UNITED SIKHS
January 12 2010
30th Poh (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi)
Press Release

UNITED SIKHS Congratulates Our Former Legal Director on His New Position at the United States Department of Justice

New York, NY: Harpreet Singh, Esq., former Legal Director of UNITED SIKHS recently joined the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service as the Regional Director of Region III. The Staff and Volunteers at UNITED SIKHS wish him all the best in his new position where he will work to prevent and reduce community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin.

Harpreet Singh joined UNITED SIKHS as Legal Director in 2003 and has been an invaluable member of the legal team in a majority of the advocacy endeavors undertaken by the organization. One of his most important cases at UNITED SIKHS consisted of winning a groundbreaking kirpan (a religious sword worn as one of five articles of faith) case in 2005 in Detroit, where a Sikh student was arrested for wearing a 10-inch kirpan.  The judge in that case ruled that the kirpan should not be considered a knife or a weapon, and the ruling has been used by many advocates to defend the right to wear the kirpan. He also worked on many other important cases, such as the recent US Airways settlement with the Sikh religious musicians, and a variety of profiling, hate crime, and employment discrimination cases.

As part of UNITED SIKHS’ legal team, Harpreet Singh consistently provided his expertise and service to the Sikh community not only in United States, but also in landmark Sikh civil rights cases around the world, including the UNITED SIKHS Right to Turban campaign in France, students’ right to turban in Belgium, and advocating for humanitarian aid and rights of Sikhs and other minorities in Pakistan.

In addition to his legal role, Harpreet represented the Sikh community’s interest in pending legislative matters in Congress and partnered with various coalitions of civil rights organizations to influence legislation. His advocacy duties included representation of the Sikh community’s concerns regarding employment discrimination, hate and bias crimes, school bullying, racial and religious profiling and immigration reform during meetings with White House officials, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the State Department.

Additionally, he played a pivotal role in building a strong relationship with the United States Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), and has spearheaded several collaborative projects with them, which have increased the reporting of the Sikh community of incidents of religious discrimination in the workplace.

Harpreet Singh, Former Legal Director, UNITED SIKHS, congratulating the community on Guru Nanak Sahib Ji's Gurpurab, and reminding them of their duty to advocate for justice at a 2009 celebration organized by The White House Office of Public Engagement.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service (CRS) is a federal agency responsible for working with governments, public/private organizations and community groups to resolve and prevent conflict situations stemming from differences in ethnic origin, race, and color. CRS mediators are often called upon to diffuse situations which may otherwise end up in violence and racial tensions.

“While we are sad to see Harpreet leave, we are thrilled at the opportunities that await him in this new position,” says Kuldip Singh, Director, UNITED SIKHS. He adds, “We wish him all the best for a bright career, and look forward to working with him in the future on relevant issues concerning civil rights and community relations.”

To send Harpreet Singh a congratulatory message, please email law-usa@unitedsikhs.org with a subject line: Congratulations Harpreet Singh, Esq, and the message will be passed on. All duties that were previously handled by Harpreet Singh will be looked over by Jaspreet Singh, UNITED SIKHS Staff Attorney.

For a previous press release on policy level representation of Sikh civil and human rights, visit: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-10-11-2009-00.html

Issued by:
Jaspreet Singh
Staff Attorney
UNITED SIKHS
646-315-3909
Email: law-usa@unitedsikhs.org

“While we are sad to see Harpreet leave, we are thrilled at the opportunities that await him in this new position. We wish him all the best for a bright career, and look forward to working with him in the future on relevant issues concerning civil rights and community relations.” - Kuldip Singh, Director, UNITED SIKHS

UNITED SIKHS encourages the Sikh community to wear their kakaars, fearlessly exercise their freedom of religion, and to contact us with any problems, concerns, or incidents of discrimination.

Policy level representation of Sikh civil and human rights issues is not possible without support from generous people like you. Please donate to UNITED SIKHS by visiting www.unitedsikhs.org/donate

Contact Us

To Contact UNITED SIKHS, please visit: www.unitedsikhs.org/contact.php

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.