Amardeep Singh, Director of Programs (National)
Amardeep Singh is the co-founder of the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the United States. He currently serves as its Director of Programs where he oversees the Coalition’s use of litigation, advocacy and community organizing to advance social justice goals.
Amar has represented dozens of Sikh victims of airport profiling, employment discrimination, and hate crimes since the organization’s inception after 9/11. Along with Department of Homeland Security officials, he helped to formulate guidelines governing the searches of Sikh passengers in U.S. airports. His work also led to the formulation of a regulation protecting 1.1 million New York City public school students from bias-based harassment in schools.
He has represented the Sikh community during meetings with the United States Attorney General, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of Transportation, and the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He has been quoted speaking on civil rights issues in the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN during his tenure at the Coalition.
Prior to joining the Coalition, Amar worked as a Researcher in the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch (HRW). While at HRW, he authored its report, “We Are Not the Enemy: Hate Crimes Against Arabs, Muslims, and Those Perceived to be Arab or Muslim after September 11.” Amar was also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race where he taught a course on the intersection of ethnic identity and the law.
Over the past year, Amar was appointed by President Barack Obama to the White House Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He was also named a “Best Lawyer Under 40” this year by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Hoboken Public Library.
Honors and Awards
- 2009 - Caring for Children Award, Coalition for Asian American Families and Children
Honored for work to protect rights of minority students facing bias-based harassment in city schools.
- 2009 - Public Interest Achievement Award, North American South Asian Bar Association
Honored for work to protect rights of South Asians in the United States
- 2008 - Public Interest Award, Asian American Bar Association of New York
Honored New York City community civil rights work by minority bar associations.
- 2007 - Ronald H. Brown Dinner Award, St. John’s University Law School Honored at law school’s annual Ronald H. Brown dinner for civil rights work.
- 2005 - Union Square Award, Union Square Foundation
Received $50,000 award (donated to the Sikh Coalition) from the Union Square Foundation for public service work
- 2005 - Chavez, Houston and Korematsu Public Service Award, Benjamin Cardozo Law
Received award from Black, Latino, and Asian Law Students Association at Benjamin Cardozo Law School for public service work at the Sikh Coalition.
- 2005 – Human Rights Activist of the Year Award, Sikh Centential Foundation
Honored for work to protect civil rights of Sikhs in North America