(Washington, DC, 6/7/2011) – SALDEF conducted two significant trainings in the Atlanta area and informed over 150 employees of the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) and the regional US Attorney’s office about Sikh religious practices. Georgia DDS Training – Last year, the Georgia DDS denied a Sikh American father and son the right to have their driver’s license picture taken. http://www.saldef.org/news/georgia-dds/#more-3556 As a result of SALDEF’s intervention, both men were allowed to wear their dastaar in their driver’s license photo. Additionally, SALDEF demanded that all frontline DDS employees be informed about Sikh religious practices and the significance of the Sikh dastaar. On April 18, SALDEF Associate Executive Director, Jasjit Singh, conducted a Sikh awareness presentation for approximately 120 customer service representatives and supervisors from all over the state. According to Alan Watson, Division Director, “The presentation was exceptionally beneficial for our staff. We all have a much better understanding of who Sikh Americans are and what they believe in. Specifically, we understand the importance of the Sikh Turban.” US Attorney and Executive Staff Training – On April 19, SALDEF conducted a Sikh Awareness presentation for the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Sally Yates, and her executive staff. The purpose of the presentation was to increase awareness about Sikh Americans among the highest law enforcement officials in the district and highlight the most common problems faced by Sikh Americans. The presentation, which showed SALDEF’s groundbreaking training video, On Common Ground, included a brief history of the Sikhs, introduction to Sikh theology, common challenges faced by Sikh Americans, and recommendations for respectfully engaging with the Sikh American community. http://www.justice.gov/crs/video/ocg-video.htm US Attorney Yates stated, “This was one of the most useful trainings I have attended, and I am pleased that we will be further strengthening our relationship with the local Sikh American community over the next several months.” Presentation to Sikh Study Circle Sangat – On April 17, SALDEF had the opportunity to speak with the sangat of the Sikh Study Circle in Atlanta, GA. Jasjit Singh spoke about the aforementioned incident with the Georgia DDS and the resolution of two other cases of Sikh Americans being denied access to a Georgia courthouse in 2007and 2006. Mr. Singh stresed the need for community members to report all incidents of discrimination or harassment immediately to SALDEF and the proper authorities. http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5227/signUp.jsp?key=1739 Please contact SALDEF if you would like us to conduct a presentation in your community.