census – UNITED SIKHS Blog http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog Recognize The Human Race As One Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:45:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 There’s still time…so fill out and mail back your census form TODAY! http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/04/there%e2%80%99s-still-time%e2%80%a6so-fill-out-and-mail-back-your-census-form-today/ Tue, 13 Apr 2010 18:57:00 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=895 There’s still time…so fill out and mail back your census form TODAY!

  • If you have not received a census form in the mail, or think you were left off your household’s census form, you can pick up a Be Counted form to ensure you are counted.
  • Be Counted forms, available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian, can be picked up in nearly 39,000 community locations nationwide and mailed back in the attached postage-paid envelope.
  • Don’t forget to write in Sikh under “Other Race” in Question No.9 if you want to identify yourself as a Sikh and support getting Sikhs counted in the 2010 Census!
  • Call UNITED SIKHS if you have any questions or concerns! 1-888-243-1690

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LA celebrates Vaisakhi 2010: Special emphasis on counting Sikhs correctly in Census http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/04/la-celebrates-baisakhi-2010-special-emphasis-on-counting-sikhs-correctly-in-census/ Wed, 07 Apr 2010 01:40:46 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=890 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 http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/ to find the closest assistance center and get your form.

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Get your Census form from libraries if you didnt receive it yet!!! http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/get-your-census-form-from-libraries-if-you-didnt-receive-it-yet/ Wed, 31 Mar 2010 20:07:20 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=883 It has been brought to attention that Census forms will not be mailed to gurdwaras. Therefore, the religious workers and their families who reside at gurdwaras will not receive their form. Also, due to the ongoing situation with vacant housing, chances are that there will be problems in everyone getting their forms.

If you know someone who did not receive a Census form, make sure you inform them to pick one up from a nearby public library or assistance center. For more information, visit http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/.

If you have any questions or need information, you can also mail us law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

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Gurdwara Census Count Pictures http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/gurdwara-census-count-pictures/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/gurdwara-census-count-pictures/#comments Mon, 22 Mar 2010 05:16:30 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=849 Escondido and Poway Team San Diego makes the Push for Sikhs to get Counted in 2010 Census.

[See image gallery at www.unitedsikhs.org]

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ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ – Census 2010 Information Flyer in Punjabi http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/%e0%a8%aa%e0%a9%b0%e0%a8%9c%e0%a8%be%e0%a8%ac%e0%a9%80-%e0%a8%b5%e0%a8%bf%e0%a9%b1%e0%a8%9a-%e0%a8%9c%e0%a8%be%e0%a8%a3%e0%a8%95%e0%a8%be%e0%a8%b0%e0%a9%80-census-2010-information-flyer-in-punjabi/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/%e0%a8%aa%e0%a9%b0%e0%a8%9c%e0%a8%be%e0%a8%ac%e0%a9%80-%e0%a8%b5%e0%a8%bf%e0%a9%b1%e0%a8%9a-%e0%a8%9c%e0%a8%be%e0%a8%a3%e0%a8%95%e0%a8%be%e0%a8%b0%e0%a9%80-census-2010-information-flyer-in-punjabi/#comments Wed, 17 Mar 2010 01:53:23 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=838 ਵੱਡਾ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਵੇਖਣ ਲਈ ਇੱਥੇ ਕਲਿੱਕ ਕਰੋ – Click here to enlarge

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Tri State Gurdwaras Meet at Singh Sabha Gurdwara NJ & Decide to Write Sikh in the Census Form http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/tri-state-gurdwaras-meet-at-singh-sabha-gurdwara-nj-decide-to-write-sikh-in-the-census-form/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/tri-state-gurdwaras-meet-at-singh-sabha-gurdwara-nj-decide-to-write-sikh-in-the-census-form/#comments Tue, 16 Mar 2010 05:34:18 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=826 Port Reading New Jersey, 13th March 2010: In a meeting convened by Joga Singh (member of Glenrock Gurdwara Saheb) the present members unanimously decided that the Sikhs should write “SIKH” in the census form for 2010 under the “Some other race” column

It was decided that the Sikhs should

1) Respond to the Census Questionnaire:
All households in United States will receive a questionnaire that you or a member of the household will need to accuratelyanswer. Sikhs need to actively participate in the survey by completing the information in the questionnaire.

