Dear Supporter Ji,
As I enter my final two months at the Sikh Coalition, I have been reflecting on what the last 12 years have meant to me–and how, as a sangat member, I will continue to benefit from the work this organization does. As I remember all of this work and see how it has grown since, I’m immensely proud of what we’ve built together. I hope you know that your previous support has allowed us to do so much.
I began my time working with our incredible team on the campaign to ensure that Sikhi would be present in public school curricula in New Jersey, my home state, and Texas. Now, 12 years later, with dozens of lesson plans and resources available for teachers and parents, we have won that same victory in 14 states and are hard at work fighting to add Minnesota, Virginia, and Utah to the list. Like many of you, I am a mother, masi, bhua, chachi, and mami. As I look to put my own daughter in public school soon, I am relieved that the Sikh Coalition is doing this incredibly difficult work to fundamentally change the trajectory of how Sikhi is taught in the United States.
In my early days here, I also remember interpreting many legal intakes for our small legal team of two–helping community members who were most comfortable speaking in Punjabi to explain incidents of bias or bigotry they had experienced. Today, our intakes are nearing 250 per year, and our legal team has more than doubled in size. So many individuals whose names you will never know were able to avoid expulsion for their kirpans, seek justice for discrimination by their employers, receive a reprieve from school bullying, or secure recognition and justice after hate crimes because of the work of this team. I know some of those people myself, and I know that in the future, the Sikh Coalition will always be there if it is a member of my family or a close friend who finds themselves in need of free, expert legal aid.
Finally, I’ve also recently thought back to how one of my first graphic design projects at the Sikh Coalition was a poster used in our organization’s testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. The project was meant to demonstrate how Sikhs were often wrongly conflated with terrorists due to our articles of faith, and I still remember how it felt seeing our work being used to advocate before members of the U.S. Congress. Twelve years later, I was fortunate enough to visit the White House twice in just the past year: once when the Sikh Coalition was invited to present on the issue of anti-Asian hate for the President, Vice President, and other senior White House officials, and again for the bill signing of the first federal civil rights legislation in more than a decade. We’ve come a long way in being a voice for the sangat in our nation’s capital.
Again, your donations in the years prior allowed us to do so much of this work. If you value what we’ve built together–and everything the Sikh Coalition continues to do–I’m humbly asking you to make your end-of-year donation TODAY. In many ways, this transition is one of the most critical moments for your dasvandh: Every dollar raised will help the team that will lead on the next 20 years of work have the foundation they need to keep building towards the future our community deserves.
Our shared efforts ensure that every Sikh in this country–especially the next generation–knows that there is an institution fighting for them and that we have an organization embodying the Sikh ideal to protect others.