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Home - Empowerment & Education - Sikh Awareness Through Libraries (SATL)

Sikh Awareness Through Libraries (SATL)


What is SATL ?

Sikh Awareness Through Libraries (SATL) aims to improve the availability of information on Sikh culture, history and religion via multimedia resources - books, DVDs, CDs and microfilms. Under the SATL project, these resources will be made available in public and private libraries, including those in schools, universities and other educational institutions, throughout the world. The objective of the project is to reach out to various demographics through multiple media to provide global access to reliable and complete information on Sikhs.

What is your role?

  a) You may buy the books or resources from our recommended list and donate them to your favourite library. Please choose one book or resource under each of the 9 categories from the recommended list and email us your order with details of the purchase and the library of your choice.
  b) you may volunteer - Join UNITED SIKHS and read below on how you can volunteer.

Why is there a need?

September 11th, 2001 was a day of great tragedy for everyone, regardless of skin color, nationality, or religious beliefs. This was followed by the July 7th 2005 London bombings. Unfortunately, a select few felt that retaliating against innocent people would, in some way, provide them with the satisfaction of revenge for the tragic events that had occurred. The victims were one in grief, outrage and horror, but, because of their appearance, they also became a target for violence. Right after the events of September 11th, Arab Americans, Muslims Americans, Sikh Americans, and Asian-Pacific Americans, all became targets of backlash violence. The hate/bias crime/incidents have consisted of telephone, internet, mail, and face-to-face threats; minor assaults as well as assaults with dangerous weapons and assaults resulting in serious injury and death; vandalism, shooting, and bombings directed at homes, businesses, and places of worship. Post September 11 and 7/7, many innocent people have become the victims of misplaced anger and hate because of their appearances and beliefs. The governments and local communities have come together to support these victims and to prove that the perpetrators of such violence are in the minority. Sikhs, because of their resemblance to the perpetrators of the crimes of terror, have become victims of harassments, assaults and murder. Balbir Singh Sodhi, a local business man in Mesa, Arizona, a family man and an individual very admired by the local community, was shot and killed in front of his gas station by a man who, after killing him, shot and injured a Lebanese-American clerk at another gas station. When the man was arrested, he yelled, "I stand for America all the way!" Unfortunately, because of the ignorance of one person, the Mesa community mourns a great loss. In all UNITED SIKHS with other Sikh organizations have documented more than 650 cases within the United States of America that detail incidents of hate/bias crimes/incidents. In their daily lives, Sikh and other ethnic minorities have faced greater discrimination in the workplace schools and places of leisure. This has been mostly due to ignorance about their culture, religion and history. A lot depends on minority communities, like the Sikh community ,playing an active part with the mainstream population and this has resulted in the SATL project. There is a dire need for material on Sikhs to be placed in American libraries.

How will the SATL project help?

Multifaith initiatives at schools and the public and private sector have proved to be necessary and useful. However, these initiatives primarily deal with those engaged in multifaith work and do not reach the general public quickly enough.
UNITED SIKHS is confident that awareness about Sikhs will reach the general population faster through books and resources on Sikh culture, history and religion at libraries.

At present, books on Sikhs at libraries are scarce and often do not present accurate or complete information on Sikhs.

The situation is particulary critical in parts of the world with a small Sikh population. In these countries Sikhs struggle to be heard and lawmakers, administrators and employers have little material to rely on when dealing with the Sikh identity. The SATL project gives every Sikh an opportunity to create an awareness of the Sikh identity in the community in which he/she lives. All a Sikh has to do is to donate books or resources on Sikhs which are on our recommended list, to their local library, school, university or other education institution.

How you can Volunteer?

To make this a success, you can help us in the following ways :
    a) You, as an adult can join us on an Information Day on how you can assist in your region to place the literature related to Sikhs in the library nearest you
    b) As a student, you can team up and help to draw up lists of books and other media material and place them in a library at your school or college or a library closest to you
    c) As an organization, you can partner with us and deploy your volunteers to reach out to libraries An Information Day will be held for all volunteers, to make them familiar with the tasks at hand.

Please write to sikhlibrary@unitedsikhs.org or call 1-888-243-1690

SATL Targets :

The books will target the following populations -
  1. Mid-school level
  2. High school level
  3. College going students
  4. Researchers
  5. Multifaith practitioners
  6. Educators
  7. Government officials
  8. Private sector employers
  9. General public


The books and resources that will be made available to the participating libraries will cover the following topics:

        a) Sikh Religion and Theology
        b) Sikh History
        c) Issues affecting Sikhs in the Diaspora
        d) Sikh culture and heritage
        e) Human Rights issues faced by Sikhs
        f) Sikh Books for children
        g) Dictionaries and Encylopaedia for Sikh studies
        h) Writings on Sikh scriptural texts
        i) Fiction by Sikh writers

Recommendations and Participation - If you wish to recommend any titles or topics for books or resources, please click here . If you wish to participate in this project as a volunteer, please email sikhlibrary@unitedsikhs.org


SATL Partners :

 


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