To see a sample form and to read more about the Census, visit www.sikhamericancensus.org

Does America know who the Sikhs are? Sikhs first came to the United States in the 1800s. After more than 130 years, Sikhs are still virtually unknown to most Americans, and are not counted by the Census Bureau and hence this is our chance

 2) Write-in “Sikh” appropriately. Under the “Some other race” category, fill in “Sikh”.  This is an important step toward accurate tabulation of all Sikhs in United States, particularly as a follow-up to the petition, to show by  example, that we want to be counted correctly.

Members of the following institutions participated or gave their consent over the phone:

Gurdwara  Saheb Name

1) Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Port Reading, New Jersey

2) Bridgewater Gurdwara Saheb

3) Glenrock Gurdwara Saheb (UNITED SIKHS

4) Singh Sabha(UNITED SIKHS)

5) Sikh Cultural Society of New York Inc.

6) Dashmesh Darbar Gurdwara Saheb

7) Panjab Express Newspaper

8) Gurdwara Saheb, Blue Mountain PA

9) Glenrock (UNITED SIKHS)

10) Nanak Naam Jahaaz Gurdwara

11) CJSA Windsor NJ

12) wakeupkhalsa.com

13) Sikhs For Justice

14) Ramgharia Sikh Sangat of North America

15) The Sikh Cultural Society of New York, Richmond Hill, NY

16) Afghan Sikh Association

17) Pennsylvania Sadh Sangat

18) The Sikh Center of New York Inc, Flushing, Inc

Jaspreet Singh
UNITED SIKHS-Staff Attorney

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Census Bureau responds to the Sikh Petition http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/census-bureau-responds-to-the-sikh-petition/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/census-bureau-responds-to-the-sikh-petition/#comments Sat, 13 Mar 2010 04:13:00 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=815 Washington DC, March 13th, 2010: Finally, after a month of waiting, UNITED SIKHS received the first response  from the Census Bureau to the Petition submitted by them to the Office of Management and Budget and the Census Bureau.

In the response, the Bureau said, “With Census Day less than one month away, it is too late to change our procedure for classifying “Sikh” responses to the 2010 Census question on race, without extreme cost and risk to Census Bureau operations. Beyond the 2010 Census, we will consider changes to the processing of the term “Sikh” when it is provided in response to the question on race.”

We need to keep up our efforts. Even if the Census does not provide an official count this year, we have to make a strong case for 2020. Census forms are official records and are maintained and stored as official archives. Let us fill in “Sikh” as a response to question 9 so that when we ask the Census next time to reconsider their decision, we can claim that our community wants to be identified as Sikhs.

This fight is very important for our future generations and for their rightful place in the American society.

Please also read http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=789 to get answers to all your questions and to read more about why it is important to be counted as Sikhs.

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Census Official confirms that Sikhs should write “Sikh” in Other Category on the Census form http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/census-official-confirms-that-sikhs-should-write-sikh-in-other-category-on-the-census-form/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/census-official-confirms-that-sikhs-should-write-sikh-in-other-category-on-the-census-form/#comments Thu, 11 Mar 2010 17:14:41 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=793 On March 3, 2010, the Atlanta area Sangat organized a Sikh Complete Count Committee (SCCC) meeting with the Census Bureau. Nigel Rajadurai answered the questions that every Sikh has been asking. Here is a transcript of the Q&A session with the Census Officer:

1 On question 9 – can we write in the word ‘SIKH’ in the “Some other race” category? Yes

2 Will the computer reject the form? No

3 Will someone eventually read what is filled in the “Some other category”? Yes, that is why we have that category.

4 Are there other minorities that are not an identified race have been counted in the past? Yes, there are several tribes, ethnic and ancestry groups that do not have a nation state or an identified race but are in significant numbers and have been able to be successfully counted as a people using this approach.

To see what kind of minorities have been successful in getting themselves counted in the 2000 Census, you can go to http://factfinder.census.gov/ – highlight ‘Fact Sheet’ – click on ‘Fact Sheet for a Race, Ethnic or Ancestry Group’.

