The Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the United States recently announced the groundbreaking Sikh episode that will air on CNN’s United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell this Sunday, May 6th at 10 pm ET/PT and 9 pm CT.
For 17 years, the Sikh Coalition has defended Sikh civil liberties in the courtroom, classroom, community, and halls of Congress.
Whether it’s working to secure safer schools, prevent hate and discrimination, create equal employment opportunities or empower local Sikh communities, the Sikh Coalition’s goal is working towards a world where Sikhs, and other religious minorities in America, may freely practice their faith without bias and discrimination.
The harassment of Sikhs in America begins as kids. Winty Singh, a social justice fellow at the Sikh Coalition, wrote an impassioned piece on CNN yesterday, about what a Sikh child faces in America. He wrote, “In sixth grade, on my first day of school, a teacher asked me to remove my “beanie.” After a chorus of laughter from my classmates, I stumbled to explain that it wasn’t a beanie, and that I would not take it off. She relented without apology, but my classmates didn’t, and “beanie” became the common word for my turban for the rest of school year.”
“As I got older, this bullying intensified, and one student tried to cut my unshorn hair (also an article of my faith). By the time I got to high school, I no longer felt safe in unsupervised places. I hid the depth of the problem from my parents for years, but when they discovered the truth, we approached educators, and I was forced to name the names of my fellow students. This news spread like wildfire, and the only result was that I was further ostracized.”
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.