March 31, 2020 (Sacramento, CA) — Today, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement submitted a letter, signed by 52 California gurdwaras, to the California Department of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Advisory Committee in favor of the meaningful inclusion of Sikhism in the state’s new draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.

“With more than 50 gurdwaras joining together, the message is clear,” said Satjeet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition. “Roughly half the Sikhs in this country are among California’s population, so we need our history and our contributions taught in classrooms–for the safety and visibility it will bring Sikh students, and the better education it will provide for all children.”

But this is just the beginning of our work! The Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement have also launched an online petition so that every Sikh in California can make their voices heard. We already have more than 750 signatures–will you add your name and ask your family and friends to do the same?

Our team has also prepared several graphics about the California draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum and the history of Sikhs in the state to help spread the word about the petition. Please share these graphics widely on social media, WhatsApp, and email listservs! As a reminder, the petition signatures will be delivered to state education authorities once a hearing is rescheduled later this year.

“Sikh Americans have a long and proud history in California,” said Naindeep Singh, Executive Director of the Jakara Movement. “From freedom fighters to revolutionaries, farm laborers to engineers, and Congressmen to physicians, they have shaped the state in numerous ways and continue to play an important part in building its future. Victimization and marginalization have never been the defining traits of the Sikh American experience, and that’s why we are dedicated to ensure that our stories are told.”

The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum will not be finalized until March of 2021, but between now and this time next year, state education authorities are likely to release a revised draft incorporating any recommendations and engaging in further outreach and public input. The Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement will be monitoring these developments closely, and we will reach out to the community when further action is necessary.

As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.