Despite there being approximately 500,000 Sikhs across the United States, Sikhism remains underrepresented in educational materials in our nation’s classrooms. This lack of Sikh awareness can make schools a less hospitable place for Sikh children, who face rates of bullying more than twice the national average. Educators can only teach about Sikhism with accurate and constitutionally appropriate materials, and parents require resources to be prepared before reaching out to their children’s schools.
For years, the Sikh Coalition has worked to compile and grow a library of resources pertaining to Sikhism and Sikh children for both educators and parents. Beginning in 2018, we started distributing and promoting these resources annually as our Back to School Toolkit. This work is supplemented by our efforts to train community members to give Sikh awareness presentations to school-aged audiences, hold community-focused workshops in gurdwaras across the country (to share resources and hold important discussions about bullying), and send staff and volunteers to engage educators directly at major state social studies conferences.
- resources created and collected to teach about Sikhism
- school-focused workshops held with sangats since 2018
- educators engaged nationwide
Providing and distributing this wide range of resources will ultimately create safer and more inclusive classrooms for Sikh and non-Sikh students alike: Sikh students benefit from feeling both seen and safe in their schools, and non-Sikh students gain an understanding of a major belief system that might otherwise be wrongly ignored in the course of their formal education. One excellent example of the positive impact this outreach can have is the case of Sikh parent Ishmeet Kaur who lives in upstate New York. Thanks to Ishmeet’s choice to engage her child’s school district with Sikh Coalition resources, more than 2,600 students over three school years have been able to hear Sikh awareness presentations. Learn more about Ishmeet’s story by clicking the link on the sidebar!
How You Can Help
If you are interested in arranging a Back to School Workshop (to provide resources and address bullying concerns) in your gurdwara, please email email@example.com.
You can also visit our Back to School Toolkit’s resource page for parents and educators; if you have suggestions for additional resources we should create or incorporate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need printed resources of any kind, please make a request online or email email@example.com with questions.