Hate Crime Briefing, Capitol Hill, Sikh Coalition and Serve2Unite, December 2017

Capitol Hill Briefing Addresses 2012 Oak Creek Gurdwara Shooting

On December 13, 2017, the Sikh Coalition facilitated a congressional briefing with Pardeep Singh Kaleka and Arno Michaelis to address the current state of racism and xenophobia in America. Pardeep Singh Kaleka is the son of Satwant Singh Kaleka, one of the six Sikh worshippers killed in the 2012 shooting at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin gurdwara (Sikh house of worship). Arno Michaelis is a self-described reformed racist skinhead who was deeply involved in the white power movement, and he saw a former version of himself in the neo-Nazi gunman who attacked the gurdwara. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Kaleka and Michaelis became close friends and co-founded the empowerment organization Serve2Unite.

The congressional briefing, titled “Proactive Responses to Hate Crimes in the United States,” was held in collaboration with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).

Watch the congressional briefing here and view photos here.

Sikh man sits behind Guru Granth Sahib in gurdwara.Interview with Department of Homeland Security on Safeguarding Gurdwaras

On December 20, 2017, a senior official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined National Advocacy Manager Sim J. Singh to discuss the steps needed to ensure that gurdwaras across the nation remain secure. Scott Breor, Director of the Protective Security Coordination Division, shared how the Sikh community can proactively respond to security threats such as vandalism, arson, bomb threats and shooters. According to recent reports, including the FBI’s hate crime statistics, hate crimes are on the rise, and this potentially life-saving advice remains highly relevant to the Sikh American community.

Click here to watch the Facebook Live session, click here to download our Gurdwara Security Toolkit and contact Community Development Manager Aasees Kaur at aasees@sikhcoalition.org to schedule a security consultation.

Langar Banner, SoCal Rose Parade Float, January 2018Grassroots Communications Support for SoCal Community

For the fourth consecutive year, California sangat members funded and designed a float for the January 1, 2018 Rose Parade held in Pasadena, California. This year, the Southern California Sikh community focused on the theme of langar (free community kitchen and meal) as an opportunity to spread awareness of Sikhism and promote Sikh values. The Sikh Coalition provided grassroots communications support to the sangat by driving media engagement around local Southern California langar initiatives that highlighted the langar Rose Parade theme.

View photos from the float decoration here, read local news coverage here and watch video of the float here.

Rucha Kaur and Inderpreet Kaur, HeadshotsMeet Our New Community Development Director & SoCal Community Development Manager

The Sikh Coalition is excited to introduce two new colleagues to our rapidly growing community development team.

Rucha Kaur is our new Community Development Director. In this role she manages a team that is building and empowering a national network of grassroots community leaders to promote interfaith solidarity, defend civil rights and promote Sikh awareness. She joins the Sikh Coalition after several successful years as the Associate Director at United Sikhs, where she focused on designing and implementing health care programs on behalf of the Sikh community. For more information about Rucha, click here.

Inderpreet Kaur joins this team as our new Southern California Community Development Manager. In this full time role she will provide the Sikh communities across Southern California direct support in areas of education, advocacy and raising Sikh awareness. Inderpreet has been heavily involved in this sangat for years after teaching at local youth camps and co-founding a Khalsa food pantry in Los Angeles. For more information about Inderpreet, click here.

Sikh flag, the Nishaan SahibThank You to Our Supporters!

The Sikh Coalition is excited to share that we exceeded our goal and raised $1,125,720 in our end-of-year fundraising campaign. Thank you! The collective sangat’s support allows us to continue our groundbreaking work and build community power in 2018 and beyond.

Highlights include:
• Raised $261,156 on November 28, 2017, for #GivingTuesday, including an incredibly generous matching fund of $112,500
• Raised $80,079 at the 8th annual NYC Bowl-a-thon. [Click to see photos]
• Individual donations ranged from $4 – $52,500
• Median donation was $101

California State CapitolSikh Project Photography Exhibition Will Continue to Travel Across America

The groundbreaking Sikh Project photography exhibition that previously reached nearly 20 million Americans continues to be featured at Chapman University in Southern California through a partnership with SikhLens. The gallery is open to the general public and will be on display free of charge this month.

Please click here for more information, and look out for updates on the Sikh Project coming to a city near you!

Jagtar Singh JohalMonitoring Reports of Jagtar Singh Johal’s Detention and Torture

The Sikh Coalition continues to monitor reports that Jagtar Singh Johal, a young Sikh man from the U.K., is being illegally detained and tortured by Indian police. In regard to the letter released by REDRESS and Ensaaf, we fully support their demands urging the Special Rapporteur on Torture to ensure that Mr. Johal is protected from further torture and ill-treatment; is provided with independent medical care; and is permitted private visits with his lawyers. We also agree that a there should be an independent investigation into the alleged claims of torture. The Sikh Coalition will continue to provide updates in the Jagtar Singh Johal case. Please follow #FreeJaggiNow to learn more.

Sikh Coalition is hiringJoin Our Team!

Our powerhouse team is expanding! Click here to see all of our current open positions.

In addition to other openings, we are continuing the hiring process for a new Executive Director. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director serves as a hands-on manager who will build on and expand the Sikh Coalition’s foundation and legacy and lead the organization into its next phase of growth. S/he will oversee the day-to-day management of the organization. To learn more about the Executive Director position, qualifications and how to apply, click here.