired him for adopting the Sikh articles of faith. In addition to defeating the Fortune 500 auto parts company on a religious accommodation claim, Mr. MahoneyBurroughs, as part of a settlement agreement, will receive $75,000 in damages plus attorneys’ fees. The Sikh Coalition’s Legal team, along with co-counsel, represented Mr. MahoneyBurroughs, providing over two years of dedicated advocacy and support. Read more about this legal victory!
Spreading Sikh Awareness Coast to Coast
In the last few months the Sikh Coalition has taken on initiatives in New York City and Union City, California to educate school children about Sikhs. During Respect for All Week
in New York City, the Sikh Coalition organized Sikh Awareness presentations in five different schools in Queens, with the help of our localSikh Presenter’s Course Graduates
. As a result, over 4,000 students in New York City learned about Sikhi, and resources such as Sikh lesson plans, presentations, and activity sheets were made available to all New York City School principals through the Department of Education’s website.
The New Haven Unified School District (CA) declared January as Sikh Awareness Month
for all schools in the district. The Sikh Coalition worked with the SEVA team in the Bay Area to pass this resolution. Again, Sikh Presenter’s Course Graduates from the Bay Area class
led presentations at two school faculty meetings in the district. They presented information on how to teach Sikhi in the classroom, and distributed an educational resource packet. Read more.
Workshops to Address School Bullying Presented in Connecticut Khalsa School
On March 18, 2012, Sikh Coalition Staff and Sikh Presenter's Course Graduates
led workshops at Guru Tegh Bahadur Foundation Gurdwara in Norwalk, Connecticut. These workshops, modeled on the curriculum developed by the Sikh Coalition Advocates and San Jose Sangat, are designed to provide skills and tools to combat bullying and empower students. The Sikh Coalition thanks the Khalsa School and Gurdwara for organizing these workshops. If you are interested in learning more about this workshop or having one at your Khalsa School, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sikh Coalition Trains US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
On March 26, 2012, the Sikh Coalition trained U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigators in San Francisco. The EEOC is a federal agency tasked with investigating and resolving employment discrimination in the workplace. The training, led by the Sikh Coalition’s Western Region staff, covered Sikhism, the Sikh articles of faith, and common discrimination problems that Sikhs face in the workplace. The goal of the training was to ensure that the EEOC investigators have a greater understanding of who Sikhs are, and how to investigate Sikh cases of employment discrimination. The training lasted an hour, and included Powerpoint and video components, and a lively discussion.
Sikh Coalition Launches Bowl-a-thon Fundraiser in Houston
On June 9, Texas sangats will participate in the 2nd Annual Houston Bowl-a-thon. Bowlers will "Bowl a Strike for Sikh Rights" by raising $100 per person for the Coalition, and can enjoy an afternoon of bowling with their family and friends. Join a team or form your own here
. Not in Houston? Support the Coalition by donating to a team of your choice here
. Click here
to check out all the fun that was had at last year's event.
The Sikh Coalition and South Asian Organizations Release Report on Racial Profiling
The Sikh Coalition was one of seven South Asian American organizations who collectively released a report entitled, In Our Own Words: Narratives of South Asian New Yorkers Affected by Racial and Religious Profiling
, which documents the experiences and stories of New Yorkers who live in a climate of racial and religious profiling. Through an 18-month collaborative documentation project that included surveys, focus groups, and interviews, the report discusses ways in which South Asian New Yorkers, including Sikhs, continue to endure profiling by national and local law enforcement agencies. To learn more about the report, click here