UNITED SIKHSWinner of the Sikhs and Charities Award
July 19, 2011
4th Saavan (Samvat 543 Nanakshahi)
Community Update
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Sikh Advocacy Groups Unite for Meeting with TSA Leadership
Highlights:
  • Last week, Representatives of the UNITED SIKHS, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), and Sikh Coalition met with the head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Administrator John Pistole to discuss racial & religious profiling of Sikhs at American Airports.
  • To view the evolution of TSA security policies as they relate to Sikhs, click here.
  • If you feel you have been discriminated against and have questions about what to do about it, please contact law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.
  • Please Be Involved, Click here to get started!; To receive forthcoming bulletins join our UNITED SIKHS Yahoo group; To donate go to www.unitedsikhs.org/donate.
July 19, 2011 (Washington, DC) – Last week, representatives of the UNITED SIKHS, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), and Sikh Coalition met with the head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Administrator John Pistole, as well as other TSA officials, to highlight the discriminatory screening of Sikhs at American airports.
Sikh Advocacy Groups Unite for Meeting with TSA Leadership
The meeting was led and made possible by Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Representatives of the offices of Congressman John Conyers (MI-14) and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18) were also present to support the Sikh community.

Click here to read our joint memorandum to the TSA .

Our organizations offer gratitude to the offices of Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman John Conyers, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee for their support of civil rights, as well as to TSA Administrator Pistole and other TSA officials for their willingness to listen to and address the Sikh community’s concerns.

TSA officials pledged to examine the issues raised by the Sikh advocacy organizations, including the status of the current secondary screening policy; the impact of a new risk-based screening policy on Sikh travelers; the screening of Sikh children who wear patkas; updates to cultural sensitivity trainings; and improvements to the TSA complaint process for travelers who are mistreated.

Next Steps:
We will continue to insist that TSA adopt a fair and equitable screening policy for all travelers, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, or origin.  In the meantime, if you suffer unfair treatment at an American airport, please contact one of our organizations for assistance.

support advocacy work to put an end to racial and religious profiling. Volunteer with UNITED SIKHS, and Donate to our civil rights advocacy projects.

Issued by:

Ilana Ofgang
Legal Fellow
law-usa@unitedsikhs.org

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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:
  • Right to Turban
  • Airport Security in European Union and United States
  • Anti-Bullying Initiatives
  • Rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Pakistan
  • Equality in Employment
  • Right to Kakaars
  • Recognition of Sikhs as a Religion and Ethnicity in UK and US Census, and Raising Awareness of Sikhs and Sikhism to reduce acts of violence and xenophobia against Sikhs.
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.