In the 2000 Census, groups with more than 20,000 counts were reported at the National level, and groups with more than a 500 count at the state level.

They further added that a lot of minority groups are not happy with the racial categories that are on the form. Hence, the Census Bureau has provided a place for them to be counted or represented using the ‘Some other race’ category.

To read more about this meeting, visit http://www.sikhchic.com/columnists/stand_up_be_counted.

UNITED SIKHS again urges the Sikh population of USA, whether citizens, residents, aliens or visitors, to fill in the form by marking “Other” in Q9 and filling in “SIKH”.

Sikhs have been underrepresented in the US society for very long and we cannot ask for our rights from the Congress without an official count.

Join us in this mission to ensure a fair society for our children. Please sign the petition submitted to the Office of Management and Budget and Census Bureau at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/petitions/census.php

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Census 2010 Sikh American Census Campaign FAQ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/census-2010-sikh-american-census-campaign-faq/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/census-2010-sikh-american-census-campaign-faq/#comments Wed, 10 Mar 2010 16:13:10 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=789

Census 2010 Sikh American Census Campaign FAQ
This FAQ has been drafted as a result of many questions and concerns that have been expressed by members of the Sikh community in relation 1to the Sikh American Census campaign. We hope that the questions and answers below will provide clarity to any confusion, and you are welcome to contact us at law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

Q1: What happens if I mark “Other Race” and write in “Sikh” on the Census Form?
A1: Currently, the Census bureau automatically codes all Sikh writeins as “Asian-Indian.” This is a problem because it doesn’t allow Sikhs to counted by the Census Bureau, even though many other nationalities and ethnic groups are coded and counted correctly. In conversation with Karen Humes, Assistant Division Chief for Special populations for the Census Bureau, members of the Sikh community asked how to get a code, and she responded that we should petition the Census Bureau. UNITED SIKHS submitted a petition, with the support of SALDEF, the Sikh Coalition, World Sikh Council, and many other leading Sikh organizations and Gurdwaras to the Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget to ask for a separate code, and we will continue our effort to obtain a separate code. You can review the petition and supporting academic paper at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/petitions/census.php 

Q2: The Census form asks for race. Sikhs are a religion, not a race. Why should I write-in Sikh?
A2: The definition of “race” used by the Census is vague, and the Census form is not the best designed form. It only asks for “Race,”
and this is a problem for many people. It should rather ask for “Ethnicity.” The Census counts many categories of people that are not
“races” by any traditional definition. For example, if you write in “Bangladeshi,” you will be counted as Bangladeshi, even though
Bangladeshi is a nationality, not a race. Another example are the “Hmong” people who are of the same ethnicity, but not necessarily the
same “race.” Rather than only recognizing Sikhs as a religion, Sikhs are recognized as an ethnicity in many countries as we do have a very
distinct identity and idea of the “kaum.” We have a distinct language (Gurmukhi script), religion, marriage, festivals, appearance, and
other cultural variances; all of these additional factors qualify Sikhs as an ethnic group and a religion. We should be counted as Sikhs by the Census Bureau.
In the past, other ethnic groups have also been counted if they have many write-ins. The Census Bureau informed us that they will not assign Sikhs a code because of writeins, Sikhs will be coded as Asian Indian. However, the write-in forms are not thrown away and the Census Bureau does review the data. It is important to show that Sikhs want to be counted; also the forms become a part of national historical data and are made public after 72 years. This campaign is for now, and our future generations.

Q3: Why should we waste the Sikh Community’s time and money to be counted? Why now? Aren’t we too late? Are you being dishonest or misleading the community?
A3: UNITED SIKHS and other members of the Sikh community have been working on this issue for more than a year, and we understand that
this must be a sustained effort until we succeed in being coded correctly. Sikh Americans are tax-paying citizens just like everyone
else and have been excluded from being counted. It is a difficult task to change the government’s opinion on an issue, and it will
require the Sikh community in America to unite and take action by calling their Congressman and Senators and by having their voices
heard in public forums to be successful on this issue. If we do not succeed in getting a code in 2010, it is still important for the
Annual American Community Survey, which also codes Sikhs as Asian Indian, for the Census 2020, all other Censuses to come.

