Community Roundup – UNITED SIKHS Blog Recognize The Human Race As One Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:31:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 UNITED SIKHS Remembers and Prays for the Lives Lost on 9/11/01 Wed, 11 Sep 2013 18:55:51 +0000

The day has come again… the day we never saw coming…the day that changed the nation forever… the day that impacted the lives of everyone who lives in America.

Americans will never forget the tragic event that took place on September 11, 2001. A tragedy that changed the New York Skyline, took innocent lives, and brought America even closer together.

A day of great loss and sorrow has birth a nation’s love, compassion, solidarity and bravery among brothers and sisters of all races.

UNITED SIKHS remembers those innocent lives lost on this unforgettable day. We continue to pray and hold vigils for the departed and their families. UNITED SIKHS is proactively working with the United States Department of Justice to make sure events like this never happen again.

Life of the Post 9/11 Victims

While our country remembers the lives of those lost on 9/11, let us not forget those who have become a target because of the tragedy that occurred on the unforgettable day.

Being misidentified in America since 9/11 has been harmful and disheartening to those Sikhs that call America their home. Many incidents have occurred in the past twelve years that leave many Sikhs wondering when this will end. Organizations like UNITED SIKHS will continue its fight to empower and educate all about the principles and beliefs of Sikhism.

The lack of education of who Sikhs are have caused much confusion worldwide. Many see the turban as a sign of terrorism but this is not true. Since September 11, the world has been gripped by fear such that many minority communities, including the Sikh community, have suffered a backlash through misinformation and ignorance. The first reprisal killing after Sept 11 was of a Turban wearing Sikh in Arizona, who was mistaken as belonging to the group which perpetrated the 9/11 incident. Sikhs due to their unique appearance have since been a target of hate and bias crime and discrimination. Every week, UNITED SIKHS receives reports from Sikh adults and children who are victims of race/biased/hate crimes and from those being denied their rights to practice their religion. A Sikh’s right to wear his articles of faith has been challenged in schools, the workplace, prisons and other public places. Sikhs suffer increased harassment at airports because they wear the Turban.

Below you can find a list of a few of the incidents that have a occurred:

Sept. 15, 2001 — Mesa, Ariz.: Four days after the infamous attacks of 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49-year-old Sikh, is shot and killed outside the gas station he owned by Frank Silva Roque. When police approached to arrest him, Roque says, “I’m a patriot and an American. I’m American. I’m a damn American.”

Nov. 18, 2001 — Palermo, N.Y.: Three teens burn down Gobind Sadan, a gurdwara (Sikh temple) in New York, because they thought it was named for Osama bin Laden.

Dec. 12, 2001 — Los Angeles, Calif.: Surinder Singh Sidhi, a liquor store owner in Los Angeles who took to wearing an American flag turban after 9/11 out of fear of being attacked, is beaten in his store by two men who accused him of being Osama bin Laden.

Aug. 6, 2002 — Daly City, Calif.: Sukhpal Singh, brother of Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was the first Sikh murdered following 9/11, is shot while driving his cab.

May 20, 2003 — Phoenix, Ariz.: Fifty-two-year-old Sikh immigrant and truck driver Avtar Singh is shot in his 18-wheeler while waiting for his son to pick him up. As he is being shot, he hears someone say: “Go back to where you belong.”

Aug. 5, 2003 — Queens, N.Y.: Members of a Sikh family are beaten outside of their home by drunk individuals yelling, “Go back to your country, Bin Laden.”

Sept. 25, 2003 — Tempe, Ariz.: Sukhvir Singh, a 33-year-old convenience store owner, is stabbed to death by Bruce Phillip Reed. It is not labeled as a hate crime. Representatives of the Phoenix Sikh community issue a statement that says, in part, “Together we can help others to evolve past hate and fear by continuing to organize to reach out to others with increased understanding, respect, and support. May our collective prayer be that God preserve and protect the honor of all people, our nation, and our world.”

