UNITED SIKHSWinner of the Sikhs and Charities Award
Sep 10, 2011
26th Bhadon (Samvat 543 Nanakshahi)
Special Community Update
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On the Eve of the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, Sikh Community Feels the
Impact of Another Devastating Attack:

The Sikh, Muslim, Arab and South Asian Communities Must Continue to be Vigilant and Must Stand Firmly Against Hate

Highlights:
  • UNITED SIKHS has contacted local law enforcement and federal agencies to ensure that thorough investigations will be conducted to bring the perpetrator to justice.
  • UNITED SIKHS just released today a comprehensive set of KNOW YOUR RIGHTS TOOLKIT that includes pamphlets and cards, including Hate Crimes information.
  • UNITED SIKHS will be working across the nation to forge relationships with Hate Crimes Joint Task Forces.  If you are interested in joining these Task Forces in your area, please contact law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.
  • Hate Crimes have seen a significant resurgence against Sikhs; there are 6 cases that have been classified or have been brought to the attention of authorities to be investigated as potential hate crimes within the last year.

New York, NY: The Sikh community of North Carolina woke up to a rude shock this morning. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that a Sikh owned convenience store was badly damaged due to suspected arson. An early morning fire that occurred Wednesday 9/7 at State Line Grocery is under investigation as a potential hate crime specifically due to the graffiti that was spray painted on the walls of the convenience store stating, “911 Go Home”.

The nature of the crime and associated language seems to suggest that this was religiously/ racially motivated. The backlash against the Muslim/ Arab community has had a collateral impact on the Sikh community for the last 10 years because of a Sikh's distinctive identity (turban and uncut hair). this reality has become especially painful in the last year (click here).

UNITED SIKH Directors and sevadaars in North Carolina have actively been following the case and have been in contact with the U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins and her office (Western District of North Carolina) and the FBI Charlotte field office. The matter is under investigation and meanwhile we urge the Sikh community to be extra vigilant and report any such events to law enforcement authorities (please review the KNOW YOUR RIGHTS TOOLKIT to educate yourselves and the community to combat all forms of hate and discrimination).

UNITED SIKHS has also reached out to Gurudwaras in the North Carolina to step up awareness, assist the victimized family if requested, and mobilize resources in case of any further tragic events.

We are continuing to work with lawmakers and like-minded organizations to form hate crime prevention task forces throughout the nation, in order not only to prevent violent acts such as these from being perpetrated against members of the Sikh community but also to be able to respond quickly and effectively on the local level when hate crimes occur.

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:

Pushpinder Singh
UNITED SIKHS
law-usa@unitedsikhs.org
646-688-3525

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Know Your Rights Toolkit

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.
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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.