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Creating Safe and Inclusive Schools

A project of Sikh Coalition
Ava_Master_headshot-360x0-c-default.jpg Anisha Singh
New York, New York, US
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As students across the country get ready to head back to school, after an especially challenging year, the Sikh Coalition is here to support you and ensure that we are all creating safe and inclusive classrooms. Over the past 20 years the Sikh Coalition has worked tirelessly to promote Sikh awareness and prevent bullying with the goal of building resilience and pride among Sikh American youth.

As you prepare your back to school checklist, here is how you can help us continue and grow this work.

Investing in this work! Your donation allows us to increase capacity in support of this work including: 

State standards: The Sikh Coalition has worked tirelessly with sangat members and school officials to create precedent for the inclusion of Sikhi in 14 states. However we are now facing a growing resistance against increasing diversity and inclusion in the state’s classrooms. It will now take more effort and mobilization to have successful change. In order for us to continue filling in the map, we need to grow the budget and allocate resources to the policy elements by tracking various proposed legislative proposals and building relationships with like-minded local allies and organizations. 

Develop content: We have created quality resources to make it easier for educators to accurately teach Sikhi. With additional investment we can create more lesson plans for teachers, create videos, partner with more authors on not only lesson plans but the book development stage.   

Implementing at the classroom level: To ensure the state level policy changes trickle down to the classroom, we need to build relationships with educators. That includes conducting teacher trainings/workshops; attending and presenting at social studies conferences and mapping school districts to better identify contacts for engagement. Additional resources would allow us to map more school districts, lead more trainings and attend more conferences. 


Share resources with educators! The Sikh Coalition has worked to compile and create a library of resources pertaining to Sikhism and Sikh children for both educators and parents. However in order to have a significant impact we need you to ensure these resources are in the right hands at the district and school level! We encourage you to review and share the resources below with your educators. 

 

 

  • 02/05/2024

    FATEH! New Social Studies Standards in Minnesota w

    February 5, 2024 (Saint Paul, MN) — Late last week, the state of Minnesota approved new social studies standards, which will include Sikhi for the first time ever. This victory will give more than 800,000 students in Minnesota’s public schools the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community.

    This is another significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s multi-year campaign to raise awareness for generations to come by ensuring access to accurate information on Sikhi for every public school student across the nation.

    “These new standards will ensure that Sikh students see their community and history reflected in their classrooms,” said Randeep Singh Arora (Ricky), Secretary of the Sikh Society of Minnesota Gurdwara Sahib, of Bloomington, MN. “Inclusion in standards is necessary to prepare Minnesota’s students for interactions in both the classroom and the real world.”

    This significant victory resulted from almost four years of advocacy work by the Sikh Coalition and the Minnesota sangat. The work includes: 

    February 2020: Initiated dialogue with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). 
    February 2020: Facilitated a letter to the MDE from the Sikh Society of Minnesota. 
    December 2020: Submitted a follow-up letter to the first draft of the proposed MN standards and facilitated roughly 35 virtual testimonies submitted by sangat during a 3 week period.
    January 2021: Provided an advocacy platform for over 200 emails sent to the MDE by MN sangat.
    June 2021: Placed an Op-Ed with Ricky ji in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. 
    August 2021: Collaborated with allies from the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities to draft and publish an Op-Ed in the Minnesota Star Tribune. 
    September 2021: Facilitated an interfaith leader sign-on with over 150 signatories that was submitted to the MDE, in coordination with the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCCRC) and the Islamic Resource Group (IRG).
    September 2021: Compiled an interfaith video of student voices for the MDE along with our partners at the JCCRC and the IRG.
    December 2021: Facilitated roughly 140 public comments sent to the MDE with sangat.
    December 2021: Joined the JCCRC and the IRG to coordinate an interfaith leader sign-on with 100 signatories.
    December 2021: Submitted a letter to the Minnesota Administrative Law Judge, advocating for Sikhi’s inclusion. 
    December 2021: Placed a final Op-Ed in Star Tribune with Rev. Tom Duke, advocating for Sikhi’s inclusion. 
    “After almost four years of engagement with the Minnesota sangat, the Department of Education, and interfaith allies, we are thrilled about not only Sikhi’s inclusion but also the experiences of various religious communities,” added Upneet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Manager. “Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying, and they benefit all students by increasing baseline cultural competency and decreasing ignorance.” 

    Local adoption and implementation of the more inclusive standards will begin in the 2026-2027 school year. The Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the MDE during this process. 

    Minnesota is now the 19th in a growing list of states that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school social studies standards. These efforts mean that more than 26 million students from coast to coast have the possibility of a more inclusive and holistic education. We look forward to adding even more states to this list in the months and years ahead through continued advocacy alongside sangats.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 11/17/2023

    Update on the Sikh Student Survey

    Dear Supporter Ji,

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

    This is Rucha Kaur, writing from the Sikh Coalition. I hope this message finds you, your family, and your sangat well.

    Earlier this year, you heard from me—and many of my colleagues here at the Sikh Coalition—as we pursued what we believe is the largest effort to survey Sikh American students about their experiences in schools. From the beginning of February to the end of March this year, we worked with sevadaars, Khalsa schools, and partners across the nation to reach the youth in our sangats and ask them about their experiences with bullying, classroom inclusivity, instruction, and more. 

    The effort was a resounding success: Working with more than 100 volunteers, we received responses from roughly 2,000 students from more than 60 gurdwaras in 21 different states. The second phase of this ambitious project is now well underway, but we must humbly ask for your dasvandh to see it through.

    Our academic research partners in California are analyzing the data collected in those 2,000 surveys, and I, along with other team members, have begun working on the report that we intend to release next year detailing our findings. But just publishing the data isn’t going to be enough to help set our students up for success. In the next year, we look forward to:

    Taking our survey findings to gurdwaras across the nation for new and improved workshops on bullying and parental engagement;
    Producing new classroom resources that will help teachers and administrators increase inclusion and decrease bullying in classrooms;
    Meeting with officials at all levels of government armed with data that can drive better and smarter educational policies; and
    Using our findings to keep adding to the list—18 states plus Washington, DC—that include Sikhi in their state social studies standards.
    The sangat was instrumental in getting this Sikh Student Survey off the ground; we could not have done it without your support. Now, as we prepare for all of this work between now and our launch next year, we hope we can count on your investment to make the most of the data we’ve collected—for schools, teachers, policymakers, and most importantly students. 

    Together, we will continue to ensure the youth of our community feel safe and seen in their classrooms.

    Chardi Kala,

    Rucha Kaur
    Community Development Director
    The Sikh Coalition

  • 10/19/2023

    Sikh Coalition Joins Interfaith Education Panel

    October 20, 2023 (Washington, DC) — Earlier this week, the Sikh Coalition was proud to join a panel discussion titled Banned Beliefs: How People of Diverse Faiths are Fighting to Protect Our Public Schools and Libraries. 

    The event, hosted by Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) on Wednesday, October 18, focused on interfaith approaches to preserving academic freedom and inclusivity in our nation’s public school classrooms and libraries. The Sikh Coalition joined allies including the American Library Association, Students Engaged in Advancing Texas, and the Interfaith Alliance for the conversation.

    In the course of the conversation, panelists discussed how our communities can fight back against efforts to ban books that are inclusive of different communities, as well as the wider nationwide campaign to constrain public schools and libraries in service of extreme political and religious views. The Sikh Coalition understands these issues to be closely linked to highly politicized conversations about “Critical Race Theory” in our nation’s recent political dialogue; to understand how fear-mongering around inclusive education harms our efforts to ensure Sikhi is represented and respected in classrooms, read our community FAQ on this issue. 

    We continue to believe that all children deserve to feel safe and included in school, which means seeing themselves and their experiences reflected in both instruction and reading materials. As Sikhs, we know what it is like to have inaccurate information about our community taught in schools, and to be left out of classroom conversations entirely—which is why we choose to fight alongside other communities against this latest wave of marginalization.

    The Sikh Coalition continues our comprehensive work to ensure Sikh representation and inclusion in educational materials and classrooms across the nation so that our children feel both safe and seen by the education system. Earlier this month, we celebrated as Connecticut joined 17 other states and Washington, DC, in adding Sikhi to their state social studies standards as a result of advocacy by our organization and the local sangat. And in September, the Sikh Coalition was also proud to launch our new Education Advisory Committee, welcoming six Sikh educators, DEI experts, community activists, and parents who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to our ongoing campaigns. 

    Finally, as a reminder, our ‘Back to School Toolkit’ includes a wide range of content—including our Educator’s Guide to Sikhism; lesson plans and classroom content for both elementary and middle/high school-aged students; anti-bullying content for parents and administrators; content for librarians; accommodation letters (scroll down after clicking link) for students who maintain articles of faith; and more—all available for free on our website.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 10/05/2023

    Fateh! New Social Studies Standards in Connecticut

    October 5, 2023  (Hartford, CT) – Yesterday, the Connecticut State Board of Education voted in favor of new social studies standards, which will include Sikhism for the first time ever. These new standards will give approximately 514,000 students in Connecticut the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community.

    “These new standards will provide students the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community at all three levels of their education,” said Norwich City Councilman and sangat member Swaranjit Singh of Norwich, CT. “Classroom instruction about Sikh history and contributions from an early age are critical in creating a safe environment for our students.”

    This update to Connecticut’s social studies standards is a result of a year of advocacy. Since September 2022, the Sikh Coalition and the Sikh community in Connecticut have worked together in order to achieve this outcome, and the Sikh Coalition served as an expert reviewer throughout the review process. The following is a summary of our work together:

    September 2022: We delivered correspondence to the Connecticut State Department of Education (DOE) on behalf of the Sikh Coalition to advocate for inclusion;
    December 2022: We met with the Connecticut Board of Education’s Social Studies Consultant to discuss the viability of inclusion of Sikhism in the final state standards draft;
    April 2023: We facilitated a sign-on letter with the Sikh Art Gallery to the Connecticut DOE;
    May 2023: Sikh Coalition staff recorded a social studies conneCTion podcast in collaboration with the Connecticut DOE on the importance of including Sikhism in state standards; and
    September 2023: The Sikh Coalition presented about inclusive education at the University of Connecticut’s Sikh Studies Week.
    Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying. They benefit all students by increasing baseline cultural competency and decreasing ignorance.

