WASHINGTON DC- On October 12, the National Sikh Campaign organized an event on Capitol Hill to raise awareness about the Sikh faith. With the help of the Sikh Coalition, Muslim Advocates, and the Truman National Security Project, the Sikh organizations briefed members of the U.S. Congress on matters ranging from hate crimes to elevating knowledge about the Sikh faith. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) supported the event and sent video messages expressing their support. The event was centered around a panel discussion about the misconceptions that many people have about the Sikh faith and fear of “Muslim-looking” communities. The panel also discussed the dramatically rising hate crime rates against the American Sikh community since 9/11.
Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi is a U.S. Army Bronze Star Medal recipient and the first turbaned Sikh soldier in over 30 years. Major Kalsi spoke on the panel and spoke extensively about the progress that our country has made with race related issues but emphasized there is still more work to be done. Major Kalsi also emphasized that we as individuals need to be proactive in spreading knowledge about our community to the broader American public.