March 13, 2004 — Fresno, Calif.: Gurdwara Sahib, a local Sikh temple, is vandalized with graffiti messages: “Rags Go Home” and “It’s Not Your Country.

July 12, 2004 — New York, N.Y.: Rajinder Singh Khalsa and Gurcharan Singh, cousins on their way to dinner at a restaurant, are beaten by two drunk white twenty something men. The attackers describe Gurcharan’s turban as a “curtain.” When Rajinder tries to intervene, saying that Sikhs are peaceful, he is beaten unconscious and suffers a fractured eye socket, among other injuries.

May 24, 2007 — Queens, N.Y.: A 15-year-old student has his hair forcibly cut by an older student at his high school. The scissor-wielding 17-year-old showed the Sikh a ring inscribed with Arabic, saying, “This ring is Allah. If you don’t let me cut your hair, I will punch you with this ring.” Afterward, he cuts the younger boy’s hair. A main pillar of the Sikh faith compels followers to keep their hair uncut.

May 30, 2007 — Joliet, Ill.: A decorated U.S. Navy veteran of the Gulf War, Kuldip Singh Nag is approached by a police officer outside of his home for an expired vehicle registration tag. The officer reportedly assaults Nag with pepper spray while hurling expletive-laced anti-immigrant statements. ]

Jan. 14, 2008 — New Hyde Park, N.Y.: A 63-year-old Sikh, Baljeet Singh, has his jaw and nose broken when attacked outside his temple by a man who lived next-door. David Wood, the attacker, had apparently disturbed members of the Gurdwara in the past.

Feb. 28, 2008 — Bryan, Texas: A Sikh man is assaulted in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Though the assailant called him a terrorist, punched him in the face and head and knocked his turban off, the Sikh man does not suffer major injuries.

June 5, 2008 — Queens, N.Y.: A ninth grade Sikh is attacked by another student, who tried to remove his patka, or under-turban, and had a history of bullying the boy.

June 5, 2008 — Albuquerque, N.M.: A vehicle belonging to a Sikh family is defaced with the message “F*** Allah!” and a picture of male genitalia.

Aug. 4, 2008 — Phoenix, Ariz.: Inderjit Singh Jassal is shot and killed while working at a 7-Eleven. No clear motive is found.

Oct. 29, 2008 — Carteret, N.J.: A Sikh man, Ajit Singh Chima, goes for a walk in his neighborhood. He is attacked by a man who casually leaves the scene afterward. Nothing is stolen.

Jan. 30, 2009 — Queens, N.Y.: Three men attack Jasmir Singh outside of a grocery store. Racial slurs are heard. A broken glass bottle is used. Singh loses vision in his left eye.

Nov. 29, 2010 — Sacramento, Calif.: Harbhajan Singh, a cab driver, is a attacked by passengers, who call him Osama bin Laden.

March 6, 2011 — Elk Grove, Calif.: Two elderly Sikh men in traditional garb, out for a daily afternoon walk, are shot and killed. The perpetrator is not found.

May 30, 2011 — New York, N.Y.: Jiwan Singh, an MTA worker and the father of Jasmir Singh, who was assaulted in early 2009 in Queens, is attacked on the A train and accused of being related to Osama bin Laden.

Feb. 6, 2012 — Sterling Heights, Mich.: A gurdwara (Sikh temple) is defaced with graffiti that includes a gun and references to 9/11.

Aug. 5, 2012 — Oak Creek, Wis.: A gunman is shot dead by police after he opened fire in a Gurdwara during Sikh prayer services, killing six.

May 5, 2013 — Fresno, Cal.: 81 year old Piara Singh was beaten with a steel pipe outside a Fresno Gurdwara in what police have determined to be a hate crime.

July, 30, 2013– Riverside, Cal.: Riverside Gurdwara near Los Angeles, California reported  the words “Terrorist” and “Terrist!” scrawled on the brick walls surrounding the Gurdwara and parking lot.

