Sikhs have lived in the United States for more than a century, and despite making vital contributions to the life, culture, and economy for many generations, there is still widespread ignorance about the community and its legacy. Ignorance is a breeding ground for discrimination, and, according to Sikh Coalition surveys, Sikhs continue to experience unacceptably high rates of hate violence, employment discrimination, school bullying and profiling.
Sikh awareness resolutions and proclamations are an effective tool for deepening Sikh civic engagement, building relationships with elected officials, and raising Sikh awareness to the broader American public at the city, county and state levels. Vaisakhi is one of the most historically significant days of the year for Sikhs, and it provides an excellent opportunity for education during the month of April. The Sikh Coalition can support you in securing a Sikh awareness and appreciation recognition in your city, state, or school district.
For more than 10 years, the Sikh Coalition has worked with sangats to ensure that community-driven efforts across the United States have resulted in official local designations to honor Sikhs and statewide successes in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The United States Congress also partnered with the Sikh Coalition to introduce a Sikh Appreciation recognition in 2019.
As a result, Sikh communities have forged better relationships with their governmental officials, educated their neighbors about Sikhs, and started important dialogues on how to address the issues facing Sikh Americans. Governmental bodies officially recognize and honor the contributions of Sikhs by designating a month, week, or day for Sikh awareness and appreciation. As a result of these designations, schools, police, and other governmental bodies can be encouraged to learn more about Sikhs in their community.
In support of greater Sikh awareness and appreciation, the Sikh Coalition partners with elected officials, grassroots community groups and volunteers to promote awareness and appreciation of the Sikh community in cities and states throughout the country. This community organizing helps elected officials pay closer attention to the needs of the Sikh community.
- states have declared Sikh awareness recognitions
- s of volunteers worked to pass Sikh Awareness resolutions
- + of state and local official Sikh Awareness designations
"The Sikh Coalition supported our efforts to pass a resolution recognizing the contributions of Sikhs in our state, worked to secure media coverage of the effort, and even joined us for our celebratory event in the state capitol. They understand that Sikh awareness starts at the local, grassroots level."
Satwinder Kaur, City Councilmember and community leader in Kent, Washington
At least 19 states and numerous cities have adopted SAAM resolutions over the years. With each passing year, more partners are helping their communities recognize and appreciate Sikhs.
The Sikh Coalition and its community partners have distributed thousands of Sikh awareness posters to schools, libraries, and community centers; delivered Sikh awareness presentations to thousands of participants at schools and government agencies; and sent hundreds of anti-bullying resources to school superintendents throughout the country. Through these efforts, we estimate that millions of Americans have become more informed about Sikhs within their communities.
How You Can Help
- Introduce a Sikh awareness recognition with your state, county, city, school board or university.
- Support Sikh awareness recognitions in your community by volunteering to present on Sikhism, distribute literature or create an event that engages others to learn more about Sikhs. To learn how to conduct a Sikh Awareness Presentation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share your Sikh awareness successes by posting photos to social media and tagging the Sikh Coalition so we can amplify them.