Our International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA) team continues to serve the global Sikh community without borders, challenging the civil and human rights violations perpetrated against Sikhs worldwide.
See how your support has helped us grow in 2014 and please make your year-end tax-deductible donation today.
|Belgian Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Turban in Two Schools: On October 14, 2014, in two separate landmark decisions, Belgian Conseil d'Etat, the Highest Administrative Court held that GO schools have the obligation to organize their education without harming the respect for diversity and plurality. This decision is a result of an eight-year long legal battle. As a result of this decision,Sharanjit Singh, a 13-year-old will now be able to wear Patka while attending his school. Click here to read more.|
|UNITED SIKHS,along with Sangat TV launched “Unheard Voices”: A three-part Documentary series on the Sikhs’ thirty-year long wait for truth and justice. The documentary gives a voice to the unheard,suppressed, and ignored truths about the June 1984 attack by the Indian Army on the Sikh place of worship, Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar, Panjab, India. Click here to watch the first episode of the series.|
|UNITED SIKHS advocates for Sikhs in Peshawar, Pakistan: For several months, Peshawar Sikh families have sought UNITED SIKHS' help following a campaign of terror, epitomized by the brutal killing of teenager Jagmohan Singh, when a gunman shot at Sikhs in a market area on 6th August 2014. UNITED SIKHS Policy Advocate Anisha Singh and Sikh community members met Pakistan Ambassador Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani to discuss the dire state for Peshawar Sikhs. U.S. Department of State,the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, and others have also been informed.Click here to read more about the incident and our efforts.|
|Lawsuit filed against US Army for baring Sikh student from ROTC due to beard,unshorn hair, and turban: On November 2014, UNITED SIKHS and The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army for refusing to allow Iknoor Singh, a Sikh student at Hofstra University, to enlist in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program unless he shaves his beard, removes his turban, and cuts his hair in accordance with Army grooming and uniform regulations. Click here to read more.|
|Sikh Turban Removal Case in Correctional Facility, NY:UNITED SIKHS advocated for the religious freedom of an elderly Sikh gentleman.Since February 2012, Mr. Gurbhej Singh Sandhu was made to remove his turban on every occasion he went to meet his son, an inmate at Rikers Island. Our efforts led U.S. Attorney’s office and Civil Rights unit to get involved and work for the just resolution of the case. The details of the incident and our efforts can be read here|
|Petition for Kirpan accommodation requested in California Court: On April 29,2014, Mr. Gursant Singh, a California resident, was denied his right to serve on jury duty at the Sutter County Superior Court, due to his religious articles of faith. UNITED SIKHS advocated for a religious accommodation in order to accommodate for jury duty, regardless of race or religion. Sign the petition.|
|Survey conducted for victims of hate crime, bullying, profiling or racial discrimination: UNITED SIKHS conducted a survey to gauge how many Sikhs in our community are actually reporting their victimization. Did you take the survey? If not, click here.|
|Correctional Facility Accommodates Turban for Sikh Father: In 2013, the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania refused to allow an elderly Sikh gentleman to visit his son without completely removing and unraveling his turban. UNITED SIKHS legal team took immediate action and sent demand letters to local authorities and Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Now the security guards no longer ask the father to remove his turban while visiting his son in the facility. Read here for more.|
|First Ever “Sikh Cultural Awareness” Training conducted in Mississippi: 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. It was the first time 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 packed room with 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.To read more, click here.|
|800 Raleigh, North Carolina police department agents complete another first ever Sikh Cultural Awareness Training: Approximately 800 Raleigh law enforcement agents, including detectives and uniformed and community police officers, attended training sessions organized by UNITED SIKHS, The Sikh Gurudwara of North Carolina (SGNC), U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker, and Raleigh Police Chief. For the past year and a half, representatives from UNITED SIKHS and SGNC have been working closely with U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker who facilitated discussions with Raleigh Police Chief, Cassandra Deck-Brown. Read more here|
|Sikh Awareness Program created for 70,000 First Responders in New Jersey: UNITED SIKHS collaborated with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness to create a Sikh Cultural Sensitivities Training program. This program available online at NJLearn, is the internet training system for all New Jersey first responders. Its goal is to educate first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel on the Sikh community, its articles of faith,history and culture. Read more.|
|13 Years since 9/11 and still fighting against misconceptions and racism: Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center, a shooting range and gun shop in Raleigh, North Carolina, prominently displayed a poster with the title "Are you prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse?" UNITED SIKHS through its advocacy successfully created awareness among the range and had the poster removed from the institution. Read more.|
|Justice for NYC Sikh businessman and Limousine driver: While Mr Juginder Singh was sitting in his vehicle, a group of individuals exited Madison Square Garden, approached him, and without warning started calling him racial slurs. UNITED SIKHS provided him legal representation and worked with NYPD hate crime task force to accurately report the matter. Read more.|
|Hundreds of Youth Anti- Bullying Campaign Workshops (ABC) took place in Washington DC, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey: With hundreds of participants, the workshops focused on exploring post-9/11 xenophobia and hate crime increases, bias- based bullying among youth, and tools to advocate for change and address misconceptions. This was an opportunity for both parents and children to understand bullying and discuss mechanisms that families could use to cope with them. Read personal stories of our participants.|
|5th Global Sikh Civil and Human Rights Report released: UNITED SIKHS' Global Report was released on May 21, 2014 in Washington, D.C. to United States elected officials, agency representatives, and the Sikh community. The report highlights the rising number of incidents of hate, violence, and bias against Sikhs worldwide, and outlines the continuing acts of hate and prejudice against Sikhs in the United States. To read more, please click here.|
|UNITED SIKHS' 6th Annual Sikh Summit took place in Washington DC from July 28- 30, 2014 and gave UNITED SIKHS academy students and community members an opportunity to hold meaningful dialogue and promote solutions about important civil and human rights issues.|
|Petition against The Drug Free Commercial Driver Act: This bill is detrimental to Sikh community as it allows employers to force a Sikh operator to provide a hair sample, thereby preventing Sikhs from seeking employment as operators due to their inability to cut their hair for any purpose. Once again, Sikhs would have to choose between employment, and their faith. See the petition we had you sign to your elected officials requesting them not to proceed with it due to the detrimental effect it would have on the Sikh community.|
|Petition to Take Action against the Department Of Justice’s revision to the federal racial profiling guidance: The Guidance contains loopholes allowing the TSA and CBP to continue to profile our communities behind a veil of national security investigations. As a result, UNITED SIKHS advocates have started a petition on the to tell the White House and your congressional representatives that it is time to ban profiling in United States. Did you sign the petition?|
|Sikh children not allowed to ride Go-Karts - Four Sikhs of a family, which included three brothers aged 11, 15 and 16,and their 28 year old cousin were given an ultimatum by employees of a local amusement park to either remove their patkas, or not ride the go-karts. In April 2014, UNITED SIKHS and CAIR jointly filed a complaint against the amusement park Boomers! UNITED SIKHS are currently still actively pursuing this matter. Read more here|
|Advocacy and Humanitarian Aid Academy (AHAA): AAHA was held from July 22-25, 2014 in Washington D.C. It was a successful, extensive, four-day training program which included discussions from panels, interactive workshops, tours of federal buildings, lectures, and skill-building exercises. Click here to meet our newest members.|
Thank you for helping us make all this happen in 2014. We humbly urge you to make a year-end tax exempt contribution of your dasvand now & show your support so we continue our efforts for the Sikh community in 2015.
Director,International Legal Attorney.
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)