    Local adoption and implementation of the new standards will begin in the coming years. The Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the Connecticut DOE during this process. Additionally, the Sikh Coalition continues to collaborate with the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut and the CT DOE to collaboratively build a new set of resources, lessons, and professional development. These pathways create confidence and competence in teaching the global, national, and local dimensions of Asian American and Pacific Islander history, culture, and politics.

    Connecticut is now 18th in a growing list of states that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school social studies standards. In June 2023, Washington, D.C. became the most recent region to ensure similar inclusion of Sikhism in their standards. These efforts mean that more than 25 million students from coast to coast have the possibility of a more inclusive and holistic education. We look forward to adding even more states to this list in the months and years ahead through continued advocacy alongside sangats.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 09/19/2023

    SC Announces Education Advisory Committee

    September 13, 20223 (Nationwide) — As students across the country are beginning the new school year, the Sikh Coalition is pleased to both announce the launch of our new Education Advisory Committee (EAC) and re-share our library of more than 50 free educational resources for students, parents, and educators.

    The EAC is a newly formed group of Sikh educators, DEI experts, community activists and parents who bring a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of education to the Sikh Coalition. Its inaugural membership includes:

    Amrit Kaur, an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland and the founder of the Sikh Parent Association;
    Sonia Kaur, a freelance digital marketer and content creator on Instagram under the name @ThatPunjabiMom;
    Deepjyot Sidhu, a career educator currently serving as Director of Professional Learning at Global Online Academy;
    Hamdeep Singh, the Co-Chair for the Brentwood High School South Asian Family Association and former founding board member of TeachAAPI;
    Jaspreet Singh, a Secondary Social Studies Teacher for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland; and
    Rubin Paul Singh, a nonprofit technology strategist who leads classes and facilitates workshops on gurmat, history, and human rights at khalsa schools, camps, retreats, and universities throughout the United States. 
    “Speaking on behalf of my fellow EAC members, we are excited to be more deeply involved in the Sikh Coalition’s wide portfolio of education work,” said Deepjyot Sidhu, an EAC member. “While many efforts to counter hate and discrimination are reactive in nature, we will only address the roots of this problem in our society through sustained, comprehensive, and proactive engagement with students, parents, teachers, and administrators.”

    You can learn more about the EAC, and the Sikh Coalition’s broader education work, via an Instagram Live conversation between Education Manager Upneet Kaur and EAC member Jaspreet Singh. Join us for that conversation on Instagram (@sikhcoalition) at 7 PM ET today.

    The EAC will be instrumental in the continued development of the Sikh Coalition’s free resources for students, parents, and teachers. As a reminder, our ‘Back to School Toolkit’ includes a wide range of content, including our Educator’s Guide to Sikhism; lesson plans and classroom content for both elementary and middle/high school-aged students; anti-bullying content for parents and administrators; content for librarians; accommodation letters (scroll down after clicking link) for students who maintain articles of faith; and more. All of this material can be accessed for free on our website. Read the NBC News feature on our more than 10 years of work on state social studies standards across the nation here. if you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected]

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 06/23/2023

    New Social Studies Standards in Washington, D.C.

    June 23, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) – On Wednesday, June 21, the District of Columbia State Board of Education voted in favor of new social studies standards, which will include Sikhism.

    These new standards will give approximately 49,800 students in Washington, D.C. the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community. This is a significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness for generations to come. Our work aims to ensure access to accurate information on Sikhism for every public school student across the nation.

    “These new standards will provide students in our nation’s capitol with an opportunity to learn about Sikhi and the experiences of Sikh Americans in their classrooms,” said sangat member Daljit Singh Sawhney of Washington, D.C.. “Inclusive standards are integral to ensuring that Sikhs are seen and heard.”

    This update to Washington D.C.’s social studies standards is a result of months of advocacy. Since January 2023, the Sikh Coalition and the Sikh community in Washington D.C. have worked together in order to achieve this outcome; including:

    January 2023: We delivered correspondence to the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) on behalf of the Sikh Coalition to advocate for inclusion;
    January 2023: We facilitated a sign-on letter with Sikh Gurdwara, D.C. to the OSSE;
    March 2023: We facilitated emails sent from community members to the D.C. OSSE;
    March 2023: The D.C. OSSE released a new draft that included Sikhism in its standards;
    April 2023: We delivered correspondence to the D.C. OSSE to provide feedback on standards and to ensure continued inclusion.
    “We are thrilled that the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education has chosen to ensure that the Sikh community is represented and included in their standards,” said Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying, and they benefit all students by increasing baseline cultural competency and decreasing ignorance.”

    Local adoption and implementation of the new standards will begin in the 2024-2025 school year. The Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education during this process.

    Washington D.C. joins 17 states in a growing list of states that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school social studies standards. These efforts mean that more than 25 million students from coast to coast have the opportunity to experience a more inclusive and holistic education. We look forward to adding even more states to this list in the months and years ahead through continued advocacy alongside sangats.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 05/25/2023

    Fighting for Inclusive Education Alongside Allies

    May 25, 2023 (Albany, NY) – This past Monday, as part of the R.E.A.C.H. (Representing and Empowering AANHPI Community History) Coalition, the Sikh Coalition was honored to join organizations and advocates for the first-ever Advocacy Day at the New York State Capitol in Albany, NY. Organizations, community advocates, and sangat members came together in celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and also in support of Senate Bill 5963/ Assembly Bill A06579, a measure that would require public K-12 schools in New York state to include material in their curricula that reflects AANHPI history.

    New York sangat members recruited by the Sikh Coalition joined us and other organizations for a press conference and rally with Senator John Liu and Assemblymember Grace Lee (the sponsors of S5963 and A06579) and many others, where Harman Singh, the Sikh Coalition Education Director, spoke about how the Sikh Coalition and the nationwide sangat have consistently been at the forefront of the fight for inclusive education.

    “While AANHPI Month comes only once per year, our advocacy and willingness to fight for our community’s inclusion in the education system must be a sustained effort,” said Harman. “We joined the R.E.A.C.H. Coalition from its inception in January 2023 to support inclusive AANHPI measures, and it is exciting to see how the Coalition continues to grow and inspire through Advocacy Day and beyond.”

    Following the press conference, volunteers and advocates from a range of communities and organizations joined a celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month followed by meetings with elected officials in the NY legislature to urge support for S5963 and A06579. More than 15 sangat members were among the 40 attendees via the R.E.A.C.H. Coalition, which itself includes more than 170 students, parents, educators, and advocates, as well as more than 60 community-based allied organizations.

    This past April, the Sikh Coalition was at the New York Sikh Day Parade where we were joined by volunteers and partner organizations to urge sangat members to submit a letter to their elected officials in the NY legislature in support of S5963 and A06579; we also recently placed an op-ed arguing for the same by sangat member Asees Anand in the Albany Times Union. Additionally, 20 NY based gurdwaras signed on in support of this legislation and many more have emailed their elected representatives. All of our work in NY, however, is an extension of our efforts to include accurate information about Sikhs in public school standards and classrooms nationwide. In April, Virginia became the 17th in a growing list of states to work with the Sikh Coalition to successfully advocate for Sikh inclusion in its social studies standards. Our efforts mean that more than 25 million students from coast to coast have the possibility of a more inclusive and holistic education.

    The Sikh Coalition thanks the sevadaars who joined us for Advocacy Day in Albany. We are also grateful to our R.E.A.C.H. Coalition partners—particularly co-leads Brianna Cea, President of OCA-NY, and Kulsoom Tapal, Education Policy Coordinator for CACF—for making this event possible. And lastly, we express our appreciation to not just Senator Liu and Assemblymember Lee for their leadership on this issue, but also to all of the elected officials who joined these events and took time to hear the concerns of their constituents.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 05/10/2023

    New Lesson Plan About Sikh American History

    (May 10, 2023 – Madison, Wisconsin) The Sikh Coalition is proud to announce the rollout of a new lesson plan about Sikh American history, just in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

    The lesson plan, developed in collaboration with Tejpaul Singh Bainiwal of the Sikh American History Project, explores the history and experiences of Sikhs in the United States. Through media and historical archives, students will study how the community has been impacted by anti-Sikh hate incidents from the early 1900s, to the 2012 Oak Creek Wisconsin shooting, to the present day. More importantly, students will analyze how the Sikh community responded to these incidents.

    “Sikh American history has been marginalized for far too long resulting in a lack of understanding about Sikhs and their experiences in the United States. This lesson plan helps to strengthen the foundation and build a stronger understanding about the history of Sikhs in the United States,” said Tejpaul Singh Bainiwal, Doctoral Candidate at UC Riverside.

    This lesson plan builds on the Sikh Coalition’s ongoing work to ensure educators understand and are better able to support Sikh students. In the past year, we have presented and facilitated additional speakers at the Wisconsin Council for Social Studies’ annual conference, helped to host an open house event showcasing a new Sikh Book Collection at the Oak Creek library, and facilitated virtual Sikh Heritage Study Circles for Wisconsin educators with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. All of this work compliments our nationwide advocacy to ensure Sikh inclusion in the social studies standards of every state, our recent push to collect more than 2,200 surveys cataloging the experiences of Sikh students, and our other efforts to help Sikh children feel safe and included in their classrooms.

    “We are grateful to have the support of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the opportunity to work closely with the Wisconsin Sikh community.” said Harman Singh. “Introducing Sikhism through public education is a first step to creating inclusive classrooms that ultimately reduce hate.”

    On May 22nd, we will present to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction staff about our new lesson plan, as well as how to effectively teach about Sikhism in the classroom. We will continue to engage with Wisconsin community members and elected officials to ensure Sikh history and faith are taught and celebrated. For more information on how to provide this lesson plan to your local district or educator, please contact [email protected].

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 04/21/2023

    New Social Studies Standards in Virginia

    April 21, 2023 (Richmond, Virginia)–Yesterday, the Virginia State Board of Education voted in favor of new History and Social Science Standards of Learning, which for the first time ever includes Sikhism. The new standards will give more than a million students in Virginia the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community. 

