After a Sikh man was shot in a hate crime in my hometown of Kent, Washington on March 3, 2017, my community was in crisis.
That is when we decided to call the Sikh Coalition.
For two months, we worked side-by-side to ensure a proper hate crime investigation, push 13 Senators to demand a new White House task force to prevent hate violence and secure an invitation to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee demanding further action.
For 16 years, this organization has consistently delivered the support required to give our community a voice for civil rights. While these are the high-impact results we all have come to expect from the Sikh Coalition, what often gets missed is the unwavering focus they give to building community power at the grassroots level. While their fingerprints touched every aspect of the work, their mission was to empower us to effectively lead the response to this hate crime.
On November 7th, I was elected the first-ever Sikh city council member in my hometown. While my dreams of running for office started before this hate crime incident, the events surrounding it reminded me that we all have a role to play in remaining civically engaged. Moreover, as a Sikh, we must continue to support the institutions that fight for our civil rights and empower the community.
I am so proud to have worked with the Sikh Coalition and even more proud of the work that they do every day. I encourage you to read the Sikh Coalition’s year-in-review newsletter that highlights their incredible work from this past year.