February 16, 2022 (New York, NY) — This past weekend, the Sikh Coalition joined with sevadaars, city agencies, and fellow civil rights and community organizations to distribute free resources to taxi and rideshare drivers in New York City.
Gathering at JFK International Airport on Saturday, February 12, more than 25 volunteers distributed 600 fliers with links to free resources meant to prevent hate crimes and help drivers respond quickly and effectively if passengers threaten their safety. Resources were available in more than 12 different languages.
“Events like these are critical for getting resources into the hands of people who need them and showing solidarity between different communities and the city agencies that serve them,” said Nikki Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy. “We are grateful to everyone who made this resource distribution possible, and look forward to continuing to provide legal, advocacy, and community-based support to our taxi and rideshare drivers.”
In addition to all of the sevadaars who made this work possible, the Sikh Coalition would like to thank our partners for this event: the Arab American Association of New York, the Asian American Federation, CAIR of New York, the Korean American Family Service Center, Muslim Community Network New York, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Stand with Asian Americans, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the NYC Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, and the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. We also thank the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for providing our volunteers with transportation and means to reach the drivers.
Taxi and rideshare drivers from our communities remain vulnerable to hate and discrimination given their interactions with the public. In the past several years, the Sikh Coalition has provided free legal aid to a number of Sikh drivers who have been violently attacked–including a Sikh driver assaulted at JFK early last month, whose attacker has since been charged with a hate crime. We continue to proactively distribute resources to help drivers prevent hateful incidents or protect themselves when they do occur, and we look forward to further partnerships with city agencies and other local organizations to reach individuals in need outside of our own community.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.