    “These new standards will ensure that my child will feel seen and heard in their learning environment,” said sangat member Jasmeet Singh of Glen Allen, VA. “This is an important first step in ensuring all children from our community feel safe as teachers and students alike learn about Sikhi.”

    This update to Virginia’s social studies standards is a result of years of advocacy. Since March 2021, the Sikh Coalition and Virginia Sikh community have worked together in order to achieve this outcome; the following is a summary of our work together.

     

    March 2021: We prepared five Sikh community members to deliver public testimony to the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE);
    September 2022: We facilitated more than 500 emails sent from Sikh community members to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) by tabling at Virginia gurdwaras and meeting with Virginia Sikh Student Associations;
    September 2022: We facilitated a sign-on letter with seven Virginia gurdwaras to to the VDOE;
    September 2022: We led a sign-on letter with nine Virginia-based organizations to advocate for inclusive standards;
    November 2022: We led a sign-on letter with more than 20 Virginia-based organizations to provide feedback on the Standards of Learning Draft. This letter was cited in media coverage, including the Virginia Mercury;
    November 2022: We placed an Op-Ed in the Richmond Times Dispatch with Wesley Hedgepeth, the President-Elect of the National Council for the Social Studies;
    November 2022: Sikh Coalition Senior Education Manager Harman Singh spoke at a rally organized by the Hamkae Center, an Asian American Pacific Islander organization based in Virginia;
    November 2022: We prepared more than seven Sikh community members to deliver public testimony to the VBOE. Their testimony was covered in outlets like NBC12 and Axios Richmond;
    December 2022: We met with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deputy Superintendent, and Virginia Sikh community members to discuss the viability of inclusion of Sikhism in the final state standards draft;
    March 2023: We prepared five Sikh community members to deliver public testimony to the VBOE; 
    April 2023: We delivered correspondence to the new Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure inclusion. 
    “After more than two years of engagement alongside the local sangat, this change will help to ensure that Sikhi can be taught in classrooms across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” added Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Education Manager. “Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying, and they benefit all students by increasing cultural competency.”

    We also acknowledge that the new social studies standards come with serious and well-documented flaws, and there are many communities that are not represented as they should be. We continue to fight for not just the Sikh community, but all groups whose histories should be taught accurately.

    Local adoption and exploration of the new standards will begin after the Virginia Department of Education develops curriculum frameworks in May 2023, and implementation will take place in August 2025.  The Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the Virginia Department of Education during this process. 

    Virginia is now the 17th in a growing list of states that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school social studies standards. These efforts mean that more than 25 million students from coast to coast have the possibility of a more inclusive and holistic education. We look forward to adding even more states to this list in the months and years ahead through continued advocacy alongside sangats.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 04/06/2023

    Thank you for your Support with the Student Survey

    April 6, 2023 (New York, NY) – Data collection for the Sikh Student Survey closed last week and the Sikh Coalition team is grateful to all the students, parents, teachers, community members, partners, and volunteers who have helped us collect responses from over 60 gurdwaras in 21 states. Together, we collected around 2200 surveys!

    By way of reminder, the Sikh Coalition, in partnership with academic researchers Dr. Kavita Kaur Atwal and Dr. Erin Knight, launched a groundbreaking survey on February 1 in order to better understand school bullying and how school climate affects Sikh students across the nation. There remains a significant gap between available data and the reality on the ground for Sikh students at school, and we aim to address this with the collection of responses from Sikh students in the United States between the ages of 9 and 18.

    “The past two months have shown us that the community mobilizes and comes together in the face of a shared goal: to better understand Sikh student experiences in the United States,” said Rucha Kaur, community development director of the Sikh Coalition. “Data drives change and in order to develop effective policy solutions to combat hate in our schools, educators, parents, policymakers, and mental health professionals must understand the scope of the Sikh students’ experiences. It is imperative that Sikh students stand up and speak out about their experiences, and we hope this survey helps achieve that goal.”

    Over the next few months, our research partners Dr. Kavita Kaur Atwal and Dr. Erin Knight will go through and analyze the data. Together with our research partners, the Sikh Coalition team will then get to work to compile our findings and draft recommendations to policymakers, school officials, and educators. By 2024, the Sikh Coalition, in partnership with the researchers, will publish a report on the findings. The Sikh Student Survey is part of our multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness and ensure all children have a safe and inclusive learning environment. It follows our 2014 “Go Home, Terrorist” school bullying report, which found that an overwhelming majority of Sikh children face bullying in schools, and the 2019 CBS television special examining religious-based bullying in schools.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 03/08/2023

    1200+ School Climate Surveys Completed, 1200+ More

    March 2, 2023 (New York, NY) – The Sikh Coalition has now entered the second and last month of data collection for the groundbreaking Sikh Student Survey research initiative that we are working in partnership with academic researchers Dr. Kavita Kaur Atwal and Dr. Erin Knight. We have now collected over 1200 surveys— 50% percent of our goal to collect 2,500 surveys in total! 

    As a reminder, the survey, for Sikh students between the ages of 9 and 18 attending a school in the United States, is anonymous and can be completed in approximately 15 minutes. The goal for this initiative is to better understand school bullying and how school climate affects Sikh students across the nation. Each student who completes the survey will be given the chance to enter into a raffle to win one of 100 $25 gift cards. 

    “Sangat members across the country have been incredibly great to work with and it has been so humbling to see how people have resonated with our efforts to learn more about the experiences our Sikh youth face,” said Rucha Kaur, Sikh Coalition’s Community Development Director. “In our second and final month of data collection, we will continue to push for students to complete the survey in order to inform our efforts to advocate for them through policies and recommendations to school officials, educators, mental health practitioners, and policymakers, for example, to ensure a safe school and learning environment.”

    In February, Sikh Coalition staff and sangat members visited gurdwaras in New York, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Virginia, Michigan, and California. Sikh Coalition staff also hosted a series of Instagram Live conversations to talk about the survey. Sikh Coalition Senior Education Manager Harman Singh hosted an Instagram live with our research partner Dr. Atwal and Dr. Preety Salh of Punjabi Kids’ Health to talk about the importance of mental health care for Sikh students. Sikh Coalition Community Development Manager Yashpreet Singh spoke with SikhTeens co-founder Amanpreet Kaur and influencer Nav the Poet about the experiences of Sikh teenagers and what they would like teachers and administrators to understand about Sikhi. Community Development Director Rucha Kaur connected with Sikh parents and influencers Sonia Kaur and Simran Jeet Singh about the challenges of parenting a Sikh child. This weekend, Sikh Coalition staff and volunteers will continue to collecting data and connecting with sangat members about the survey. 

    The Sikh Student Survey is a continuation of our multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness and ensure all children have a safe and inclusive learning environment. It follows our 2014 “Go Home, Terrorist” school bullying report, which found that an overwhelming majority of Sikh children face bullying in schools, and the 2019 CBS television special examining religious-based bullying in schools. 

    For questions about the survey, please reach out to Dr. Atwal at [email protected] and the Sikh Coalition at [email protected].

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly. 

  • 02/01/2023

    Nationwide Survey for Sikh Students

    As part of our ongoing work to create safer classrooms for students nationwide, the Sikh Coalition has joined with California-based research partners Dr. Kavita Kaur Atwal and Dr. Erin Knight, to conduct new groundbreaking research in order to better understand school bullying and how school climate affects Sikh students across the nation.

    If you are a Sikh student between the ages of 9 and 18, click here to participate in the survey now. If you are the parent of Sikh students in this age range or know Sikh students through your gurdwara, Khalsa school, or sangat, please facilitate their participation!

    Please read our frequently asked questions below to learn more about this important new initiative.

    Who can answer the survey?

     The Sikh Student Survey asks for participation from Sikh students between the ages of 9 and 18 attending a school in the United States.
    How many questions does the survey ask?

     The survey includes approximately 30 questions that address student experiences and bullying at school. It can be completed in approximately 15 minutes.
    Who is conducting the survey?

     The Sikh Coalition is conducting this survey in collaboration with our California-based research partners Dr. Kavita Kaur Atwal and Dr. Erin Knight. We intend to work with gurdwaras and Khalsa schools across the nation to gather as many responses from Sikh students as possible.


    Is the survey anonymous?

     Yes. The survey itself is completely anonymous and does not ask for personal, identifiable information. Participation in this research is voluntary.
    How will the information collected be used?

     The data will be used to draw conclusions about common experiences of Sikh youth, which in turn will inform future recommendations to policymakers, school officials, and educators. This includes advocating for state and federal policies that protect students, campaigning for Sikh inclusion in state education standards, training educators to teach about Sikhi in the classroom, and more.


    How can I take part in the survey?

     Sikh students between the ages of 9 and 18 can click here to fill out the survey. Each student who completes the survey will be given the chance to enter into a raffle to win one of 100 gift cards of $25.00 each. Since the intended participants of this study are between the ages of 9 and 18, parents play an important role and must provide consent.


    How long will the survey run?

     We are soliciting survey responses through March 31, 2023.


    “Through our campaigns to bring Sikhi into state social studies standards, train educators to teach about Sikhi in the classroom, and empower Sikh parents to engage their children’s teachers, we have come to understand the impact that data makes in driving policy changes at educational institutions,” said Rucha Kaur, Sikh Coalition Community Development Director. “In undertaking this survey with partners across the nation and using the results to create a comprehensive report, we can ensure that the experiences of Sikh youth will ultimately make classrooms safer and more inclusive for all students.”

    The Sikh Student Survey is part of our multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness and ensure all children have a safe and inclusive learning environment. It follows our 2014 “Go Home, Terrorist” school bullying report, which found that an overwhelming majority of Sikh children face bullying in schools, and the 2019 CBS television special examining religious-based bullying in schools.

