Manmeet Singh, Mr.Gregory Davis,
and Surinder Singh
Jackson, Mississippi- Earlier this month, UNITED SIKHS' Attorneys Manmeet Singh and Anisha Singh successfully conducted a Sikh Cultural Sensitivities training for law enforcement officials from throughout the state in Jackson, Mississippi.
To view pictures from the training, please click here.
It was for the first time that such training was conducted in Mississippi by a Sikh organization in collaboration with the Department of Justice, Community Relations Service. The training received an overwhelming response illustrated by the packed room with over 50 law enforcement personnel present in addition to many local community members. This training came at the heels of a discriminatory incident last year in Pike County, MS, involving a Sikh truck driver, which was handled by the UNITED SIKHS legal team.
Key Mississippi officials present who spoke in support of this training, included:
Mr. Gregory Davis, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi (MS);
Mr. Jason Pack, FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Jackson, MS;
Ms. Onetta Whitley, Deputy Attorney General Mississippi Attorney General Office, Jackson, MS
Ms.Whitley said "There are a lot more commonalities than differences between us. When you confuse what you don't know with what you do know, that is dangerous and brings around ignorance. Respect and dignity for all people has to be a part of the job we do. No matter where you are and who you meet, citizens expect to be treated with respect. Mr.Pack from the FBI added, "Without working with Sikh community members, we can't do the work we do."
UNITED SIKHS' Attorneys conducted a presentation on Sikh Cultural Sensitivities and answered questions on Sikh practices, misconceptions, and Sikh interactions with law enforcement. Sikh articles of faith, such as the kirpan, were handed around the room to demonstrate its non-threatening nature. In addition, a Sikh turban was tied on one of the law enforcement personnel, giving the audience an opportunity to observe how the turban knot and turban are tied by Sikhs.
UNITED SIKHS would like to sincerely thank Mr. Walter Atkinson of the DOJ CRS in Mississippi for taking the lead in organizing this workshop, and Mr. Harpreet Singh Mokha , DOJ CRS Regional Director in Philadelphia for all his guidance and support. We would also like to thank the local Jackson Sikh community, especially Mr. Surinder Singh and Mr. Balbir Singh for their assistance in hosting this event in their hometown.
Would you like for a similar training to be conducted in your city or state? UNITED SIKHS is dedicated to educating the public about Sikhism and assuring preventative measures are taken to avoid discrimination and ignorance.
Help us educate your local law enforcement by sponsoring a training. Please click here so we may continue to teach our law enforcement about Sikhism, one city at a time.
Staff Attorney, International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)