Terrorist, we are NOT. Terrorism, we DO NOT promote. America IS our home too. Help us to continue to bring awareness to Sikhs and Sikhism. Help us so we can make sure events like these including the massiveness of 9/11 never occur again.

Becoming an Eco-Sikh !! Thu, 14 Mar 2013 19:41:36 +0000  

 USLogo  EcoSikhPoster

UNITED SIKHS  in collaboration with EcoSikh is planning to outreach all their members and sangat about Sikh Environment Day.

Becoming an Eco-Sikh !!

15th March 2013, Fremont California:

Environmentalism and Sikhism are commonly looked upon as two completely separate theologies. It is only when we look closely at the Gurbani, we can see how important our environment is to basic Sikh spirituality.

Somehow in the mixture of the waves of immigration, and shifting our focus from an agrarian lifestyle to more post-modern modes of production, we have forgotten how intrinsic and crucial our environment is, and has been, to the existence of basic Sikh philosophy and history. We have armed ourselves with physical, political, and legal protections to keep each spiritual thread intact on our sacred bodies. Despite being miles and years apart from our traditional history as agrarian innovators in Punjab, we still maintain a spiritual thread that connects us to our past and spiritual homeland. A homeland that is being decimated by international corporations, corrupt politics, lack of regulations, economic impositions, and so many man-made health and environmental disasters. The very roots of our metaphorical spiritual hair, whose roots are embedded in the environment that inspired Guru Nanak to start a powerful religious movement, is being destroyed by our decisions as modern Sikh consumers. The cyclical impact that we have on our environment is a spiritual embedding in our beliefs as Sikhs, which is something that Guru Nanak, himself, stressed when he stated “Pawan guru pani pita mata dharth mahat.” (Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all).1
We must transform the question of “Who am I as a Sikh?” into “Who am I as an eco-Sikh?” Many of us will be surprised to find direct references to ecology in the Gurbani. But it is through the Gurbani where we will understand what our role as an ‘eco-Sikh” entails.

The Gurbani equates respect for every hair on one’s body to respecting all areas that God permeates, including forests, “O Nanak, He is pervading and permeating all places, the forests and the meadows, the three worlds, and every hair.” 2 If we, as Sikhs, are committed to maintaining our external and internal appearance as the gurus required, how can we ignore our duty to also maintain the environment? Caring for the earth is a not just a value that we must uphold, but is also a direct Hukam that aligns with the “Gurmukh’s path,” 3 “If someone is going to teach me something, let it be that the Lord is pervading the forests and fields.” 4 In aligning ourselves to this Hukam here are some steps that we can take to be responsible, environmentally conscious eco-Sikhs:

1. Planting Trees, replacing lawns with your own home-grown vegetables, and replacing your gardens with native plants and habitats. The Guru Granth Sahib states, “we shall reap the results of the seeds which we sow.” 5 We must engage in actions that promote sustainability for the whole planet. For more information on “food not lawns” please visit

2. Use bio-degradable and recyclable plates, knives, forks, and napkins. Composting is a great way to minimize the amount of trash thrown out, and to enrich the soil for your gardens. For more information on composting, please visit

3. Biking, walking, or taking public transportation instead of using a car is a great way to reduce carbon emissions in a healthy way.

4. If you cannot grow your own vegetables or fruits, as a consumer, you should choose to buy organic food from local farmers. Not only do you avoid exposing your family and the environment to the harmful effects of pesticides, but you also invest in local farmers and businesses.

