Know Your Rights Forum
The Sikh American community continues to face serious challenges in the post 9-11 era. Sikh Americans are disproportionately affected by hate crimes, racial profiling, employment discrimination, and school bullying, among other issues. With a view towards empowering the community and building relations with local, state and federal agencies, SALDEF organized the first Know Your Rights Forum in 2002. Since then, we have organized forums in over 15 cities across the country and educated countless Sikh Americans about their rights.
The purpose of SALDEF’s Know Your Rights forums is to (1) educate community members about their rights related to bias or harassment in the workplace, schools, and with law enforcement (2) introduce community members to agencies and groups that can address complaints, incidents, or issues.
Recently, we have expanded the scope of the forums by encouraging speakers to highlight job opportunities at their respective agencies and departments. Agency representatives may bring recruiters or recruiting materials to the event to directly network with the Sikh American community and discuss career opportunities at their agencies.
Each event is tailored to the needs of the local Sikh American community. Forums typically comprise of a brief presentation (10-15 minutes) by each agency representative, followed by a question and answer session. Event details are coordinated by SALDEF staff in conjunction with the invited agencies and the local Sikh Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship and community center).
Representatives from the following agencies have successfully participated in past Know Your Rights forums:
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Department of Justice
- Local Law Enforcement Officials
- U.S. Attorney’s Office
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Department of Education
- Governors Advisory Commission
Past forums have taken place in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
For more information or to contact SALDEF regarding participating in a Know Your Rights forum, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-393-2700.