UNITED SIKHSWinner of the Sikhs and Charities Award
Sep 10, 2011
26th Bhadon (Samvat 543 Nanakshahi)
Community Update
Having trouble viewing this email? View it on our website
On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, The Sikh Community Must Move Beyond Mere Reflection,
We Must Continue to Advocate, Educate, Empower, and Inspire!!

UNITED SIKHS Releases Comprehensive Know Your Rights Toolkit for Community Members

Highlights:
  • Know Your Rights education materials available online for your local Gurdwaras, community centers, schools, and places of employment. These materials will soon be translated in Panjabi and similarly made available to the public.
  • UNITED SIKHS Board members, staff and volunteers will be participating in several community and interfaith events surrounding the 10th anniversary of September 11th; we encourage community members to get involved.
  • If you feel you have experienced discrimination and have questions about what to do about it, please contact law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.
  • Please Be Involved, Click here to get started!; To donate go to www.unitedsikhs.org/donate.
    New York, NY:  Ten years after the tragic events of September 11th, many community and faith groups are coming together to commemorate this anniversary through recommitting themselves to the American ideals of mutual respect, partnership, and equality and to continue working to protect civil rights for all through co-signing a Statement of Principles drafted by members of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (to read the statement, click here).  For the Sikh community, the 10th anniversary of September 11th acts as a poignant reminder of not only the tragedy of the lives lost on that day, but of the lives lost and forever changed in the days and years following.

    After September 11th, the Sikh community experienced a sharp increase in discrimination in many forms, including increased reports of hate crimes, bullying, employment discrimination, racial and religious profiling. Since September 11th, UNITED SIKHS has formed the International Civil & Human Rights Advocacy     (ICHRA) Directorate, whose primary focus is to protect the civil & human rights of Sikhs. Because of their distinct external religious identity, Sikhs are still being targeted for bias-based and discriminatory treatment, even after 10 years.

    UNITED SIKHS is commemorating the 10th anniversary of September 11th, not only by endorsing the Statement of Principles but by participating in interfaith memorial events throughout USA. Moreover, UNITED SIKHS Legal Director, Jaspreet Singh, will be speaking at a Conference, 9-11 After Ten Years: Cultural, Personal, and Historical Perspectives, hosted by at John Jay College.

    Additionally, we are commemorating the 10th anniversary with a call to the community to get more involved in education and awareness efforts. We encourage you to educate yourself about your rights and to educate others about Sikhism. Hate crimes and other forms of discriminatory behavior are rooted in fear and ignorance. We should do our part to educate ourselves and others and work towards a more peaceful world.

    To encourage this process of education and outreach, UNITED SIKHS is releasing Know Your Rights Materials, Sikh Awareness Powerpoints, and an Interactive Blog.  Senior Staff Attorney, Hansdeep Singh, commenting on the the anniversary of 9/11 stated that "Ten years after 9/11, the Sikh community must move beyond mere reflection, we must continue to educate, we must continue to empower."

    The first release is of the Know Your Rights materials, in the form of informational pamphlets and cards. We encourage you to read these materials and learn about your rights and what to do when they are violated. Distribute these pamphlets and cards at your local Gurdwara, community center, places of work, and schools. Use these materials to host discussion sessions about Sikhs and Sikhism. Keep a lookout in the coming weeks for the release of Sikh Awareness powerpoints that you can use to host Sikh Awareness training sessions.

    In addition to the inter-faith events UNITED SIKHS is participating all over the U.S., we encourage you to take a look at the list of events below, happening across the country, and get involved.

    How can you help? Raise your voice! Educate others about Sikhism !
     
    Contact us for material on Sikh Awareness by clicking here! Donate to our ongoing advocacy work by clicking here!

    Take a look at the calendar of events surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11 below. Please show your support by attending these events, also consider participating in these events to provide a Sikh perspective, to honor the victims of 9/11 and promote a peaceful tomorrow:
    • UNITED SIKHS Legal Director, Jaspreet Singh, will be speaking at a Conference, 9-11 After Ten Years: Cultural, Personal, and Historical Perspectives, hosted by at John Jay Law College on Sept. 9, click here for more information.
    • National Week of Action: Reflecting on Our Loss and Reclaiming Our Rights Hosted by Rights Working Group from September 11th -17th across the country, click here to view a map of events and find out more about how to get involved.
    • An America for All of Us Campaign led by South Asian Americans Leading Together, click here to view events taking place across the country and find out more about how to get involved.
    • Prepare New York is a coalition of interfaith organizations who are hosting a series of events surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11, click here to learn more and get involved in these events.
    • New York Civil Liberties Union 9/11 Memorial on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the corner of Church Street and Park Place.
    • Inter-Faith Conference at Georgetown University from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10th. RSVP Required.
    Support advocacy work to put an end to discrimination against Sikhs. Volunteer with UNITED SIKHS, and Donate to our civil rights advocacy projects. Volunteer with UNITED SIKHS, and Donate to our civil rights advocacy projects.


    Issued by:

    Ilana Ofgang
    Legal Fellow
    law-usa@unitedsikhs.org
    (888) 243-1690

    Follow us on TwitterTwitter  Connect on Facebook Facebook Read Our Blog Blog

    Protect Our Identity (POI) is an ongoing international campaign launched by UNITED SIKHS in August 2010 . It focuses on the need to protect the Sikh community's right to express its religious identity.  Initiatives under the POI campaign include:
    UNITED SIKHS is currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are willing to spread the message of the campaign within their own communities. To join or contribute to the campaign, volunteer or donate to UNITED SIKHS.
    Contact Us

    You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the UNITED SIKHS, which will provide immediate relief and support to those in need. You may donate online at www.unitedsikhs.org/donate  or send your donations to a UNITED SIKHS office nearest to you, whose details can be found at http://unitedsikhs.org/contact.php .

    Ordinarily only 10 percent of your donation is spent on admin costs.

    OUR MISSION

    To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

    UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

    UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

    Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

    We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.