5. Educate yourself and promote research in sustainable organic farming techniques.

The lasting effects of the Green Revolution that occurred in Punjab has unfortunately driven the “green” out of the revolution and has caused farmers in Punjab to look for alternative farming techniques. Heavy pressure for more food grain crops forced many of these farmers to focus on mono-cropping with the use of pesticides and insecticides. Increased dependence on pesticide use has drained the soil of its alkalinity and salinity; thus causing the soil to be unfit for growing crops, and further pressuring farmers to be dependent on chemicals to support the growth. This has resulted in irreparable damage to the farmers in Punjab and consumers. In addition to negatively impacting the environment, the use of pesticides and the depletion of the soil has caused many consumers to suffer from rare types of cancer at an alarming rate. By promoting research in sustainable organic farming techniques, areas such as Punjab and our own local farms will be able to farm organically, in an economically sustainable fashion. This will also maintain healthy soil, environment, and nutritious crops.

It is our responsibility to treat our sacred environment with as much respect as we treat our bodies and appearance as Sikhs. This is not a change that we make on one day of the year, but a lifelong commitment that we make with the environment and with God.

1. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 8, line 10.
2. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 133,, line 13.
3. Singh, Jagtaran. “Sikhism the Green Religion.” SikhNet | Sharing the Sikh Experience. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <
4. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 92, line 12.
5. ” Saving Environment” WaheguruNet Sikhism info – WaheguruNet. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <>.
Amitoj Singh
Coordinator, UNITED SIKHS India



A Voice Outside the Patriarchy: Inspiration from my Mother Thu, 22 Mar 2012 15:42:36 +0000

Written by Faiths Act Fellow, Hannah Shirey, in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2012.

My mother, a person of great faith, confidence and determination, is an example to me in many ways and is my Female Faith Hero. It was during my own teenage years that my Mom, Alice, was in the heart of her own personal journey of becoming a leader in our local, Iowan church. By watching her stand up against the long-standing tradition of gendered hierarchy in the church, I learned an important lesson that propels me in my current work:

It is easy to walk away from the brokenness of our world and our institutions. It is much more difficult—and much more important—to work for change within our corrupt, oppressive systems.

To share my mother’s story, I turn to Dr. Scot McKnight, who in addition to being my mother’s friend and mentor, is a brilliant scholar and Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University. He recently published a book titled, Junia Is Not Alone: Breaking Our Silence About Women in the Bible and the Church Today, and in it he tells the story of many women, including my mother “who had a wonderful voice, and then no voice, and who are experiencing a re-voicing” (McKnight 2011:53). Here is an excerpt from the concluding portion of the book that beautifully describes my mother’s work and why she is my hero:

Many women today are active in ministry and are continuing with confidence and power the storied history of women in the Bible and the silenced history of women in the church. They are not silenced as they once were, and so we look around and sing to the women among us who are embodying the gifts God has given to them…a woman I know named Alice can be known and broadcast even as she does her work today.

Alice was a student of mine at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School way back in the days when people were wearing leisure suits and not really even wondering what to do with women in the church. She landed on her feet in the middle of America, in Iowa, an heir to Calvin’s Reformed churches. Some of stereotypes about America’s heartland are true in Alice’s case, or were for a time.

Alice had three kids and was running a medical research business when she up and got the idea that she should run for the school board. She didn’t win, but the experience of speaking publicly energized her because people were moved by her words. She got to thinking God might want to use her teaching gift in the church, and she [started teaching an adult education class]. An elder, after observing and sitting in her class, said to her: “Alice, you’ve got the gift. And we’ve been praying for a woman teacher in our church.”

Because of the stereotypes at work in cases like these, she and her husband spent some time renegotiating their relationship. Chuck has a M.Div. from Fuller but isn’t called to be a teaching pastor; Alice doesn’t have the M.Div. but she’s got the gift. Chuck has become Alice’s biggest supporter.

Alice thought she might also face stereotypes with her pastor, so she summoned up the pluck to speak to him. Alice now knew she had the gift of teaching, so she said, “I think I have the gift to teach and preach, and I’d like to know if it will be safe for me here.” The pastor’s response: “Do you want to find out? How about July 6? No one is scheduled to preach.” She spent six weeks preparing that sermon.