    You can learn more about the Sikh Student Survey on the Sikh Coalition’s social media pages, including via a series of upcoming Instagram Live conversations! Join us at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT for a conversation on February 8 with Dr. Preety Sahl of Punjabi Kids Health and Dr. Atwal, on February 15 with SikhTeens co-founder Amanpreet Kaur, and February 22 with Sikh parents and influencers Sonia Kaur and Simran Jeet Singh. For questions about the survey, please reach out to Dr. Atwal at [email protected] and the Sikh Coalition at [email protected].

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 12/15/2022

    Mississippi will Include Sikhism in Social Studies

    On December 15, 2022, the Mississippi State Board of Education voted in favor of new social studies standards, which will include Sikhi for the first time ever. 

    These new standards will give approximately 457,000 students in Mississippi the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community. This is another significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness for generations to come by ensuring access to accurate information on Sikhism for every public school student across the nation.

    “These new standards provide our growing Sikh community in Mississippi with an opportunity to educate our neighbors about the Sikh faith and better protect and recognize Sikh students in the state,” said sangat member Amrik Singh of Jackson, Mississippi. “We are grateful to the Sikh Coalition for leading efforts in this important initiative for more representative and inclusive curricula.”

    This significant victory resulted from a year of advocacy work by the Sikh Coalition and the Mississippi sangat. In January of this year, the Sikh Coalition made the initial request for Sikhi to be included in the new standards, and community members advocated for the inclusion of Sikhi at the State Board of Education Meeting. In September, the Sikh Coalition then facilitated a sign-on letter with three Mississippi gurdwaras and submitted another formal request of our own. In November, more than 125 emails in support of inclusion were submitted by Mississippi sangat members to the Mississippi Board of Education. Finally, to secure the support of allies outside of the sangat, the Sikh Coalition worked with religious studies faculty at Mississippi State University to advocate for the inclusion of Sikhi. 

    “We are thrilled that the Mississippi Board of Education has listened to their local Sikh community’s calls to be represented and included in these state standards,” added Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Education Manager. “Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying, and they benefit all students by increasing baseline cultural competency and decreasing ignorance.” 

    Local adoption and implementation of the more inclusive standards will begin in the months and years to follow. The Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the Mississippi Department of Education during this process. 

    Mississippi is now the 16th in a growing list of states that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school social studies standards; earlier this month, Utah also joined that list. These efforts mean that more than 24 million students from coast to coast have the possibility of a more inclusive and holistic education. We look forward to adding even more states to this list in the months and years ahead through continued advocacy alongside sangats.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 12/03/2022

    New Social Studies Standards in Utah

    On December 1, 2022, the Utah State Board of Education voted in favor of new social studies standards, which for the first time ever include Sikhism.

    These new standards will give 606,000 students in Utah the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community. This is another significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness for generations to come by ensuring access to accurate information on Sikhism for every public school student across the nation.

    "Thanks to these new educational standards, students across our state can learn about Sikhism--which means safer schools for my children in Utah, and better cultural education for all," said sangat member Manjit Singh of Salt Lake City. “We are grateful to the Sikh Coalition for leading efforts in this important initiative for more representative and inclusive curricula.”

    The update to Utah’s social studies standards resulted from years of advocacy. In May 2020, the Sikh Coalition made the initial request for Sikhism to be included in the new standards. In December 2021, we facilitated a sign-on letter with both Utah gurdwaras and submitted another formal request for the inclusion of Sikhism. Finally, to ensure that this update was secured, the Sikh Coalition facilitated the public testimony of Sikh community members and students at a Utah State Board of Education meeting in December 2021.

    “We are pleased that the Utah State Board of Education has listened to the needs of their local Sikh community to be represented and included in their state standards,” added Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Education Manager. “Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying, and they benefit all students by increasing baseline cultural competency and decreasing ignorance.”

    Local adoption and exploration of the new, more inclusive standards will begin after the Utah Board of Education develops a model curriculum in the coming months, and implementation will take place in the months and years to follow. The Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the Utah Department of Education during this process.

    Utah is now the 15th in a growing list of states that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school social studies standards. These efforts mean that more than 24 million students from coast to coast have the possibility of a more inclusive and holistic education. We look forward to adding even more states to this list in the months and years ahead through continued advocacy alongside sangats.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly

  • 11/30/2022

    VA Sangat Testify at VA BOE Meeting

    On November 17, 2022, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) voted to delay action on a new Standards of Learning and instead directed the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to produce a new History & Social Science Standards of Learning Draft, which combines elements from the August 2022 draft and the most recent November 2022 draft. The VBOE now intends on holding a special meeting in January 2023 to once again vote on a first review of these standards.

    As a reminder, the VDOE released their first draft of the History & Social Science Standards of Learning in August, and Sikhi was included in “World History & Geography.” However, on November 11, the VDOE released a new Standards Document but did not share the Curriculum Frameworks. While the updated Standards draft retained inclusion of Sikhi, the failure to share the Curriculum Frameworks rendered it impossible for the Sikh Coalition (or anybody) to accurately assess the depth of inclusion that we are fighting for.

    Consequently, seven members of the Virginia Sikh community delivered public testimony at the VBOE meeting yesterday and advocated for the inclusion of Sikhi in Social Studies Standards & Curriculum Frameworks. Additionally, the Sikh Coalition joined the Hamkae Center and several other Virginia based organizations to rally for inclusive standards that will better serve all marginalized communities while demanding greater transparency in the process.

    As a reminder, the Sikh Coalition and the Virginia Sikh community have been engaged in this process for two years. Virginia sangat members submitted public testimony in March 2021 and in September, more than 500 public comments were submitted by Sikhs across the state, while the Sikh Coalition facilitated a sign-on letter with seven Virginia gurdwaras. The Sikh Coalition also submitted a sign-on letter with nine Virginia-based organizations advocating for the VBOE to proceed by accepting the 2022 History & Social Science Standards in September, and delivered another letter with more than twenty Virginia-based organizations urging the Governor, Secretary of Education, and Superintendent to recognize the concerns of educators, community groups, and students.

    Additional opportunities for community feedback and engagement will arise over the coming months. We will continue to engage with Virginia sangat members to ensure our voices are heard at future public hearings and community roundtables so that inclusion of Sikhi in social studies classrooms in Virginia is realized.

    The Sikh Coalition long prepared for this effort to become complicated on account of state and national political debates regarding educational materials in classrooms, and we are well positioned to continue advocating for the inclusion of Sikhi and we will continue to provide updates as appropriate. For more information, please contact [email protected].

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 09/12/2022

    Back to School Resources for Children and Parents

    As students continue to return to school nationwide, the Sikh Coalition would like to remind you of resources and support that are available for students, parents, and teachers alike.

    In 2018, we released our first ever Back to School toolkit, which we have updated continuously in the years since. The toolkit includes Sikh awareness presentations for parents, anti-bullying brochures, Know Your Rights materials, and more legal resources that will help increase knowledge among students, teachers, and administrators, as well as protect Sikh children if problems arise at school. The Sikhism Educator’s Guide--a resource to equip teachers with lesson plans for teaching about Sikhism, along with background information regarding the Sikh community--is also available in the toolkit, as are accommodation letters that will ensure Sikh kids can maintain their articles of faith. Please email [email protected] if you would like to request more information.

    Across the nation, the Sikh Coalition continues our localized work to increase Sikh awareness and support Sikh youth in schools. In April 2022, we worked with the Sikh Community of Wisconsin and the Oak Creek Public Library to launch a new Sikh Book Collection that aids library visitors in learning about the Sikh faith and community. The publically available collection permanently includes books written by Sikhs and written about the Sikh faith. The Sikh Coalition has also worked with other Wisconsin Sikh community leaders and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to upload new material to a statewide electronic library called WISELearn, where Wisconsin educators can access quality, standards-aligned educational resources. Meanwhile, in June, the Sikh Coalition joined more than 100 teachers and administrators at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) in Sewell, New Jersey, for an interactive working session on essential religious literacy (including how to recognize Sikh and other articles of faith) and what teachers can do in cases of religious-based bullying – this training will now be held on an annual basis.

    “Supporting Sikh kids and increasing religious and cultural literacy is a core part of our education work at the Sikh Coalition,” said Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Education. “By ensuring that parents, teachers, and students have support via resources and access, we can work towards a future where school environments are safe and conducive to learning and growth for all students.”

    Despite proactive efforts, Sikh kids do continue to experience bullying in schools. If your child is experiencing verbal or physical harassment, the Sikh Coalition can assist you in reporting the bullying incidents yourself, provide materials that explain the Sikh faith and religious based bullying to school administration, engage the school directly, connect you to local counsel for legal action, and/or facilitate trainings that increase Sikh awareness in your school. In short, there are a number of smaller steps you can take before filing a lawsuit--and you can email [email protected] to learn more about what we can do together if your child needs help.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 07/11/2022

    Trainings to Create More Inclusive Classrooms

    On Friday, June 10, the Sikh Coalition joined more than 100 teachers and administrators at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) for an interactive working session on Creating Safer and More Inclusive Classrooms.

    This conversation focused on essential religious literacy (including how to recognize Sikh and other articles of faith) and what teachers can do in cases of religious-based bullying. Moreover, the training, which will be held on an annual basis moving forward, includes a plan for broader cultural change at the school by enlisting student council leadership and the diversity club for peer-to-peer engagement.

    “We are grateful to the Sikh Coalition for leading this important working session with our educators,” said Dr. Jo Murphy, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. “Teachers, parents, students, and administrators have to work together to create classrooms which are safe for all our students, and this is an important first step towards strengthening a culture that protects all of our students regardless of their background.”

    “This kind of engagement is essential to ensuring that Sikh children are seen, respected, and valued in their classrooms,” added Rucha Kaur, Sikh Coalition Community Development Director, who facilitated the hour-long training. “Knowledge about marginalized groups not only helps educators spot and stop religious-based bullying--it also helps them weave more inclusive material into their classroom instruction in an appropriate way.”

    Since children have returned to in-person instruction across the nation, the Sikh Coalition has measured a significant increase in legal intakes related to school bullying. If your child is suffering verbal or physical harassment, we are here to help--and there are multiple ways to take action. The Sikh Coalition can:

    • Assist you in reporting bullying incidents yourself;
    • Provide material explaining the Sikh faith and religious-based bullying to teachers and administrators;
    • Engage the school directly if your reports are not yielding appropriate action;
    • Connect you to local counsel for legal action in extreme cases; and
    • Facilitate follow-up trainings that increase Sikh awareness among students and staff.

