This past June, the California legislature passed Resolution 97 that declared this November as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation month. A few months later, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson sent a letter to all County and District Superintendents about this resolution, and urged them to celebrate the month in their schools by conducting "appropriate commemorative exercises to promote awareness of the contributions of Sikh American's to California's history."
The Sikh Coalition, in collaboration with the California Sikh community, has worked to create a list of projects that you can lead in your city to celebrate Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. Below, you will find ideas and resources to help you execute these projects in your community. If you have any questions or need further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Encourage local schools in your area to display the Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month poster for the entire month of November. To request a copy, please email email@example.com with your name, address, and school where you intend to send the poster.
- Encourage Educators to Teach Sikhism - Approach local schools and encourage teachers to celebrate Sikh Awareness Month by giving a lesson on Sikhs.
- Resources: Talking Points, Sample Letter to Principal, and Educator Resources (lesson plans, books, videos, etc.)
- Lead a Sikh Awareness presentation yourself - Offer to lead student and staff presentations on Sikhs.
- Resources: Elementary Presentation and Talking Points; High School/Teacher Presentation and Talking Points.
Don't want to do the presentation yourself? No problem! Get a Sikh Coalition trained presenter to do it for you.
- Write letters to your County Superintendents of Education or your local school and encourage them to celebrate Sikh Awareness Month.
- Resources: Sample letter and Contact Information for any California school or all 58 County Superintendents offices.
- Host Public Events at your Gurudwara - arrange to have school superintendents, teachers, etc. visit the local gurudwara during November.
- Resources: Open House Toolkit and Teacher Appreciation Night Toolkit
- Leverage Khalsa Schools - Encourage your gurdwara's khalsa school students to create displays/posters that they can take to school for Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. Consider including the following Sikh facts into the display:
Did you know?
- In America, 99% of the people you see wearing a turban will be Sikh. Sikhism is the fifth largest world religion after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
- Sikhism was founded in 1469 by Guru Nanak in the Punjab region of South Asia.
- Sikhism is a distinct, independent and monotheistic religion. It is not a branch or blend of any other faith.
- There are 25 million Sikhs in the world. 500,000 live in America, and approximately half of those Sikhs live in California.Sikhs share basic values with Americans: the importance of equality, religious pluralism, and justice for all.
- Sikhs have been in this country for more than 100 years and have had notable achievements as farmers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, congressmen, scientists, scholars, and actors, among countless other professions.
Sikhs Shine in the Golden State!
- A Sikh house of worship is called a gurdwara. The oldest gurdwara in America was built in Stockton, CA in 1912.
- The first Asian American elected to Congress was a Sikh named Dalip Singh Saund from Los Angeles, CA.
- The largest peach, pistachio, okra, and raisin farms are all owned by Sikh farmers in California!
- Contact local media to cover what your city is doing to celebrate Sikh Awareness and Appreciation month.
- Resources: Talking points for Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month.