In America’s heartland, Alice was a “lay teacher” for seven years. Her church battled gender stereotypes by using them: they explained that Alice was a “mom” and a “wife” and even a “stay-at-home mom,” and she kept on teaching. Four years ago, Alice approached the pastor with these evocative words: “I’ve been wearing this JV uniform for seven years now. Don’t you think it’s about time I get a varsity uniform?”

Sure enough, Alice can be seen wearing a varsity preacher’s uniform three out of four weeks in a church with multi-site campuses, including at a little rural church that in 120 years had never had a woman preach. Recently, one of the pastors on staff caught wind of what the good folks in that rural church thought. His report: “Alice, they like you.” (McKnight 2011:308-337)

Witnessing my mother’s struggles within the church institution deeply impacted my understanding and experience of Christianity. At times in my life I have wanted to sever ties with the tradition completely and avoid being associated with such an oppressive narrative. My mother’s passion for institutional change has, however, kept me from doing so. Instead, it has allowed me to experience Christian faith from the eyes of the oppressed and to be inspired to action by the emancipatory message and radical relationships of Jesus.

Mom, thank you for making the intentional choice to work within your community and the church to push against the status quo, providing an opportunity for repressed communities to renew their voices. I continue with you so that people will not just like you, but will respect you, carry forward your work, and magnify the choir of women’s voices fighting for their just space (in religious and non-religious institutions) across our world.

McKnight, Scot (2011 December 1). Junia Is Not Alone (Kindle Locations 53, 308-337). Patheos Press. Kindle Edition.

Reward in Sikh killings case in Elk Grove grows to $57,000 Mon, 17 Oct 2011 23:47:26 +0000    Reward in Sikh killings case in Elk Grove grows to $57,000

The Sikh community, volunteers and police authorities renewed their push on Sunday to identify assailants responsible for the fatal shootings of two Sikh men strolling in their Elk Grove neighborhood in March.  With the reward standing at $57,000, members of the groups said the effort called for a “day of action” to spread the word that the pursuit of the perpetrators will go on.

Published: Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 – 9:19 am

Read more:

Elk Grove police in August sought another $50,000 in the form of a “governor’s reward,” telling Gov. Jerry Brown then that the increased reward could give someone who knows about the case the incentive to step forward.

Such a reward is possible under California Penal Code Section 1547, which gives the governor the authority to make the offer.

The Sikh community along with a coalition of community organizations raised a combined $42,000 for information leading to the arrest of people responsible for the shootings, which are being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Up to $15,000 more is available from Sacramento County’s multi-agency Crime Alert program, said Randy Goodwin of the Sacramento County Probation Department and a representative of the county’s Crime Alert Program.

“Fifty-seven thousand dollars is a significant reward,” said Elk Grove Police Capt. Bryan Noblett as supporters gathered Sunday morning to tackle a new front: the circulation of fliers to businesses within two miles of the shooting site announcing the reward.

“We, of course, wish it didn’t require a large reward like that to develop information,” he said. But he added that the department officials are “hopeful” that the money will entice someone with knowledge to step forward.

The still-unsolved shootings on March 4 led to the deaths of Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwal, 78. Singh was killed instantly. Atwal spent six weeks in a hospital before he succumbed.

The group of volunteers, including two Elk Grove City Council members, representatives of the Sikh American community and other volunteers, met in a Park and Ride lot just a few hundred feet from where the slayings occurred on East Stockton Boulevard near Geneva Pointe Drive.

“I think the whole community is going to raise the level of awareness of this crime to see if we can shine a light on these cockroaches,” Elk Grove Mayor Steve Detrick said as supporters gathered. “Maybe somebody didn’t see it. But somebody else could get cocky and talk about it.”

Elk Grove City Councilwoman Sophia Scherman echoed that thought.

“Somewhere out there is someone who will slip and say something,” she said. “The increased reward is going to open many, many doors.”

Volunteers left the area and visited nearby businesses asking to post the bulletins.

