UNITED SIKHSWinner of the Sikhs and Charities Award
Oct 19, 2011
5th Katik (Samvat 543 Nanakshahi)
Community Update
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Charlotte Sikh Community attends Transport and Security Administration (TSA) Diversity Day at Charlotte Douglas International airport (CLT)

TSA Charlotte invited the Sikh community to participate in their annual Diversity Day celebrations at the Charlotte Douglas International airport on Oct 12, 2011. UNITED SIKHS has provided training for TSA employees and engaged in advocacy efforts directed towards sensitizing TSA to the impact  (i.e. profiling) of its screening policies on the Sikh community. The primary focus of this event was to expose the Sikh community to the TSA and share some of our concerns with Kakaars, dastaars etc. Feedback from last year’s event seems to suggest that the event indeed helped create opportunities for dialogue between the TSA authorities and the Sikh community. Pushpinder Singh, project coordinator UNITED SIKHS, stressed the importance of eliminating fear and ignorance and replacing them with trust.
 
Such events allow the Sikh community to voice their concerns while helping to eliminate the negative perceptions that TSA employees may have about those with distinctive identities.. UNITED SIKHS will continue to work with  TSA to craft policy that recognizes the importance of diversity and will try to participate in Diversity Day celebrations at other airports as well. UNITED SIKHS encourages local sewadaars to contact their local TSA liaison and see if it is possible to attend the Diversity Day held at their local airport – TSA celebrates this event every year in October (dates might vary slightly).

Sangat With TSA Sangat With TSA
Charlotte sangat with TSA agent TSA agent with Dastaar

Sangat With TSA Sangat With TSA
Pushpinder Singh and Harneet Singh at UNITED SIKHS table (L-R) Pawanjit Singh(L) and Gurvir Singh with TSA agent Kalia Brown

Speaking at the event Kurt Jordan, who is the Deputy Federal Security Director for the CLT airport stated that ‘the world we live in is becoming smaller (due to) different cultures, races and backgrounds. He was supportive of UNITED SIKHS and understood many of our concerns related to profiling and diversity training.
 
UNITED SIKHS wishes to acknowledge the willingness of TSA and DHS to listen to the challenges faced by our community and we hope that we can continue to strive for a more secure nation while being sensitive to the deeply held religious convictions religious freedoms of  Sikh travelers.
 
Issued by,
 
Pushpinder Singh
UNITED SIKHS


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