Q4: Why not simply mark the box for ‘Asian Indian’?
A4: If we want to be recognized as a group of people in the United States, and also if we (and the government) want to have accurate
numbers of how many Sikhs there are in the United States, we must ask to be counted as Sikhs. If we want the government to pay attention to
our community, they have to recognize how many Sikhs are in the United States. Also, not all Sikhs are of Asian Indian origin, and
many Sikhs who are not of Indian origin have expressed that they would like to be counted as Sikhs.

Q5: Why not fill in ‘Other Asian’ and then ‘Sikh’?
A5: Not all Sikhs are of Asian Indian origin, and many Sikhs who are not of Indian origin have expressed that they would like to be
counted as Sikhs. Also, it is important that for the purposes of showing our numbers, we all fill in the form the same way. Mark
“Other Race” and write-in “Sikh.”

Q6: What about Sikhs in other countries and Sikhs in India? Are you trying to separate Sikhs from India?
A6: The United States Census Bureau is only concerned with counting all people within the United States, whether they are legal or
illegal. This is an official count by the United States government and happens every ten years. This has nothing to do with Sikhs
outside of the United States, nor does it have any effect on Sikhs outside of the United States. It is important for Sikhs in the United
States to be counted by the Census Bureau because it is important to be properly recognized by the government for a variety of reasons; in
elections, for resources, and for advocacy.

Q7: What are some other minorities that have gotten themselves counted successfully in the past?
A7: Minorities always have to speak-up and advocate for their rights. In the past during the founding of the United States Constitution,
only three-fifths of the population of slaves were counted by the Census, changing the distribution of taxes and the amount of representatives into Congress by southern states. That means only three out of five slaves were counted as people. The Latino/Hispanic communities also had to advocate for their right to be counted separately, and some of them, such as people from the Dominican Republic are only being counted correctly for the first time, in Census 2010. Many communities are advocating around the Census because there are still many problems and solutions being proposed.

Q8: Are other religions counted by the Census?
A8: The Census Bureau is not allowed, by law, to ask a mandatory question on religion on the Census form. However, this does not stop the Census from accepting answers from those who self-identify, and the Census does count people of many different ethnicities. The only count the Census Bureau engages in where a question about religion is asked is in the American Community Survey, which is a much smaller annual survey that is done randomly around the country; Census 2010 aims to count every person in America.

Q9: How will this affect the count of Asian Indians? Does it affect the “Asian Indian” category at all with the current computer coding versus with the new coding, if we successfully obtain a new code?
A9: Currently, since writing in Sikh automatically codes a Sikh as “Asian Indian,” the number of Asian Indians increases, though Sikhs
are not specially recognized in that increase. If we successfully obtain a new code, the numbers that would have increased the Asian
Indian numbers will be counted as Sikhs, rather than as Asian Indian.

Q10: How will the Sikh community be affected if we are counted separately versus not?
A10: Census data is used by many many parts of government for a variety of things from allocating resources, to drawing districts for
political representation, to determining what areas require special assistance, to name a few uses. Even local governments often use
Census data in making decisions that affect the local people. If we are counted separately, we will be able to lobby more effectively as
a community when we approach our congressman and senators, and we will have recognition as a separate people. Many Sikhs express
frustration that people in government and in the public do not know who we are. This is another step in creating the awareness that we
need to be a successful community in the United States.

Q11: How do we benefit at the state level to register a Sikh Complete Count Committee?
A11: Forming a Sikh Complete Count Committee is another way to display to the Census Bureau that we want to be counted as Sikhs,
that we are taking the Census seriously, and that we are willing to work with the government to be counted. We need your help with this campaign so that the Sikh community can be counted correctly.

Please feel free to email law-usa@unitedsikhs.org with any further questions or concerns.

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Identify yourself as “SIKH” in census 2010 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/identify-yourself-as-sikh-in-census-2010/ http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/03/identify-yourself-as-sikh-in-census-2010/#comments Fri, 05 Mar 2010 20:05:00 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=782 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 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-03-02-2010-00.html 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 www.sikhamericancensus.org to read more about the census.

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