It wasn’t seamless. At the nearby Target, a store official told volunteers Navjit Kaur and Gagandeep Mann that the store could not participate.

But a worker at Metropolis Comix near Bruceville Road in Sacramento did post a bulletin in the window. So did the Beauty Chateau salon and spa.

Maggie Solorzano at the spa said she happened to drive by the shooting site to and from school on March 4 and saw the police vehicles, but she learned only later what had happened.

“I hope they catch who did it,” she said. “To take two people away from their families … it’s a shame.”

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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UNITED SIKHS Co-Sponsors the 9-11 WTC Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony Mon, 29 Aug 2011 17:26:56 +0000 The 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony, in its tenth year, brings a day filled with deep emotion and reflection to an aesthetically serene and peaceful close. As light fades to dusk, and the sun’s warmth gives way to the Hudson River’s cool breeze, the rhythmic beating of the Japanese Taiko drum signals the beginning of this most poignant and embracing interfaith ceremony led by Reverend Alfonso Wyatt.
Location: Sunday, September 11 at 6:00 PM, Pier 40 (West Houston Street & West Street by the Hudson River)
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Religious leaders of many faith traditions will assemble to offer uplifting messages of hope and peace. Commissioner Fatima Shama from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs will provide greetings and messages from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Musical performances will be interspersed throughout the program with performances by Japanese and American artists including Taiko Drummer Kaoru Watanabe, Composer Russell Daisey, Soprano Tomoko Shibata, Recording Artist Shinji Harada, and Saxophonist Paul Winter.
The evening closes with the Rev. T.K. Nakagaki leading Buddhist Sutra Chanting and the lighting of the floating lanterns on the Hudson River. Volunteers from NY de Volunteer will place the lanterns into the water, which will then be pulled into the harbor by the kayakers. UNITED SIKHS will provide refreshments. The event is open to the public free of charge.
This inspirational event is largely a volunteer effort of many civic-minded organizations including The Interfaith Center of New York, the New York Buddhist Council, Prepare New York Coalition, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, UNITED SIKHS, NY de Volunteer, the New York Kayak Company, New York City Downtown Boathouse, Long Island City Community Boathouse and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

UNITED SIKHS Partners in a Symposium on Interfaith Perspectives on Communal Trauma and Harmony in New York Mon, 29 Aug 2011 17:07:41 +0000 The Interfaith Center of New York, the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, and our partners, invite all mental health professionals to attend a symposium  Interfaith Perspectives on Communal Trauma and Healing: Religious Leaders and Mental Health Professionals Explore the Emotional Life of the City at the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
As they support New Yorkers during and after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, mental health professionals can learn a great deal from the city’s diverse religious traditions. In their own vocabularies, these traditions offer invaluable resour-ces for understanding experiences of trauma and healing.
Come learn from your colleagues and local religious leaders in an exploration of interfaith perspectives on communal trauma and healing.
The half-day symposium will include:
Union Square, September 13, 2001
 A panel discussion with leading mental health practitioners who bring both spiritual and psychological perspectives to bear on experiences of communal trauma.
 Small group workshops offering hands-on introductions to the thera- peutic resources found in diverse religious traditions – including ritual, meditation, text, story, and song.
 Lunch for participants, and a performance by the Peace of Heart Choir.
Join us on Friday, September 9th, 9 am to 1:30 pm, at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus. Enter at 60th Street and Columbus Avenue.
$10 advance registration for professionals, or $12 at the door
$5 for students, $7 at the door
Click here for detailed information and advance registration, or email
Sponsored by:Interfaith Center of New York, Fordham University, Prepare New York, Psychotherapy and Spirituality, Muslim Mental Health, JBFCS, PSI, MNYC, UNITED SIKHS, Muslim Mental Health

LA celebrates Vaisakhi 2010: Special emphasis on counting Sikhs correctly in Census Wed, 07 Apr 2010 01:40:46 +0000 The City of Los Angeles and the Sikh community of Southern California came together to celebrate 311 years of formation of the Khalsa on April 4, 2010. For this years celebration, the main focus was on census 2010 and the campaign of getting a separate count for Sikhs in future Census products.