    If your child or a student you know is facing bullying in schools, please reach out to our legal team for a free consultation. Additionally, you can review all of our education materials--from lesson plans to accommodation letters for articles of faith--on our website.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

  • 05/10/2022

    Sikh Coalition education updates

    Engaging the Indianapolis Sikh Community and Area Educators

    On March 14, the Sikh Coalition hosted a Sikh awareness training for more than 100 administrators and staff at Whiteland Community High School (WCHS) in Whiteland, IN. During the training, educators learned about the Sikh faith and community--one of the fastest-growing demographics within the school--and how to recognize and respond to incidents of religious-based bullying. This session was held in direct response to the February 2022 bias-motivated harassment and assault of a Sikh high school student at WCHS.

    Additionally, on March 6, the Sikh Coalition partnered with local community organization LOK-E to host a virtual community town hall that created space for the Indianapolis sangat to speak about all of the related issues in Indiana’s public school system. Then, on April 3, we partnered with LOK-E for a free education workshop to equip community members with the tools and resources they need to engage educators and prompt change that creates safer classrooms for all students. The Sikh Coalition and LOK-E are grateful to all attendees for their commitment to working towards Sikh inclusion in classrooms.

    Sikh Book Collection in Oak Creek

    On April 9, 2022, the Sikh community of Wisconsin and the Oak Creek Public Library launched a new Sikh Book Collection that aids library visitors in learning about the Sikh faith and community. Now available to the public, the collection permanently includes books written by Sikhs and written about the Sikh faith. Additionally, free educational resources from the Sikh Coalition--including our Educator’s Guide to Sikhism, Sikh Celebrations lessons plans and classroom activities, and Back to School Toolkit--are on display and accessible to the public.

    Raising Sikh Awareness in the Classroom

    On March 28, 2022, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Education Harman Singh led a virtual presentation for 210 students at H.H. Wells Middle School in Brewster, NY. The presentation introduced students to the Sikh faith, community, and traditions. We are grateful to administrators at H.H. Wells Middle School for inviting us to engage their students! If you are interested in bringing a Sikh awareness presentation to a classroom near you, please reach out to our education team at [email protected].

  • 03/02/2022

    Education Work Update

    Ensuring Sikhi is Included in Minnesota’s State Standards

    Since February of 2020, the Sikh Society of Minnesota and the Sikh Coalition have been working together to ensure that Sikhi is included in the state’s next K-12 Social Studies Standards and Benchmarks.

    In the past few weeks, 116 community members have submitted public comments calling for more complete inclusion of Sikhi and improved teaching about religion overall. Moreover, in collaboration with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas and the Islamic Resource Group, the Sikh Coalition submitted a letter signed by 100 Minnesota faith leaders in support of our proposed changes to the Standards and Benchmarks. Lastly, we also worked to place another op-ed piece in the Minnesota Star Tribune--this one from a Christian leader, making the specific call for Sikh inclusion in the Standards and Benchmarks and arguing that Sikh students (and students from other faith backgrounds) deserve to see themselves and their history reflected in our schools. We will continue to provide updates as Minnesota’s standards review process moves forward in the months ahead. 

    Virtual Sikh Awareness Presentations for New York Students

    In December 2021, the Sikh Coalition led presentations for 500 students at the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District in Woodbury, NY. Since 2019, the Sikh Coalition has reached thousands of students and their teachers at this school district with discussions on the Sikh faith, community, and traditions. This incredible outreach began thanks to one Sikh parent’s tireless work, which you can learn about here

  • 12/29/2021

    Message from Sikh Coalition's Newest Staffer

    My name is Harman Singh, and at the start of this month, I joined the Sikh Coalition as the Senior Education Manager. I made the choice to join this organization because I believe every Sikh should be free to practice their faith fearlessly and unapologetically. I am especially passionate about proactively educating others on Sikhi, and moving forward, it will be my job to fight for our faith to be included as part of classroom curricula and celebrated in schools and learning environments across the country.

    Since February 2020, the Sikh Coalition has been working with the Sikh Society of Minnesota to ensure that their state’s Department of Education includes Sikhi in the state’s newest standards for social studies. These standards determine what public school students learn in classes, so it is important that all faiths be represented and included. This work has included two op-ed pieces in local newspapers, a letter from 157 faith leaders, and a video featuring a religiously diverse group of young people all calling for full inclusion of world religions.

    This collaboration, especially with interfaith partners, is a clear indication to me that we are not alone--and that our fight is important for not only Sikh children, but for all children. And thanks to the Sikh Coalition, I know that similar efforts are continuing across the United States:



    All of the work done in the states above--including Minnesota, and similar efforts in places like Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas this year--is powered by the overwhelming support and action of sevadaars like you. Our success requires community mobilization to demonstrate the power of the Sikh community, and I look forward to working with each of you on policy advocacy and educator engagement as we work to fill in more states on that map!

    But no matter where you live, you can support the effort to get Sikhi in more state standards across the nation by contributing your dasvandh today. The more resources we have, the more fights we can take on! In 10 years of doing this work, the Sikh Coalition has already ensured that 45 percent of public schoolchildren have the opportunity to learn about Sikhi--but we can’t stop now, and we need your help to push forward.

    Thank you for joining me in our ongoing effort to ensure that no student feels left behind, and that classroom materials include ours and other faith groups to prepare our children for a diverse, inclusive world.

    Chardi Kala,

    Harman Singh
    Senior Manager of Education
    The Sikh Coalition

  • 10/08/2021

    CA Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Update

    Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law AB101, a bill that will make ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement for public school and charter school students throughout California--the first state nationally to do so.

    Thanks to the sangat's advocacy, in March of 2021, California approved an ethnic studies model curriculum (ESMC), which included Sikh stories and the positive contributions of California's Sikh-American community through a lesson plan submitted by the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement. In addition to making ethnic studies a graduation requirement and allowing for the use of the ESMC, AB101 will provide millions in funding for implementation and educator professional development.

    “The ethnic studies course requirement will provide an even greater opportunity for the Sikh community’s stories and important contributions to be taught across California,” said Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “Alongside the dedicated funding that will come with the new law, the inclusion of Sikh content in the state model curriculum that the community advocated for earlier this year, and our ongoing collaboration with other ethnic studies practitioners and experts, we will keep pushing to make sure that ethnic studies courses that include Sikh stories appear in California classrooms.”

    This achievement could not have been possible without the support of the California sangat. In March of 2020, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement submitted comprehensive recommendations for improving the ESMC, along with a draft lesson plan; we then worked with 52 gurdwaras and more than 1,200 petition signers to endorse this proposal. Over numerous public comment periods, we have supported hundreds of Sikh community members to provide written and spoken remarks in favor of Sikh inclusion. And last October, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement met with CDE officials and recruited a bipartisan group of 25 California assemblymembers and state senators to join a letter in support of our efforts.

    “The Sikh community in California worked tirelessly for 18 months to make their voices heard in the ethnic studies conversation through public comments, letters, gurdwara communities and leadership, and rallying support from elected and appointed officials,” said Naindeep Singh, Executive Director of the Jakara Movement. “Those efforts have paid off, and we’ll continue to work to make sure that ethnic studies classes that are inclusive of Sikh stories and other marginalized communities make it into our state’s schools.”

    AB101 calls on public and charter high schools to begin to offer ethnic studies in the 2025-2026 school year; the graduation requirement itself will come into effect in the 2029-2030 school year. As we have seen before, curriculums and social studies standards are only part of the equation: sustained community involvement is essential to ensuring that accurate and appropriate information about the Sikh community is taught in classrooms. Accordingly, on June 30, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement co-hosted a webinar with Punjabi Radio USA discussing how Sikh parents and high school students can help. As a reminder, you can follow these easy steps to reach out to your school:

    1. Learn who is responsible for teaching ethnic studies at the school and secure their contact information; and
    2. Email the Sikh Coalition’s education team at [email protected] with this information, along with the name of the school, the student’s name, and their grade level.

    The Sikh Coalition will then reach out to the teacher who is responsible for teaching ethnic studies and provide them with the most relevant teaching materials depending on their curriculum. We are glad to help you navigate this process, given that each school district will approach the implementation of this law--and ethnic studies in general--in different ways.

    While this bill signing represents a significant victory for our community, it is important to recognize that AB101 faced criticism and that the ESMC did fall short and leave many other marginalized communities behind. Accordingly, we continue our shared efforts to advance anti-racist education for all.

  • 08/23/2021

    Back to School and COVID-19 Pandemic

    Given that many parents are concerned and confused about the risks of COVID-19 as children prepare to head back to school, our next Vaccine ਵੀਰਵਾਰ will focus on back-to-school issues.

    Join us on Facebook Live at 12:00 PM EST / 9:00 AM PST on Thursday, August 26, when Sikh Coalition Community Development Director Rucha Kaur will moderate a conversation with Amrit Kaur, a public school teacher in Montgomery County, MD, and the co-founder of  the Sikh Parent Association, and Dr. Jasjit Kaur, a pediatric infectious diseases subspecialist who currently serves as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, Irvine and the Medical Epidemiologist for CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, CA.

  • 06/08/2021

    Mid-year Education Work Update

    The Sikh Coalition is so appreciative of the sangat's support of the Sikh Coalition’s “Furthering Education Work” project. The investment has been so important in pushing this work forward. 

    We wanted to share updates on our education work from the last 6 months: 

    New content for elementary classrooms: We launched our “Sikh Celebrations: Lessons & Activities for Inclusive Classrooms” just in time for 2021 Vaisakhi. The classroom resources include four major Sikh celebrations: Vaisakhi, Bandi Chhor Divas, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Gurpurab, and Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Gurpurab. For each celebration, the resources include greeting cards, classroom presentations with talking points, and arts and crafts activities.

