The Sikh Coalition

Award Recipients - 2005

Prabhjot Singh & Amardeep Singh, Co-Founders

The Sikh Coalition (The Coalition) defends civil rights and liberties, educates the broader community about Sikhs, promotes community empowerment and fosters civic engagement among Sikh Americans.  Its focus is on community relations, education, the September 11th attack when Sikhs joined to condemn the acts of terrorism and called on police to protect Sikhs from hate crimes and religious and racial profiling taking place across the country.  The founders documented bias incidents and organized a contingent to the U.S. Senate, which resulted in the passing of a resolution condemning hate crimes.

Currently, the Coalition provides direct legal services.  Its work has resulted in the New York Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority allowing Sikh employees to wear turbans.  The organization has co-drafted bills introduced into the City Council to ban discrimination on the basis of religious headdress and to require the city to create a plan to address hate-motivated backlash.  The Coalition also promotes civic engagement of the Sikh community, and its organized protests resulted in the prosecution of the five men for hate crimes in the brutal beating of a Sikh elder.  The Coalition conducts educational workshops for the Sikh community and the general public and has distributed more than 20,000 brochures about Sikh culture.

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