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Sikh Coalition Avaaz: Summer Work to Promote Civil Rights (Summer Updates)

Discussion in 'Sikh Organisations' started by spnadmin, Aug 3, 2010.

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    Important Updates from Sikh Coalition (forwarded by email)

    *Sikh Coalition Publishes Federal Policy Priorities and Recommendations** *



    To supplement its expanded federal advocacy efforts, the Sikh Coalition has published a document for the U.S. Congress and federal policymakers entitled "Policy Priorities and Recommendations." Complete with case studies and images of Sikhs, this 4-page guide contains a quick summary of the Sikh religion and an overview of policy issues that affect Sikh Americans, including workplace discrimination, school bullying, and religious profiling. If you would like to distribute copies of this document to your local Congressional offices, please contact legislative@sikhcoalition.org [ mailto:legislative@sikhcoalition.org ] for additional information or click to download [ https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1607/images/Sikh Coalition - Policy Priorities.pdf ].



    *
    English Language Learners Begin New Classes *

    Community members in Richmond Hill, Queens have clearly identified English language access as one of their biggest barriers to fully participate in society. As a result, the Sikh Coalition has partnered with the City of New York to launch English language conversational groups called "Speak English" in Queens. We offer community members who have trouble speaking English, a safe learning environment and key tools to become comfortable speaking English in their day-to-day lives. For more information on either volunteering or participating in these classes, please contact Tejpreet Kaur at: tejpreet@sikhcoalition.org [ mailto:tejpreet@sikhcoalition.org ].




    *Coalition Speaks at AALDEF and CAPAC Briefing on School Bullying in Washington***



    The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus [ http://www.honda.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=57/ ] (CAPAC) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund [ http://www.aaldef.org/ ] (AALDEF) organized a briefing on school bullying for Congressional staff in Washington, DC on July 26. The briefing discussed the challenges faced by Asian students in overcoming bias-based bullying and focused on the extremely disturbing situation involving the harassment of Asian students at South Philadelphia High School [ http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-01-22-asian-bullying-philadelphia_N.htm ]. The Coalition's Program Director discussed the bullying of Sikh children in New York City and the Coalition's ongoing work to prevent it.



    *
    Diversity Video Competition*



    The Coalition launched the 1st Annual Diversity Video Competition this month. The purpose of the Competition is to provide a space to engage in an artistic dialogue on civil rights issues, stereotypes, and myths surrounding minority groups with a particular anchor in the Sikh experience. It is through this dialogue that we hope to dissolve ignorance and spread awareness of discriminated minorities. The first prize winner for the Competition receives $1,000, a free roundtrip ticket to New York City (if you live in the U.S.), and 2 passes to the Sikh Art and Film Festival. Your film will also be premiered at this popular New York City film festival in October. The deadline for the competition is August 15, 2010. For more information, click here [ http://www.sikhcoalition.org/Video_Competition.asp ].



    *
    40 Years On, Lawyers' Committee Partners with Coalition in First Religious Case*

    The Sikh Coalition's Legal program has teamed up with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in Boston [ http://www.lawyerscom.org ] to represent a young Sikh man in an egregious employment discrimination case. LCCR-Boston has defended against race and national origin discrimination for decades, but this is the first religious discrimination case they have taken since forming in 1968. This is an important step forward in educating the legal community about Sikh issues, and expanding the coalition of civil rights organizations that will fight the deplorable discrimination suffered by religious minorities, post 9/11. We thank LCCR-Boston for their partnership and look forward to working with them.



    *
    Educating Non-Sikhs, the Easy Way*



    Through the generous support of the Munshi Bishan Kochhar Foundation over the past 6 years, the Coalition has distributed almost 20,000 brochures entitled, "The Sikhs" in 7 languages. This approach to educating non-Sikhs about our faith and our history is an easy approach for any community member. Over the past two weeks, over 300 community members requested more than 7,500 brochures. The high demand for these publications demonstrates a continued need to raise awareness about Sikhs. This easy approach also demonstrates the ease by which local sangats can educate. If you would like copies of this brochure, please contact education@sikhcoalition.org [ mailto:education@sikhcoalition.org ].





    *
    Coalition Works with Indianapolis Sikhs to Help End Discrimination in the Workplace *

    Volunteers from the Indianapolis Sikh community met with Congressman Dan Burton to secure his co-sponsorship of the forthcoming Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) legislation. This proposed federal law would end most forms of employment discrimination against Sikhs and other people of faith. During the meeting, Congressman Burton expressed support for the WRFA legislation and received a petition letter signed by several hundred members of the local sangat.





    *
    Help Us Combat Profiling in Air Travel - Report Your Air Travel Experience Here!*

    The Sikh Coalition continues to combat the profiling of Sikhs in air travel. Positive or negative, please report your air travel experience [ https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NR_2b9q39BJ9bgnsn3UBnAGA_3d_3d ]. Your stories about airport screenings are the only way we know how the Transportation Security Administration is doing. Help us keep up this work by completing an incident report [ https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NR_2b9q39BJ9bgnsn3UBnAGA_3d_3d ] every time you fly!
     
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