    State standard update: We are excited to share that after a year of sustained advocacy by the Sikh Coalition and North Carolina sangat members, the North Carolina State Board of Education voted in favor of adopting new Social Studies Standards that are poised to include Sikhi in the associated content and examples. Once the standards are implemented, they will provide the opportunity for North Carolina’s 1.4 million public schoolchildren to learn about Sikhism alongside other world religions. Read this op-ed from North Carolina father of three Pawanjit Singh on why this victory is so important.

    CA Ethnic Studies Campaign: Earlier this year the California State Board of Education met to discuss and adopt the final draft of the state’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC). After several months of sustained and spirited advocacy, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement are pleased to share that the Sikh community is included in the curriculum materials and a lesson plan. Our combined efforts included a bipartisan letter signed by 25 assembly members and state senators, a letter signed by 52 gurdwaras, and more than 1,200 community member petition signatures. 

    Supporting Religious Diversity: The Sikh Coalition is proud to join with interfaith and religious partner organizations to promote religious diversity and literacy in New York City Schools via New York City Council Resolution 1257. This resolution will make a safer, more educational, and more inclusive learning environment for students of all faith traditions--including young Sikhs. If you or your family reside in New York City please ask your city council member to co-sponsor this resolution via this easy tool.

    This work is happening alongside our ongoing legal, advocacy and community engagement work. As we continue to push to make schools safer and more inclusive, we will share more updates as they become available.

  • 03/25/2021

    Vaisakhi and other Sikh celebrations at school

    The Sikh Coalition is excited to launch “Sikh Celebrations: Lessons and Activities for Inclusive Classrooms”! Over the years, parents have asked us for resources and activities to help share more about our celebrations with their children’s classmates, so we are very happy to be able to launch this for the sangat. These fun and easy-to-use resources can help Sikh parents share about Sikh celebrations in their children’s classroom. thesikh.co/sikhcelebrations

    Three steps to sharing about Sikh celebrations in your child’s classroom: 

    1. Choose one of the four celebrations (Vaisakhi, Bandi Chhor Divas, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Gurpurab, and Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Gurpurab).
    2. Ask your child’s teacher if there is an opportunity to share more about the chosen Sikh celebration with their class. Please specify if you would like to lead on presenting or whether you would prefer the teacher to. Here’s an email template you can use: thesikh.co/sikhcelebrations
    3. Once your child’s teacher agrees, you can use one, some, or all of the resources for that Sikh celebration,including greeting cards, classroom presentations with talking points, and arts and crafts activities. 

    Vaisakhi is less than a month away! If you would like to help your child’s classroom learn more about Vaisakhi with the tools from Sikh Celebrations, we recommend that you reach out to your child’s teacher as soon as possible. We hope you will also share this with your networks, khalsa schools and gurdwaras. Please email [email protected] for any further questions!

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  • 02/05/2021

    NC State Standards for Social Studies Move Forward

    On February 4, 2021, the North Carolina State Board of Education voted in favor of adopting new K-12 Social Studies Standards that are poised to include Sikhism in the associated content and examples.

    “The Sikh Coalition is pleased that the State Board of Education will be updating the K-12 Social Studies Standards with more diverse and inclusive material,” said Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “We are also grateful that Sikhism is poised to be included among the content and examples to accompany these new standards. More robust education--including a celebration of diversity and an honest look at injustices, racism, and discrimination past and present--will benefit our children now and for the rest of their lives.”

    To understand more about why this victory matters, read the op-ed from North Carolina father of three Pawanjit Singh, which we successfully placed this week. The Sikh Coalition would like to thank the numerous North Carolina sangat members for their unwavering patience, advocacy, and support throughout this process; this positive outcome is years in the making and only possible because of their shared efforts.

    The standards in North Carolina are structured uniquely in comparison to the other 14 states in which the Sikh Coalition has successfully secured the accurate inclusion of Sikhism. Sikhism will be included in the accompanying documents--rather than the actual standards or objectives--from which teachers can draw classroom materials. Once the standards are implemented, they will provide the opportunity for North Carolina’s 1.4 million public schoolchildren to learn about Sikhism alongside other world religions.

    The Sikh Coalition has been monitoring the North Carolina review process since 2016. In January and April of 2020, we worked closely with members of the North Carolina sangat to submit public comments asking the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) social studies standards writing committee to 1) ensure that Sikhism was included in the content and examples in the existing list of world religions and 2) consider changing the structure of the standards to put all world religions, including Sikhism, explicitly in the standards and objectives. (While this second ask was not ultimately implemented, we have successfully established groundwork for future engagement).

    We remain in close touch with the NCDPI and State Board of Education--most recently sending them a letter at the start of this week--encouraging them to press forward with changes that reflect a focus on inclusivity and diversity as well as an honest examination of our nation’s experience with injustices, racism, and other discrimination. In the months ahead, we will continue working with the NCDPI to finalize the Sikh-specific material in the content and examples and to ensure that this material reaches teachers and students across the state; the new standards and these accompanying documents will be implemented later this year.

  • 11/09/2020

    Education work update

    The Sikh Coalition is so appreciative of the sangat's support of the  Sikh Coalition’s “Furthering Education Work” project. The investment has been so important in pushing this work forward. 


    In advance of Dasvandh Week we wanted to share updates on our education work from the last 12 months

    • New states! Kansas, Indiana and Nebraska have added Sikhi to their social studies standards. This is the first time Sikhi has been included in any of these state standards. This brings the number of states with Sikhi in their state standards to 14 states. Now more than 23 million students, or 45 percent of public school students nationwide, now have the opportunity to learn about Sikhs. Because of the pandemic many states have moved their timelines for review but we are closely monitoring a few states.
    • New content for elementary classrooms: We collaborated with authors to create three new elementary discussion guides for Super Satya Saves the Day by Raakhee Mirchandani, The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar and Fauja Singh Keeps Going by Simran Jeet Singh. For fall 2020, Simran Jeet and Rakhee have donated their time to provide up to 60 virtual book readings with their books. 
    • Engaging with Teachers: Sikh Coalition staff and volunteers have presented at social studies conferences in Washington, Georgia, Florida, Arizona and Colorado as well as at the National Council for Social Studies. We have also provided meaningful input on teacher’s notes in North Dakota, Georgia, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey which supplement state standards and lead to a greater impact as it provides supporting materials when teachers create lesson plans. 
    • CA Ethnic Studies Campaign: We partnered with the Jakara movement to advocate for the inclusion of the Californian Sikh community and their experiences in the California Ethnic Studies Framework. This effort included a bipartisan letter signed by 25 assembly members and state senators, a letter signed by 52 gurdwaras, and more than 1,200 community member petition signatures. 

    This is in addition to virtual content like Kid’s Corner, Summer Series, and our ongoing legal, advocacy and community engagement work. As we continue to push to make schools safer and more inclusive, we look forward to sharing more updates. 

  • 10/26/2020

    California Ethnic Studies Curriculum Update

    The Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement continue to fight together for the accurate and meaningful inclusion of the Sikh community in the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC).

    On September 30, another round of public comment on California’s ESMC concluded, with more than 700 Sikh Californians contacting the state’s Department of Education to tell them to #StopIgnoringSikhs. These efforts were joined by a bipartisan letter signed by 25 California assemblymembers and state senators, as well as the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement’s own public comment submission, which was delivered directly to the Department of Education, Instructional Quality Commission, and the State Board of Education. On October 23, both organizations also met with California Superintendent Tony Thurmond to discuss Sikh representation.

    The fight for Sikh inclusion in the ESMC continues, and there will be another public hearing in November, followed by an additional round of public comment. 

  • 08/18/2020

    Virtual Book Readings Available for Schools

    On August 17, 2020, the Sikh Coalition convened more than 100 community members from across the country for a webinar about “Sharing Sikh Stories: Creating a Kinder World Through Diverse Children’s Literature.” If you were unable to join the webinar, you can click here to watch the full video and share it with others in your sangat.

    During the webinar, three children’s book authors–Raakhee Mirchandani, Supriya Kelkar, and Simran Jeet Singh–joined us to discuss the importance of diverse and inclusive children’s literature and how sharing our new classroom discussion guides with your child’s teacher can be an easy first step in raising Sikh awareness at your child’s school.

    In case you missed it: Raakhee (Super Satya Saves the Day) and Simran Jeet (Fauja Singh Keeps Going) are available to read their books virtually for your child’s classroom! Click here to request a free virtual book reading from Raakhee or Simran Jeet and help raise Sikh awareness at your child’s school.

    The virtual book readings are completely free. The Sikh Coalition will donate both books, plus Supriya’s The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, to every school that participates in these virtual classroom visits.

    While school looks very different than usual for students across the country this year, the Sikh Coalition is committed to equipping parents and teachers with the tools necessary to successfully teach about Sikhism and the Sikh identity in the classroom. The Sikh Coalition’s full library of Back to School resources, including lesson plans, the Educator’s Guide on Sikhism, accommodation letters for articles of faith, and more are still available for any parents who need them. In addition, we have included guidance for Khalsa Schools and helpful tips for parents on the increased risk of cyberbullying in our collection of COVID-19 community resources. Lastly, the Sikh Coalition Kid’s Corner remains available online; these workshops are great programming to supplement your child’s education from home or share with your child’s teacher to encourage broader cultural education.

    For more information about the Back to School Toolkit or to discuss opportunities about how the Sikh Coalition can support you and your sangat in outreach efforts to educators, please contact [email protected].

  • 03/11/2020

    Sikhism Added to Kansas State Standards

    March 11, 2020 (Topeka, Kansas) — Yesterday, the Kansas State Board of Education voted on a new set of social studies standards for Kansas public schoolchildren that include Sikhism for the first time ever. The standards will start to be implemented in the 2021-2022 academic year.

    With this vote, more than 492,000 children in Kansas’ public schools will now have the opportunity to learn about Sikhism in a constitutionally appropriate manner. These students will join approximately 22,536,783 others in 13 other states, representing roughly 45 percent of the public school student population nationwide. 

    “We are delighted that Sikhism has been included in the Kansas state standards, which means that my children will feel represented and included in their classrooms,” said Ranjit Singh Lamba, a longtime resident of Overland Park, Kansas. “Importantly, other students will now have an opportunity to learn about Sikhs, who have been their neighbors in Kansas for generations.”

