Archive for the ‘Community Empowerment and Education-CEED’ Category.

UNITED SIKHS Voter Registration Drive at Illinois Gurdwara

23rd Assu (Samvat 544 Nanakshahi)

Oct 7th. 2012, Palatine, Illinois: On Sunday, October 7th, UNITED SIKHS along with the Asian American Institute held a Voter Registration Drive at Palatine Gurdwara. A total of 35 people were registered to vote in Illinois at the Gurdwara. The President of the Gurdwara, Sukhdev Kaur Ghuman was very supportive and commended UNITED SIKHS for their successful and collaborative community advocacy efforts. Ekta Kaur of UNITED SIKHS said, “We loved working with the Palatine Gurdwara community and request other Gurdwara leaders to play an active role in encouraging their members to register to vote.”

UNITED SIKHS would like to thank Ami Gandhi, Executive Director of South Asian Policy and Research Institute and Reema Ahmad, Civic Engagement and Field Operations Manager at the American Asian Institute for all their assistance. Two members of the Asian American Institute assisted UNITED SIKHS at the Gurdwara and also brought Illinois Voter Registration forms and Mail-In Ballot forms.

While the Gurdwara had held voter registration drives in the prior two weeks by other organizations, this event registered significantly more members of the Gurdwara because of the ability of the UNITED SIKHS team to communicate effectively with community members, many of whom only spoke Punjabi. Sukhdev Kaur, the Gurdwara President said, “I am very excited about UNITED SIKHS efforts and look forward to working with you again in the future on advocacy projects directed toward the Sikh community.”

Vikram Singh, a UNITED SIKHS Volunteer Attorney based in Chicago, IL, said, “Sikhs and other minorities in every state should make their voices be heard by registering to vote and encouraging their communities to participate in civic engagement. Our vote is a very powerful mechanism for giving us a voice and the ability to control the legislation and policies enacted in our states, including laws that affect the rights of Sikhs and other minorities.”

To initiate a voter registration drive in your Gurdwara or local community center, please reach out to Ekta Kaur at ekta.kaur@unitedsikhs.org or voter-registration-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

Ekta Kaur
Cell: 516-286-6727 | Tel: 1-646-688-3525 | Toll Free: 1-888-243-1690
Fax: 1-810-885-4264 | Email: ekta.kaur@unitedsikhs.org

UNITED SIKHS – Recognize the Human Race as One

Explore the aesthetic and expressive traditions within Sikhism this fall at Hofstra University

Hofstra University and the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies invites you to a conference on the  literary and  visual cultures within, or pertaining to,  Sikh traditions both in Panjabi and Diasporic contexts. The conference will be held from Oct 19-21, 2012 at Hofstra University.

For more information and registration, please visit:

http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/REL/SIKH/sikh_literature_fall12.html

For inquiries please contact Mehwish Shafi : mehwishafi91@gmail.com

Poster 1 Two Talks 8.5×11

Poster 2 Two Talks in Conf 8.5×11

Poster 3 All 11×17

A Call to all Sikh Organizations- November is the Sikh Cultural Awareness month

UNITED SIKHS
Aug 29th, 2012 14th Bhadon (Samvat 544 Nanakshahi)
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Press Release
A Call to all Sikh Organizations- November is the Sikh Cultural Awareness month 

San Francisco, California: California Legislature has unanimously approved Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 181 (California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month) declaring the month of November as California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation month. Introduced on August 2, 2010 by Assembly Member Daniel R. Logue at the request of Marysville-Yuba City Sikh community, it serves to honor one of the state’s notable and accomplished communities.

UNITED SIKHS thanks the State Superintendent of Public Education Tom Torlakson, who has notified districts about the opportunity to assemble materials to assist in educating all communities about the Sikh faith. UNITED SIKHS is assisting the districts in providing the materials that promote awareness and education about The Sikh faith.

To accomplish the community education UNITED SIKHS team asks the following of you:

1) Urges all organizations to reach out to their state assemblymen, asking them to visit their Gurdwaras and listen to the concerns that Sikhs have. We will be assisting the Gurdwaras with the invites and will present a memorandum that highlights the key issues impacting the Sikhs.

2) A UNITED SIKHS leadership training summit will be held in November for the youth to receive training in Advocacy, Emergency preparedness and Community activism. Please write to sikhleader@unitedsikhs.org if you would like to attend or volunteer for the leadership summit.

3) UNITED SIKHS volunteers will visit schools to talk about bullying and increase awareness of who the Sikhs are. To have a UNITED SIKHS representative visit your school, please write to sikhawareness@unitedsikhs.org. If you intend to visit the school yourself to conduct an awareness training, we request you to attend an “Awareness Training Session” by writing to sikhawarenesstraining@unitedsikhs.org.
The Sikh Gurdwara shooting in Wisconcin shook the Sikh community and shocked the world. In memory of those who lost their lives to this senseless act of hate, let us turn this tragedy into an opportunity to spread the word about “Sikh Identity” and spread the message to stop the hate and spread the love amongst all communities.

