November Advocate: SALDEF Responds to India Abroad CommentaryNovember 18th, 2011
SALDEF Responds to India Abroad Letter to the Editor
On October 14, 2011 India Abroad published a highly offensive commentary in the Letter to the Editor section of the paper. The author of a piece called “Beyond Bias” stated that “Sikhs living in western countries who are not baptized would do well to consider discarding the[ir]uncut hair and turbans so that they will not look like Osama and so suffer.” Read the full article here.
SALDEF immediately contacted India Abroad to question the editor’s discretion in publishing the comments. Additionally, SALDEF responded to the comments in the November 11 edition of the publication. Click here to read the full letter.
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Bullying Summit
On October 29, 2011, SALDEF attended the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Bullying Summit in New York City. Newly released statistics indicate that Asian Americans reported the highest rate of bullying in classrooms, nearly 20% higher than any other racial or ethnic group, further stressing the importance of this issue within the Sikh American community. Senior members for the Obama administration, public health professionals, community advocates, students and parents attended the summit and discussed the effects of bullying, needed response, and prevention.
Share Your Stories – Racial Profiling and School Bullying
Have you or someone you know ever been a victim of school bullying or racial profiling? If so, please share your story with us. SALDEF is currently advocating for both the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA). If passed, ERPA will better protect the community from racial profiling and SSIA will help ensure Sikh American children are protected from bullying in Schools. It is important to express to lawmakers how important these issues are to the Sikh American Community and we need your help.
Newly Released FBI Hate Crimes Statistics
The FBI recently released their annual Hate Crimes Statistics for 2010. The publication details reported hate crimes by states, cities, towns, and colleges and universities. Of note, the statistics illustrate a jump in crimes motivated by anti-Islamic bias. This of course, affects Sikh Americans because of misconceptions about our identity. Currently, the FBI does not collect data on the number of Anti-Sikh hate-crimes. SALDEF is actively working with the FBI to create a separate category which accurately reflects crimes committed against Sikh Americans. You can access the complete report of the FBI’s annual Hate Crimes Statistics for 2010 here.
Scholarship for Northern California Students –Deadline Approaching
The Indus Valley American Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the second year of the IVACC Scholarship Program. Scholarships are being awarded to college students who are residents of Northern California and who have shown a commitment to the South Asian community and culture. The IVACC Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications with a deadline of November 22, 2011. SALDEF encourages all interested members to apply today. For more information, click here.
As part of the SikhLEAD youth development initiative, SALDEF has partnered with congressional offices to offer Sikh American students internships on Capitol Hill. Applications will be available by mid December and close in mid February for Summer 2012 internship in Washington, DC. To learn more about the internship program visit www.sikhlead.org and subscribe to the SikhLEAD mailing list.Know Your Rights Forums to be
Hosted Throughout California
As a part of SALDEF’s ongoing efforts to empower the community and strengthen partnerships with government, we are pleased to announce a series of Know Your Rights (KYR) Forums for the Sikh American communities of Northern and Southern California in the months of December and January. For additional information, or if you would like to organize a Know Your Rights Forum for your local community, please contact Birpal Kaur via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.