    The Sikh Coalition’s education team previously reviewed these draft standards in January; accordingly, Sikhism is now included in the ‘suggested instruction’ for Middle Level Geography and Upper Level World History. We were also happy to assist Hartej Singh and his family in voicing their support for these changes before the Board of Education: Yesterday morning, he joined other citizens from across the state to give a short public comment in favor of the new standards.

    “Families who are willing to advocate for Sikhi’s inclusion in schools are essential to this effort,” said Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “This is a generational effort to raise Sikh awareness by ensuring that teachers and students have access to accurate and appropriate information about our faith, and the Sikh Coalition will continue to encourage additional states to follow Kansas’ lead.”

    In addition to advocating for more states to adopt social studies standards that include Sikhism, the Sikh Coalition remains committed to ensuring that educators have the resources they need–including lesson plans, materials, and more–to teach about Sikhism in an effective and appropriate manner. If you are interested in the content that we have compiled for both educators and Sikh parents, be sure to check out our Back to School Toolkit.

  • 03/06/2020

    Standing Against Bullying on Capitol Hill

    On Wednesday afternoon, Sikh Coalition Legal Client and Community Services Manager Aasees Kaur spoke on a Capitol Hill panel to share her family’s story of heartbreak, resilience, and triumph in the face of anti-Sikh bullying.

    The briefing, hosted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) focused on bias-based bullying of Sikhs and other religious minorities. Additional panelists included Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at ISPU; Dr. Abbas Barzegar, Director of Research and Advocacy at CAIR National; Dr. Rukhsana Moona Chaudhry, Director of Mental Health Programming at American Muslim Health Professionals; and Dr. Nina Daoud, Advisor at the Justice for Muslims Collective. Honorary event host Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also attended and gave remarks.

    Ms. Kaur’s remarks focused on the experience of her brother, Japjee Singh, who was beaten so badly at a public middle school in Dekalb County, Georgia, that he had to be hospitalized; upon his return, the abuse persisted to the point that a bully cut his previously unshorn hair. Ultimately, through free legal action, the Sikh Coalition assisted Ms. Kaur’s family in securing two settlements between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Dekalb County School District and worked to better protect the district’s more than 100,000 students with cultural competency trainings on 9/11 backlash. 

    In addition to sharing her family’s story, Ms. Kaur outlined a number of policy solutions that lawmakers can take to make schools safer. These asks included the push to include Sikhism in state education standards to inform social studies curricula; the need for cultural competency training for students, teachers, and administrators; and a call to pass two critical pieces of federal-level legislation to combat bullying. All three speak to core areas of the Sikh Coalition’s education, legal, and advocacy work.

    Sikh children remain disproportionately bullied in classrooms across the nation. The Sikh Coalition’s 2014 report Go Home, Terrorist concluded that more than 50 percent of Sikh children have endured bullying, with the number rising sharply (67 percent) for turbaned Sikh children. Our legal team continues to accept new bullying cases on a pro bono, case-by-case basis; if your children or a child you know is in need of help, please contact us. In addition, we remain committed to working with organizational partners like ISPU against the bias-based bullying of Sikh children and children of other minority groups. We extend our gratitude to ISPU for organizing and hosting this important event, and look forward to further collaboration moving forward.

  • 03/05/2020

    Sikhi Added to Indiana State Standards

    March 5, 2020 (Indianapolis, IN) – Yesterday, the Indiana Board of Education approved a new set of social studies standards for Indiana’s public schoolchildren that include Sikhism for the first time ever.

    These new standards will ultimately reach more than 1,000,000 students across the state of Indiana, and this victory represents the first state in 2020, and 13th state overall, to include Sikhism in its social studies standards. In total, roughly 45 percent of students nationwide–approximately 22,536,783 pupils in total–now have the opportunity to learn about Sikhism.

    “These new standards are a huge victory for greater Sikh awareness throughout Indiana,” said Chirjeev Kaur Oberoi, a Sikh parent in Carmel, Indiana. “The Sikh Coalition’s work to empower our statewide sangat to effectively advocate for ourselves with the State Board of Education will ultimately create an environment that is safer for Sikh American children and adults alike.”

    The Sikh Coalition has been monitoring the standards in Indiana and providing resources about Sikhism to Indiana organizations and officials since 2016. In January of this year, our education team provided a detailed request to the standards writing committee, highlighting where Sikhism could be reflected in history and geography standards. The new standards reflect all of these recommendations, ensuring Sikhism’s presence in five places: Grade 7 History standard 7.1.2, Geography and History of the World standards GHW.2.1 and GHW.3.5, World Geography standard WG.4.6, and World History and Civilizations standard WH.2.1. Our ask was bolstered by the support of eight gurdwaras across the state, which joined the Sikh Coalition in signing an additional advocacy letter.

    “We are grateful to the members of the Indiana sangat and the gurdwara leadership committees that joined us in this important advocacy effort,” said Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “Our work to encourage more states to include Sikhism in their standards is about accuracy, representation, and safety–after all, we know that more informed communities will better respect and value their Sikh American neighbors.”

    In addition to advocating for many more states to adopt social studies standards that include Sikhism, the Sikh Coalition remains committed to ensuring that educators have the resources they need–including lesson plans, materials, and more–to teach about Sikhism in an accurate and appropriate manner. If you are interested in the content that we have compiled for both educators and Sikh parents, be sure to check out our Back to School Toolkit.

  • 12/16/2019

    NY HS Students Continue to Learn about Sikhism

    December 16, 2019 (Central Valley, NY) – Last week, for the second year in a row, the Sikh Coalition delivered Sikh awareness presentations to more than 600 students at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, NY. 

    After training over 1,200 students in the previous school year, Sikh Coalition staff and trained volunteer presenters conducted 19 presentations on December 12 and 13 in 9th-grade social studies classrooms. As a result, a new class of students learned accurately about the Sikh faith, community, and traditions. 

    “I am so pleased to see this important work to raise Sikh awareness continuing,” said Ishmeet Kaur, the New York sangat member who originally worked with the Sikh Coalition to build a relationship with the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District. “Helping others to learn about Sikhi is the best way to keep our children safe in schools, and the resources provided by the Sikh Coalition make it easy.”

    The Monroe-Woodbury trainings are part of the Sikh Coalition’s never-ending work to ensure that Sikhism is taught accurately in classrooms and to raise Sikh awareness nationwide. Click here to learn how Ishmeet advocated for her school district to do more to raise Sikh awareness in their classrooms.

    “We always welcome the engagement of parents and community members in the teaching process–especially when it comes to cultural awareness, which is increasingly important for today’s youth,” said Darrell McElroy, Monroe-Woodbury High School’s Social Studies Chairperson. “We’re grateful that groups like the Sikh Coalition are willing to lend their expertise and help involve the community in these kinds of initiatives.” 

    The Sikh Coalition thanks our trained volunteer presenters for making this work possible, and administrators at the Monroe-Woodbury High School for welcoming us back. We encourage sangat members everywhere to take initiative and engage their local schools and educators. For more information on how you can engage your local community, check out our Back to School Toolkit or email our Community Development team at [email protected].

  • 11/11/2019

    Sikhi included in Nebraska State Standards

    November 11, 2019 (Lincoln, NE) – Last Friday, the Nebraska State Board of Education voted in new social studies standards, which for the first time ever include Sikhism.

    These new standards will give 318,853 students, this time in Nebraska, the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community. This is another significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s multi-year campaign to raise Sikh awareness for generations to come by ensuring access to accurate information about Sikhism for every public school student across the nation.

    “Thanks to these new educational standards, students across our state can learn about Sikhism–which means safer schools for my children in Omaha, and better cultural education for all,” said community member Apandeep Singh. “The Sikh Coalition’s work to not only advocate for the inclusion of Sikhism in state standards, but to also provide teachers with the tools to ensure that it is taught, is essential to increasing Sikh awareness.”

    The update to Nebraska’s social studies standards resulted from months of behind-the-scenes advocacy. In November 2018, we made the initial request for Sikhism to be included in the new standards. However, when Sikhism was omitted from the first draft in April 2019, the Sikh Coalition engaged with the local Sikh community in Nebraska to submit public comments and wrote again to the Nebraska Department of Education. Unfortunately, Sikhism still remained excluded from the second draft of the standards in June, so we kept pushing. Finally, after months of advocacy, Sikhism was included in the third draft in September. To ensure that this update was secured, the Sikh Coalition engaged with all nine members of Nebraska’s State Board of Education to express our appreciation for this important change. The new standards were finally approved last week.

    “It is wonderful that the Nebraska Department of Education listened to the needs of their local Sikh community to be represented and included in their state standards,” added Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “Inclusive and accurate standards like these are becoming the benchmark for all communities.”

    Local adoption and exploration of the new, more inclusive standards will start in the 2021-2022 school year, when local curriculum and instructional materials will be developed. The standards will then be fully implemented by 2023. The Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the Nebraska Department of Education during this process.

  • 10/07/2019

    North Dakota Becomes 11th State to Teach Sikhism

    October 3, 2019 (Bismarck, North Dakota) – On Tuesday, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) released new social studies standards, which for the first time ever include Sikhism.

    The new standards will give 109,000 students, this time in North Dakota, the opportunity to now accurately learn about the Sikh community. This is another significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s multi-year campaign to ensure that every public school student has the chance to learn about Sikhism accurately, so that Sikh awareness continues to grow among our fellow Americans for generations to come.

    “It is critical for students across the country to learn about their diverse neighbors,” said Satjeet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Executive Director. “Sikhs have been contributing to the American fabric for over 125 years, and these new standards will help ensure North Dakota students can learn this history and be prepared to engage with the Sikh community.”

    The update to North Dakota’s social studies standards resulted from months of behind the scenes advocacy led by the Sikh Coalition. In November 2018, the initial request was made for Sikhism to be included in the new standards. However, Sikhism was still omitted when the new draft was released, and so in May 2019, the Sikh Coalition wrote again to the NDDPI to request its inclusion. Unfortunately, Sikhism still remained excluded from the standards, so the Sikh Coalition continued to directly push for the inclusion of Sikhism with the Social Studies Standards Development Committee through June 2019. Finally, after months of advocacy, Sikhism was included just before the standards were approved.

