|UNITED SIKHS May Newsletter|
|Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month|
|Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are the fastest growing racial group in our country, growing over 4 times as rapidly as the population of the United States. As one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse groups in America, the AAPI community reminds us that though we all have distinct backgrounds and origins, we are bound in common purpose by our shared hopes and dreams for ourselves and our children. Our Nation's story would be incomplete without the voices of countless Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders who have called the land we all love home. This month, we honored the irreplaceable roles they have played in our past, and we recommit to ensuring opportunities exist for generations of AAPIs to come.|
|Certificate of Recognition from Orange County|
|UNITED SIKHS volunteers in Santa Ana recently received a certificate of Recognition from Orange County for their compassionate and selfless service in the community.
US volunteers from the Buena Park Sangat have been serving food for homeless in Santa Ana, CA since May 2016.|
It began as monthly event, in which volunteers served nearly 200 people. However in just five months it grew to become a weekly event, in which as many as 200 people are served each Saturday at a repurposed homeless shelter. Occasionally the homeless shelter requests that UNITED SIKHS volunteers to serve meals on other days as needed. Langar is sponsored by the Buena Park Gurudwara Sangat and UNITED SIKHS.
|UNITED SIKHS in Peru, South America|
| Two months after powerful landslides demolished homes, dismantled towns and displaced many families in Peru, UNITED SIKHS is working to help residents rebuild. The disaster has impacted tens of thousands. Volunteers from UNITED SIKHS stepped up immediately to help provide families with everything from bottled water to hot meals, serving as many as 150 people a week. |
In northern coastal Peru, standing water has led to an increase in the number of cases of mosquito-borne illnesses such as Dengue and Zika. Dozens of people have died from Dengue, and more than 3150 have been affected. There has also been a rise in diarrheal diseases in flooded areas. The situation is very serious and hospitals have an increased need for mosquito nets.
|The suffering these people have endured is unfathomable, and needs immediate intervention. You can be the one who literally makes an indelible difference in the lives of those most vulnerable. If you'd like to help provide water, meals or other aid to the families of Peru please send donations online to www.unitedsikhs.org/donate and add "Peru" in the message. Click here to join our volunteer force. For questions about other ways to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Read more about this effort, click here.|
|#TakeAction for AAPIs.|
|As Asian Americans, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiians, our diversity needs to be represented correctly! In April we mobilized our members and supporters to advocate for a more inclusive society by telling the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that we support the collection and reporting of disaggregated data. |
One of the keys to meeting the needs of our communities is having disaggregated data that tells more complete stories about us. The latest standards from the federal government, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), were issued two decades ago. This is the first time in 20 years that there was an opportunity to have an impact on how data are collected for AAPIs.
|UNITED SIKHS in Australia|
|In Australia, the compassionate work of the UNITED SIKHS volunteer teams has been par excellence and second to none. Humanitarian aid teams are still on the ground, working alongside communities devastated by catastrophic, Cyclone Debbie which hit northeast Australia at the end of March.|
The disastrous category 4 storm was the most powerful storm to hit Australia since Cyclone Yasi in 2011. The wild weather has since wreaked havoc on local communities, leaving many without food, electricity, or access to fresh water.
Most of the houses were without power for more than a week, which left residents without cooking facilities. UNITED SIKHS volunteers traveled more than 750 kilometers to distribute meals. In addition to hot meals, water and toiletries were distributed to most of the people whose houses were damaged.
Click here to read more about this effort.
|Malaysia Good Will Walk|
|The 4th Annual Good Will Walk began on April 2nd. Marking a historical year for the event the future King and Queen of Malaysia participated in this walk from the Royal Palace of Arau to Gurdwara Sahib Kangar. This 4 hour, 10.8km walk was also graced by the top directors of the States of Perlis including the OCPD of Kanga. This walk was very special as walkers of all races and religions were able to go into Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh places of worship and learn more about each other's beliefs.
