SALDEF SALDEF Advocate: Sikhs Meet Obama


1947-2014 (Archived)

Sikhs Attend White House Reception for AAPI Month
Earlier this summer, SALDEF was invited to attend a White House reception celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage month. In his remarks, President Obama highlighted the Whitehouse's engagement with Sikh Americans by saying, "[W]e're always welcoming your input - from meetings with Sikh Americans to Native Hawaiians. The goal is to make sure that our government is successfully working to address disparities in health care, in education, and economic opportunity that exists within various AAPI communities."

The reception, held in the East Room, was also attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA). We were pleased to be joined by members of the Sikh Coalition and UNITED SIKHS.

Panel Discussion on Post 9/11 Era at U.S. Social Forum
During this year's US Social Forum Conference, SALDEF Community Relations Associate Birpal Kaur was a panelist on a session entitled "The 9/11 Movement: Intersections and Movement Building Strategies". The Forum brought together more than 10,000 activists from across the country who are interested in social justice. Panel attendees learned about challenges affecting the South Asian communities in the post 9/11 era. Topics of discussion included hate crimes, racial profiling and the mental and social abuses that have increased dramatically since the attacks.
To read more about the experience on, please click here to visit our blog.

Arizona's Immigration Law: SALDEF Provides an Opinion to the Court
Earlier this month, SALDEF joined a national coalition of civil rights groups to voice concern over Arizona's controversial SB 1070 law by signing on to an amicus brief. The document, which provides useful information for the judge evaluating a case, highlighted the consequences of the law on minority and immigrant communities. Taking our brief into consideration, Judge Susan Bolton prevented the most concerning aspects of the Law from being implemented on July 28th.

To read more about SB1070 click here. To read more about the Judge's ruling, click here

Meeting Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez
On July 12, 2010 members of the SALDEF team attended a reception hosted by the America Constitution Law Society. Among the presenters in attendence was Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez. Mr. Perez delivered an inspiring speech on the need to push the frontiers of civil rights in America and later, acknowledged SALDEF's strong relationship with the Department of Justice.

SALDEF Conducts Presentation for Students of the Chaplaincy Institute in California
On June 27, 2010, SALDEF Managing Director Kavneet Singh delivered a presentation to over a dozen ministers and chaplains from the Chaplaincy Institute on the Sikh religion at the El Sobrante Gurdwara in California's Bay Area. The presentation covered the core Sikh beliefs and traditions, discussed the manners in which Sikhs pray and conduct services, and also addressed the history of Sikhs in the United States, including post-9/11 challenges facing the Sikh American community.

Prior to the presentation, attendees watched the SALDEF produced DVD On Common Ground as a primer. Students also received copies of SALDEF's 2010 Pocket Calendars and Who are the Sikhs educational brochures and took a tour of the Gurdwara, partaking in langar and sitting with the congregation.

SALDEF Participates on Diversity Panel at California High School
Last month, SALDEF was invited to participate in an interfaith religious panel at Laguna Hills High School in Orange County, CA. The panel was an opportunity to educate students about Sikh beliefs and practices and also build connections with local leaders of other faiths. The students were engaged throughout the presentation and received SALDEF publications. The high school administration also agreed to keep SALDEF posted on future educational opportunities as they arise and utilize SALDEF as a content expert going forward.
If you would like to coordinate a presentation at your high school, or in your local community, please contact us.
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