December 2, 2016 (Fremont, CA) – Since 2012, the Sikh Coalition has led efforts in California to recognize and commemorate the month of November as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. In collaboration with community members, we reached over 4.5 million Californians through our Sikh awareness presentations, proclamations and media outreach.
Throughout the month, the Sikh Coalition worked with public officials, local governments, educators, hundreds of community members, and media outlets, to foster Sikh awareness and education. Sikh Awareness and Appreciation resolutions were passed in Bakersfield, Fremont, Fresno, Lathrop, San Jose, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Yuba City.
“I was honored to present the Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month proclamation in the city of San Jose for the fifth year in a row. I commend the work of the Sikh Coalition for affirming the religious freedoms and protections, not just for Sikhs, but for all Americans,” said the first South Asian California Assembly member, Ash Kalra.
School districts across the state also passed resolutions including Alameda Unified School District, Elk Grove Unified School District, Fresno County Board of Education, Los Angeles Board of Education, Natomas Unified School District and Woodland Unified School District. The Sikh Coalition also helped organize Sikh awareness and bullying prevention presentations to hundreds of Californians, including educators and administrators in the Santa Clara Unified School District.
“After attending the Sikh awareness and bullying prevention seminar presented by the Sikh Coalition in Santa Clara, I am more informed about how I can help ensure students’ safety as I go about my job on campus,” said Frank Zuniga, custodian at New Valley High School for Santa Clara Unified School District. “The presentation was very informative and helped me understand more about Sikh customs and heritage.”
For the third year in a row, the Sikh Coalition also partnered with the Los Angeles Clippers to host a “Sikh Awareness and Appreciation” game that reached 19,000 inside the stadium and thousands more who watched on television. Watch video of Raaginder “Violinder” Singh playing the national anthem.
“After helping to protect Sikh history in California in July, the Sikh Coalition secured safe passage of AB-2845, a groundbreaking new anti-bullying law in California in September,” said Sikh Coalition Community Development Manager, Harjit Kaur. “It has been an honor to amplify these victories with community members across the state and foster Sikh awareness during this period of hateful rhetoric and rising hate violence, bullying and discrimination.”
The Sikh Coalition looks forward to continuing Sikh awareness and education in California and across the nation in 2017.