Jesse Singh, a resident of San Diego, who as been a front runner in this campaign for more than 6 months now spoke at the event and said, “Statistics tells a lot about a communities history over time, trends, enumeration – the actual amount of Sikhs living in the U.S – this alone transcends into other statistics like commerce data – jobs, employment discrimination, mentioning of Sikhs in American textbooks on a national platform, it brings awareness to the Sikh community by non-Sikhs.”

Jesse especially thanked UNITED SIKHS and their legal team for their efforts in the past for “taking the bull by the horns”. Jesse Singh with Bibi Ji, Yogi Bhajan Ji's wife, and Jagjit Singh

If you haven’t received your Census form yet, please go to to find the closest assistance center and get your form.

Gurdwara Census Count Pictures Mon, 22 Mar 2010 05:16:30 +0000 Escondido and Poway Team San Diego makes the Push for Sikhs to get Counted in 2010 Census.

[See image gallery at]

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ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ – Census 2010 Information Flyer in Punjabi Wed, 17 Mar 2010 01:53:23 +0000 ਵੱਡਾ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਵੇਖਣ ਲਈ ਇੱਥੇ ਕਲਿੱਕ ਕਰੋ – Click here to enlarge

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Identify yourself as “SIKH” in census 2010 Fri, 05 Mar 2010 20:05:00 +0000 UNITED SIKHS, along with other organizations like Sikh Coalition and the South Asian Coalition of organizations, SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together) contacted Karem Humes last year to discuss the coding methodology for Census 2010. The letter sent by Ms. Humes in reply stated that even if a person writes in “Sikh” on the census form, the person would be automatically counted as “Asian Indian.”

However, after receipt of the letter, UNITED SIKHS did not drop the issue. It is important that the Sikh community together join hands to advocate for this cause. And dropping the issue does not help.

UNITED SIKHS legal team worked extensively for almost 3 months with Minority Rights Group International (MRG), an international NGO working primarily on minority rights issues which is in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This paper discusses why Sikhs are eligible for a separate code and why Sikhs must be considered for a separate count.

This paper, along with a petition discussing UNITED SIKHS’ position and signed by leading community members and many Sikh organizations (including Sikh Coalition and SALDEF), was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Director of Census 2010, and the Chairmen of the House and Senate Committee overseeing the Census operations. UNITED SIKHS is yet to receive a response from either agencies.though there is confirmation from 3 out of 4 offices that someone in their team is working on the request.

UNITED SIKHS does not claim that writing in “Sikh” will surely get us a count in 2010. However, as they are yet to receive a response to the petition, there is still hope. The time might be short for 2010, but if we do not pick up the issue now, we will never be able to get the Census’ attention to the matter. Communities that got a code this year did not start their advocacy recently but have been trying for many years to convince the Bureau to give them a separate code. The planning for census starts much earlier. Therefore, even if we want to get a code for 2020, we need to keep up the effort throughout these 10 years.

The reason why UNITED SIKHS is requesting the community to fill in “Sikh” on the Census form either ways is so that we can claim in one voice that we want a separate count. If the number of people writing in “Sikh” is high enough, attention will finally be brought to the issue.

No battle is won in the first attempt and just because the chances of winning in the first shot are low, we cannot drop the ball. We need a comprehensive effort involving all members of the Sikh community throughout the country to work together on this matter to ensure that our children can be identified correctly and receive the recognition that our community deserves for all its contribution to the American society.

Please visit to read more about the petition and for a link to the petition and the position paper. The petition includes the detailed paper prepared by MRG and UNITED SIKHS. The said petition was submitted to the Director of OMB, Director of Census, and the Chairmen of House and Senate Committees.Please also visit to read more about the census.

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