    “We are delighted that North Dakota has made their standards more inclusive,” said Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “It is critical that Sikhism should be represented accurately in the K-12 education system and taught alongside other world religions.”

    The new, more inclusive standards will start to be implemented immediately during the 2019-2020 school year and the Sikh Coalition will continue to work closely with the NDDPI as they engage in professional development and resource creation around the new standards.

  • 08/31/2018

    Project Update

    Another Education Win, This Time in Colorado

    On May 10th, the Colorado State Board of Education voted to approve new social studies standards, which for the first time ever include Sikhism.

    The new standards are out now and will be fully implemented by the 2020-2021 school year after a period of teacher training. The result is that over 270,000 high school students in Colorado will now accurately learn about the Sikh community. This is another significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s never-ending effort to create Sikh awareness in our nation’s classrooms for generations to come. 

    The inclusion of Sikhism in Colorado’s social studies standards resulted from nearly two years of engagement by local community leaders and proactive advocacy from the Sikh Coalition. Sikhs in Colorado formally requested the inclusion of Sikhism in the standards beginning in October 2016. The Sikh Coalition then followed up with another formal request in September 2017 and continued to communicate with the Department of Education and the Colorado sangat throughout the drafting process.  

    The Sikh Coalition is grateful to the many passionate Sikh community members and allies for their grassroots leadership. We are also thankful to the Colorado Department of Education for its responsiveness and commitment to diversity. 

    Colorado now joins a growing list of states – including New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Tennessee and Idaho – that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school standards. We look forward to adding to this list in the months and years ahead. To support the Sikh Coalition's education initiatives, donate here.

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I. S. $3,000.00 December 2021
D. S. $20.00 December 2021
B. S. $91.66 December 2021
T. K. $21.00 November 2021
A. S. $50.00 November 2021
G. K. $50.00 November 2021
D. S. $20.00 November 2021
Match Fund $400.00 November 2021
Nirvair Singh $500.00 November 2021
Match Fund $31.00 November 2021
H. S. $31.00 November 2021
B. S. $91.66 November 2021
M. B. $10.00 October 2021
T. K. $21.00 October 2021
A. S. $50.00 October 2021
G. K. $50.00 October 2021
D. S. $20.00 October 2021
B. S. $91.66 October 2021
T. K. $21.00 September 2021
A. S. $50.00 September 2021
G. K. $50.00 September 2021
D. S. $20.00 September 2021
B. S. $91.66 September 2021
Client Dev $10.00 September 2021
Client Dev $10.00 September 2021
Match Fund $7,894.87 August 2021
Match Fund $1,000.00 August 2021
Anonymous $1,000.00 August 2021
T. K. $21.00 August 2021
Anonymous $8,000.00 August 2021
Match Fund $21.00 August 2021
I. S. $21.00 August 2021
Match Fund $51.00 August 2021
NARINDER SINGH $51.00 August 2021
Match Fund $51.00 August 2021
Anonymous $51.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
Anonymous $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
Amardeep Singh $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Anonymous $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $150.00 August 2021
Inderpal Gumer $150.00 August 2021
Match Fund $101.00 August 2021
Anonymous $101.00 August 2021
Match Fund $120.00 August 2021
D. S. $120.00 August 2021
Match Fund $251.00 August 2021
Anonymous $251.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Jermanjit Dhillon $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $101.00 August 2021
Anonymous $101.00 August 2021
Match Fund $1,000.00 August 2021
Gurinder Singh $1,000.00 August 2021
Match Fund $51.00 August 2021
Rachhpal Singh $51.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Guramrit Singh $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $250.00 August 2021
rupinder mann $250.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $51.00 August 2021
Anonymous $51.00 August 2021
Match Fund $2,500.00 August 2021
Anonymous $2,500.00 August 2021
Match Fund $250.00 August 2021
Raj Singh $250.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Baldev Singh Vij $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $1,000.00 August 2021
harvinder singh $1,000.00 August 2021
Match Fund $150.00 August 2021
Tejwant Kaur $150.00 August 2021
Match Fund $1,000.00 August 2021
Anonymous $1,000.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Harpreet Singh $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $151.00 August 2021
ujagger dhillon $151.00 August 2021
Parminder Dhillon $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $20.00 August 2021
Anonymous $20.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
Narinder Singh Bedi $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
Jeanne Babar $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
K. H. $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
D. S. $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $25.00 August 2021
Anonymous $25.00 August 2021
Match Fund $101.00 August 2021
Vikram Singh $101.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
Mohinder Singh $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Pawanjit Singh $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $251.00 August 2021
Harkirat Dhillon $251.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
ravi inder jeet singh $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $250.00 August 2021
Gurmeet Singh $250.00 August 2021
Devinder Singh $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
Jasleen Kaur $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
Anonymous $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $20.00 August 2021
Siridatar Khalsa $20.00 August 2021
Match Fund $500.00 August 2021
Harvinder Singh $500.00 August 2021
Match Fund $100.00 August 2021
Gurinder Singh $100.00 August 2021
Match Fund $200.00 August 2021
Anonymous $200.00 August 2021
Match Fund $10.00 August 2021
jasvinder singh $10.00 August 2021
Match Fund $50.00 August 2021
GURJANT KHOSA $50.00 August 2021
Match Fund $1,001.00 August 2021
Anonymous $1,001.00 August 2021
D. S. $20.00 August 2021
Match Fund $15.00 August 2021
Mandeep Singh $15.00 August 2021
B. S. $91.66 August 2021
T. K. $21.00 July 2021
D. S. $20.00 July 2021
B. S. $91.66 July 2021
Administrator Dasvandh Network $250.00 June 2021
T. K. $21.00 June 2021
D. S. $20.00 June 2021
T. K. $21.00 May 2021
D. S. $20.00 May 2021
T. K. $21.00 April 2021
D. S. $20.00 April 2021
T. K. $21.00 March 2021
D. S. $20.00 March 2021
T. K. $21.00 February 2021
D. S. $20.00 February 2021
T. K. $21.00 January 2021
D. S. $20.00 January 2021
Inderpal Singh $3,000.00 December 2020
T. K. $21.00 December 2020
D. S. $20.00 December 2020
Tardip Singh $51.00 November 2020
Tarvjit Kaur $21.00 November 2020
Anonymous $21.00 November 2020
Manpreet Dhalla $250.00 November 2020
G. K. $51.00 November 2020
Match Fund $100.00 November 2020
Jagdeep SINGH $100.00 November 2020
Match Fund $250.00 November 2020
M. S. $250.00 November 2020
Match Fund $100.00 November 2020
harjit singh $100.00 November 2020
Match Fund $250.00 November 2020
Inder Preet Singh $250.00 November 2020
Match Fund $100.00 November 2020
Chitratan Singh Sethi $100.00 November 2020
Gurdarshan Dhaliwal $50.00 November 2020
D. S. $20.00 November 2020
D. S. $20.00 October 2020
D. S. $20.00 September 2020
D. S. $20.00 August 2020
Administrator Dasvandh Network $500.00 August 2020
D. S. $20.00 July 2020
D. S. $20.00 June 2020
D. S. $20.00 May 2020
D. S. $20.00 April 2020
D. S. $20.00 March 2020
D. S. $20.00 February 2020
D. S. $20.00 January 2020
D. S. $20.00 December 2019
Gurdarshan Dhaliwal $50.00 December 2019
M. S. $20.00 December 2019
Inder Preet Singh $1,000.00 November 2019
D. S. $20.00 November 2019
Match Fund $100.00 November 2019
harjit singh $100.00 November 2019
M. S. $20.00 November 2019
D. S. $10.00 October 2019
M. S. $20.00 October 2019
D. S. $10.00 September 2019
M. S. $20.00 September 2019
D. S. $10.00 August 2019
M. S. $20.00 August 2019
D. S. $10.00 July 2019
M. S. $20.00 July 2019
D. S. $10.00 June 2019
M. S. $20.00 June 2019
D. S. $10.00 May 2019
M. S. $20.00 May 2019
D. S. $10.00 April 2019
M. S. $20.00 April 2019
D. S. $10.00 March 2019
M. S. $20.00 March 2019
D. S. $10.00 February 2019
M. S. $20.00 February 2019
D. S. $10.00 January 2019
Manpreet Singh $20.00 January 2019
Anonymous $50.00 December 2018
D. S. $10.00 December 2018
D. S. $10.00 November 2018
Mandeep Gill $100.00 November 2018
Anonymous $100.00 November 2018
Match Fund $100.00 November 2018
N. K. $100.00 November 2018
Match Fund $10.00 November 2018
Anonymous $10.00 November 2018
D. S. $10.00 October 2018
D. S. $10.00 September 2018
D. S. $10.00 August 2018
D. S. $10.00 July 2018
D. S. $10.00 June 2018
D. S. $10.00 May 2018
D. S. $10.00 April 2018
D. S. $10.00 March 2018
D. S. $10.00 February 2018
D. S. $10.00 January 2018
D. S. $10.00 December 2017
G. S. $100.00 December 2017
D. S. $10.00 November 2017
I. S. $1,000.00 November 2017
H. S. $100.00 November 2017
D. M. $250.00 November 2017
M. S. $250.00 November 2017
D. S. $10.00 October 2017
D. S. $10.00 September 2017
D. S. $10.00 August 2017
D. S. $10.00 July 2017
D. S. $10.00 June 2017
D. S. $10.00 May 2017
D. S. $10.00 April 2017
D. S. $10.00 March 2017
A. B. $190.00 March 2017
D. S. $10.00 February 2017
D. S. $10.00 January 2017
I. S. $1,000.00 January 2017
D. S. $10.00 December 2016
D. M. $100.00 November 2016
Y. S. $100.00 November 2016
D. S. $10.00 November 2016
I. G. $10.00 November 2016
D. M. $1,160.00 November 2016
P. S. $500.00 November 2016
S. K. $10.00 November 2016
H. S. $100.00 November 2016
M. S. $500.00 November 2016
A. S. $50.00 November 2016