The Good Will Walk brand has grown over the years and has meta-morphed into a single event that traverses different denominations within a region.|
The Good Will Walk is an exciting event that many businesses and other NGOs want to be a part of due to its power to attract and include a huge and diverse range of people. In April the GWW officially launched its own app. You can register, donate and listen using this link. Please download and share.
|UNITED SIKHS at Greece Camp|
|In late April, UNITED SIKHS' Sun Kaur had the privilege of sharing Sikh values and practices with an interfaith community during a trip to the Oinofyta Refugee Camp in Greece. UNITED SIKHS is actively involved in the St Ethelburg's Sacred Activism program in London. As part of the program, participants from various faith groups came together to discuss spiritual practices and learned how to apply them to make changes in the world. |
"I must say this experience has truly made me understand and appreciate seva and how our Gurus have trained the Khalsa to be ever prepared and to constantly remain in positive spirits," Sun Kaur said of her experience.
As UNITED SIKHS continues to pray for all the residents of the refugee camp we ask that you do the same. Volunteers have played an important part in refugee support projects, however there is still a need. These residents are in need of a surge of integration, support and compassion in action with the Sikh spirit.
Donate and volunteer so we can continue to make an even greater impact and engage with those less fortunate and with those whose needs are most dire. Read the full report from Sun, here.
|Despite petitions and repeated asks, the Census Bureau does not count Sikhs as a distinct ethnic minority. We're working to change that! |
Many communities are able to receive data specific to their community after the Census is completed, data about Sikhs is not disaggregated separately so there is no way to obtain vital and accurate information about the community at large.
There are more than 400,000 Sikhs in the USA. After the tragic events of 9/11, the lack of awareness about Sikhs has proved dangerous for the community and Sikhs have since been targets of hate crimes, bullying, racial profiling, discrimination etc..
These hate crimes cannot be properly reported and categorized unless Sikhs are recognized as a separate ethnic group and counted by the Census because without an accurate number of the overall population, we cannot know what percentage of the community has been affected by hate crimes. Counting Sikhs separately will help the government document, prosecute, and prevent hate crimes.
UNITED SIKHS is organizing several events this summer in which Sikhs will be able to advocate for their rights to self - identify. The biggest is our upcoming Sikh Summit.
From July 10, 2017 to July 14, 2017 UNITED SIKHS will hold its 2017 annual SIKH SUMMIT. During the SUMMIT, Sikhs from around the country and the world will meet U.S. representatives in DC to address the concerns of the Sikh community including the increase in hate crimes against Sikhs and allowing Sikhs to self-identify in the 2020 Census.
In addition, during the SUMMIT, ten to twelve young adults, ages 17-32, will also be a part of the UNITED SIKHS 2017 ADVOCACY & HUMANITARIAN AID ACADEMY (AHAA). These young leaders will learn and obtain practical experience advocating on Sikh civil rights matters.
Stay tuned for more information on the Summit!
|Sikhs Stand in Solidarity with the City of Manchester|
UNITED SIKHS continues to stand in solidarity with those impacted by the terrorist attack in Manchester. The attack on May 22nd, claimed the lives of 22 people and injured more than 100 others during a concert in Manchester Arena.
Many Sikhs in the area acted as first responders; providing comfort and relief in any way they could. Some brought concertgoers to nearby Gurdwaras, where shelter, hot meals (langar) and other assistance was offered immediately after the attack. Others Sikhs offered free taxi rides after transport in the city was shut down.
Read more about the Sikh response to Manchester here.
UNITED SIKHS asks that all members of the Sikh community, supporters, and residents of the United Kingdom be prayerful and be vigilant -- but not afraid.
"UNITED SIKHS stands with Manchester as well as all other communities impacted by senseless acts of terror. This particular attack on the innocent and most vulnerable in our society is utterly deplorable. While the intention of these violent acts is to divide and sow fear, we will not allow those intentions to succeed. We will stand up to evil with an outpouring of compassion and humanity. Our prayers are with the victims and their families." - UNITED SIKHS
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