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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-30-04-2009-00.htm

Press Release: 30th Apr 2009, Thursday         17th Visakh (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi )

Press Release

New York Senator Addresses Thousands at Annual Sikh Day Parade and Expresses Support for "One of America's Hardest Working Communities"

New York, New York, USA: Senator Charles E. Schumer (NY) spoke before thousands of Sikhs at the 22nd Annual Sikh Day Parade in New York City this past Saturday, marking the first time a United States Senator has attended the parade. Responding to UNITED SIKHS invitation to the Parade, the Senator expressed overwhelming support for the current struggle of the Sikh community to practice the Sikh faith freely while serving in the U.S. Military and in police forces. Starting his speech with the Sikh greeting "Sat Sri Akal," Senator Schumer congratulated the Sikh community on this 310th Vaisaikhi, and commended the Sikhs for being "one of America's hardest working communities". UNITED SIKHS continues to work with Senator Schumer and other members of Congress in advocating for civil rights issues including employment discrimination, international religious freedom (Right to Turban campaign), the right to serve in armed forces, hate/bias crimes, and immigration reform.

Marching in the 22nd Annual Sikh Day Parade

UNITED SIKHS is delighted that Senator Schumer congratulated the Sikh community for their commitment to the American dream while preserving the Sikh religious identity. Commenting on Senator Schumer's attendance, Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney for UNITED SIKHS stated, "We appreciate the Senator's outreach to the Sikh community and his recognition of the Sikh community as a contributing part of America. The Senator's support on Sikh civil rights issues is invaluable in our struggle for equality and justice."

Senator Chuck Schumer with New York Gurdwara and UNITED SIKHS Representatives

Tehal Singh, President of the Sikh Cultural Society of New York, stated, "Senator Schumer is one of the most progressive representatives in the country, and we are thankful of his support for the Sikh community."

Left to Right: Mohinder S. Taneja; Senator Chuck Schumer (NY); Harpreet S. Toor (Chairman, Sikh Cultural Society), Jaspreet Singh (Staff Attorney, UNITED SIKHS)

Commenting on the Sikh Day Parade, Dr. Ranjit Singh, General Secretary of Sikh Youth of America stated, "The whole Parade had a Khalsa fervor; it was the first time a US Senator attended the Parade, and we are very pleased that Senator Schumer expressed support for Sikhs in armed services."

Senator Schumer Addressing the Crowds at the Parade

Himmat Singh, President of Gurdwara Baba Makhan Shah Sahib, commented, "on a day where thousands of Sikhs came to celebrate Vaisakhi and the Sikh religious identity, it was pleasure to see Senator Schumer speak so highly of the Sikh community and our identity."

Marchers Holding Nishan Sahib (Sikh Flags)

Again, UNITED SIKHS would to like to remind the Sikh Community that it is through overcoming our differences and working together that we will be able to overcome challenges to religious identity and our honorable way of life as prescribed by Guru Sahib.

We thank all organizations participating in the Sikh Day Parade, where Sikhs gather to celebrate the Sikh holiday, Vaisakhi. We also would like to thank dedicated UNITED SIKHS volunteers Jaswinder Singh, Joga Singh, and Rajbir Kaur for setting up an informational booth and distributing materials about our projects, and asking community members to report their problems.

UNITED SIKHS dedication to grassroots and global justice has been powered by volunteers, supporters, and the Sikh community, who are reaching out, speaking up, and standing in solidarity wherever there is a need. We humbly request you to volunteer time or donate funds to help UNITED SIKHS continue its work in disaster relief, empowerment, and international civil and human rights advocacy. You can make a tax deductible donation by visiting: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/donate/.

You may read a previous press release on UNITED SIKHS' advocacy efforts at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-13-04-2009-00.htm.

Issued By:
Amneet Singh
Advocacy, Media and Operations Coordinator
1-(646) 315-3909

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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.

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