You or your organization can Pledge against Hate Crime by joining the “I Pledge Against Hate Crime Campaign “by clicking here .

UNITED SIKHS also asks all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly and report any racially biased incidents to them. If you feel you have been a target of a bias based crime/ incident, please report it here

Please continue to support our work by making your tax deductible donation today by clicking here

To reach the UNITED SIKHS office nearest you, click here.

 

Issued By:

 Manvinder Singh,

Director International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy

UNITED SIKHS

Tel: 1-646-688-3525;1-888-243-1690 http://www.unitedsikhs.org

Follow us on Twitter Twitter  Connect on Facebook Facebook  Read Our Blog Blog UNITEDSIKHS TV

Won’t You Help the Fight to Fight for Your Rights ? Donate to the UNITED SIKHS Hate Crime Fund to assist the Victims If you feel you have been a target of a bias based crime/ incident, please report it here
I Pledge Against Hate Crime!

 

UNITED SIKHS as always  asks you to practise your faith freely and without any fear.
You can contact UNITED SIKHS at a  location near you at the URL- http://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.

Peace, unity, compassion Jasvir Kaur tells us about her experience at Langgar 2012

Peace, unity, compassion seems far out of reach these days with all the complexities of life. Being around hopeful, active, optimistic people serving a greater good is the experience of sangat, it’s not out of reach at all. This is the experience I felt when I participated in Langaar 2012.

UNITED SIKHS asked me to represent the USA in one of its creative projects for the London 2012 Olympics Torch Relay. I was honoured and a bit selfish when I accepted the offer. Honored because they thought I was worthy of representing the UNITED SIKHS and selfish because I heard that Fauja Singh was going to be carrying the torch and I would meet him. It’s been a personal dream of mine to meet him. I first heard of Fauja Singh and his quest to run for charity about ten years back, when he was at the tender age of 92. After learning more about him, I was inspired to run a marathon as well. Yeap, did it once and that was enough for me. It’s a mental challenge more than a physical one, I understood why discipline was important. Discipline in diet, in exercising, simply in life!

July 20, 2012, in London, I was picked up by Sun Kaur, a beautiful, dedicated, determined soul. She’d been making deliveries since 6:30am to Gurdwaras participating in Langaar 2012. We became delivery girls for the day, delivering stickers, fliers, t-shirts, making sure they understand how to make ‘roti rolls’ and where and when to be at their stations to serve Langaar along the Relay route. I was amazed to hear how many Gurdwaras were taking part in the event. It’s hard enough for 2 Gurdwaras to agree to participate in an event, let alone FIFTEEN. By 8:30pm after all the deliveries were made, we arrived at the Gurdwara in Ilford.

We were greeted by so many ‘valahti’ volunteers. They drove hours to participate in this seva. In all the excitement of meeting one another from near and far, London, Birmingham, Canada and of course I’ve got to represent, US, we didn’t sleep all night. At the crack of dawn, 4am, we gathered to start the process of roti rolling, sabji stuffing, burrito-like wrapping, and sticker sticking. What a beautiful moment it was to do seva, the sangat singing ‘Asa di Vaar’ and “satnam waheguru…” I didn’t want that moment to end. By the time it was 9am, we had made 600 “Roti rolls”, half-way done but we only had a few more hours.

Wait! Do you hear that? ‘Baba ji (being respectful to his age) ahgahey”. All dressed in white, it’s Fauja Singh! The cameras come flying out and the flashes go crazy. The bibis elbow any one in their way, the bhajis slide their hands on their pughs before posing next to the superstar. Everyone is fighting for time with this inspiration, who walks in with his hands folded. He’s no academic or prodigy, in fact he can’t read or write, yet he has inspired so many people by living simply. The seva slows down for a bit as we take turns wanting to spend time with Fauja Singh. We want him to know we gathered, not for the Olympics, but because we are proud he’s chosen to run part of the Relay holding the Olympic torch. He’s the perfect one to represent a GurSikh. He’s Sabat Soorat, alert, talkative, optimistic, inspiring AND he’s 101 years old. Unbelievable he is!

A quick visit by Fauja Singh and it’s back to the seva with full force. More and more sangat joined, more assembly lines were formed and we did it. If only every sangat gathering could be this united, this motivated, imagine what we could accomplish. It’s 11am and we gather to get into our yellow “Langaar 2012” volunteer t-shirts, pack up the cars and head out to Relay Route. Along the Relay route our volunteers stood distinguished by the yellow t-shirts and dastaars. In all there were over 10,000 roti rolls made, served and devoured by spectators of the Olympic Relay route.

Then there was the moment, at 1:50pm, the Sevadars, spectators, and sports fans line up along the street waiting for the moment Fauja Singh will carry the Olympic torch. Of course the press is there and Singhs spot them to make sure they are noticed, videotaped and perhaps interviewed. But no one steals the show like Fauja Singh. There he is surrounded by security in grey uniforms, in the middle a beam of white light, Fauja Singh runs with the torch.

Langaar 2012 was splendid, spectacular and once in a life time moment. Thank you UNITED SIKHS, UK for uniting us to honor a legend and serve langaar and thank you UNITED SIKHS, USA for letting me experience a moment of peace, unity, and compassion.

Jasvir Kaur
UNITED SIKHS – USA volunteer

Sikh Awareness Through Libraries (SATL)

 UNITED SIKHS’ Project Reaches the Academic Library at Rutgers University

Highlights:

  • UNITED SIKHS carried out  Sikh Awareness Through Libraries (SATL) Project to the main Rutgers University Academic Library in New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Books offering the Sikh perspective in the academic field from various accomplished Sikh authors, intellectuals, theologians, human rights activists, and historians now available in the Rutgers University Library Catalog
  • Head Librarian at Rutgers University Libraries, Rutgers Sikh students, and wider Sikh community in New Jersey appreciate the project and the initiative
  • The project hopes to expand with community support and donations

  Continue reading ‘Sikh Awareness Through Libraries (SATL)’ »

UNITED SIKHS hosts its 45th Blood drive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha,Carteret, NJ

Marking yet another anniversary of the unfortunate 1984 attacks on Harmandir Sahib(Golden temple) in Amritsar, UNITED SIKHS, in collaboration with Community Blood Services (CBS), hosted a blood drive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Carteret,,NJ. More than 40 community members participated and generously donated blood. This was UNITED SIKHS’s 45th blood drive and yet another attempt to serve the community in every possible way.

According to America’s Blood Center’s(ABC), only 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood out of which less than 10 percent do annually, and about 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood. One pint of blood can save up to three lives and with the support of Gurdwara Management and CBS, we were able to collect more than 40 pints of blood in this blood drive.

UNITED SIKHS has been consistently conducting blood drives in different communities to respond to this vital and crucial need of people all
over the world. A big thanks to all those who donated blood at the drive and those who perform this sewa on a regular basis. Also, we thank the management of Gurdwara Singh Sabha at Carteret,NJ who has always been very supportive and compassionate in organising such drives.

We cannot undertake such important projects without the support of generous community members like you. Please volunteer or donate today!

To organize a blood drive in your region write to sikhaid@unitedsikhs.org. For more information on Blood Drives or other UNITED SIKHS Community Service initiatives, visit us at www.unitedsikhs.org.

 

Great Opportunity for NYC Youth- Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

NYC Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with summer employment and educational opportunities. In 2011 Department of Youth and Community Development employed 30,628 participants and placed them at 5,732 worksites.  Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs at government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sports enterprises, and retail organizations.

The application deadline for this program has been extended to Friday, May 25th, 2012.

Click here to apply

 

 

UNITED SIKHS Partners with NC Health Department to Educate about Swine Flu Pandemic at Health Fair

http://unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-17-11-2009-00.html

UNITED SIKHS Partners with NC Health Department to Educate about Swine Flu Pandemic at Health Fair

52nd Sikh Aid health fair offers free flu shots, free lab tests and health screenings for all ages at local Gurdwara in North Carolina

Charlotte, NC, USA – With concerns that the ‘Swine’ flu pandemic continues to spread worldwide this Fall, UNITED SIKHS Carolina Sikh Aid Team, in collaboration with Gurdwara Sahib of Charlotte, organized its second health fair this year and provided free flu shots, free lab tests (Cholesterol and Diabetes) and free health screenings for the public.

The fair, which was held on 1st November, 2009, at the local Gurdwara, is part of our ongoing effort to engage, educate and empower the community through health initiatives. Continue reading ‘UNITED SIKHS Partners with NC Health Department to Educate about Swine Flu Pandemic at Health Fair’ »

HEALTH FAIR HELD IN QUEENS, NEW YORK

http://www.unitedsikhs.org/Health_fair_Queens.htm

  July 09, 2004                                                                                                   25th Harh, 536 Nanakshahi

 PRESS RELEASE

 HEALTH FAIR HELD IN QUEENS, NEW YORK

 Queens, New York – UNITED SIKHS organized a Health Fair at Gurdwara Makan Shah Lobhana (113-10 101 Ave, Richmond Hill, New York 11419) on June 20, 2004, in which variety of health and safety information was made available to the attending public. In addition, the Health Fair invited speakers to give their views on Health and Nutrition, Early detection of Cancer, Women’s Health, Domestic Violence and Alcohol Abuse as well as how to manage medical emergencies. A Blood Donation Drive was also arranged as part of the Fair on the special request of Long Island Blood Center to meet the blood shortage in the tri-state area. Continue reading ‘HEALTH FAIR HELD IN QUEENS, NEW YORK’ »

Lessons from Shining Hope

As a sophomore at Wesleyan University, I had the great privilege to cross paths with Kennedy Odede, then a freshman. Kennedy grew up in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya. In 2004, he started a grass roots movement called “Shining Hope for Communities” (SHOFCO) and became a visionary change maker and community organizer. By the time he left Kenya to get an education, he was popularly known as the “mayor” of Kibera since it was he who regularly responded to his community’s day-to-day needs and helped them to have a voice. Continue reading ‘Lessons from Shining Hope’ »