Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund SALDEF is a national Sikh American media, policy, and education organization. Founded 1996. www.saldef.org. We envision a United States where all Americans are respected and recognized as a vibrant and integral part of the fabric of this nation.

SALDEF maintains a full-time staff with offices in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA.

SALDEF maintains a full-time staff with offices in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA.

Operating as usual

Hurry! There are ONLY 10 days left to apply to the SikhLEAD #internship program. The SikhLEAD internship program provide...
01/21/2022

Hurry! There are ONLY 10 days left to apply to the SikhLEAD #internship program.

The SikhLEAD internship program provides students with skills that are essential for becoming community leaders that can foster social change.

From Senators to Representatives, to Assemblymen—the offices that the SikhLEAD interns will be working in will give Sikh American youth the opportunity to learn and gain hands-on experience, while the offices themselves get to engage, interact, and learn about the Sikh religion and culture.

Interested? Apply now to be placed in competitive internships.
https://saldef.org/initiatives/sikhlead/sikhlead/

01/20/2022

Thank you to everyone who joined our New Jersey #AAPI mapping forums last week!

If there is a significant community center that is important to you - a house of worship, a school where your community tends to send its kids, a block of small businesses owned and patronized by your community, etc., let us know so we can let the commission know!

You can use this spreadsheet, or forward it on to anyone else with important knowledge: https://bit.ly/3FcsZbk

#tuesdaythoughtsDuring her 2020 SikhLEAD internship, Kismat interned with the Cornerstone Government Affairs, a consulti...
01/18/2022

#tuesdaythoughts

During her 2020 SikhLEAD internship, Kismat interned with the Cornerstone Government Affairs, a consulting firm specializing in federal and state government relations, public affairs and strategic communications.

Despite the pandemic, Kismat was still able to gain valuable experience and exposure to the people and processes of the United States Congress and Washington, D.C.

To hear about Kismat’s program experiences, please join us on IG live tomorrow (1/19) at 4 PM PST // 7 PM EST.

Be a part of this year’s SikhLEAD class. Please visit the link in our bio to learn more and apply to the SikhLEAD program.

#tuesdaythoughts

During her 2020 SikhLEAD internship, Kismat interned with the Cornerstone Government Affairs, a consulting firm specializing in federal and state government relations, public affairs and strategic communications.

Despite the pandemic, Kismat was still able to gain valuable experience and exposure to the people and processes of the United States Congress and Washington, D.C.

To hear about Kismat’s program experiences, please join us on IG live tomorrow (1/19) at 4 PM PST // 7 PM EST.

Be a part of this year’s SikhLEAD class. Please visit the link in our bio to learn more and apply to the SikhLEAD program.

A huge congratulations to Sukhvir Grewal, the first turbaned Deputy Sheriff in Ohio!Sukhvir will serve in the Summit Cou...
01/13/2022

A huge congratulations to Sukhvir Grewal, the first turbaned Deputy Sheriff in Ohio!

Sukhvir will serve in the Summit County Sheriffs Office as well as the Ohio National Guard.

#representationmatters

Lohri is a festival of cheer and celebration. Traditionally, farmers gather around a bonfire in thanks for the blessing ...
01/13/2022

Lohri is a festival of cheer and celebration. Traditionally, farmers gather around a bonfire in thanks for the blessing of heat and warmth that enabled the wonderful harvest - reward for their long months of hard work.

We are all indebted to the farmers for their painstaking efforts all year round without which we would not be able to eat or live. It is as much a mark of respect and recognition to the farmers as a celebration of a bountiful and prosperous year of harvest, that the festival of Lohri is celebrated.

Sending warm wishes your way on this beautiful festival of Lohri from all of us here at SALDEF!

Tag your friend to wish them a happy lohri.

Lohri is a festival of cheer and celebration. Traditionally, farmers gather around a bonfire in thanks for the blessing of heat and warmth that enabled the wonderful harvest - reward for their long months of hard work.

We are all indebted to the farmers for their painstaking efforts all year round without which we would not be able to eat or live. It is as much a mark of respect and recognition to the farmers as a celebration of a bountiful and prosperous year of harvest, that the festival of Lohri is celebrated.

Sending warm wishes your way on this beautiful festival of Lohri from all of us here at SALDEF!

Tag your friend to wish them a happy lohri.

The New Jersey Senate has passed a resolution condemning the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India and termed it genocide.Dr....
01/12/2022
New Jersey Senate condemns 1984 anti-Sikh riots

The New Jersey Senate has passed a resolution condemning the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India and termed it genocide.

Dr. Pritpal Singh of the American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee said: “The resolution recognizes and condemns the state-sponsored violence that targeted Sikhs across India in 1984. It is an important and historic step towards justice, accountability, and reconciliation.”

The resolution was sent to the US President and Vice-President and all elected officials of the US Senate of the US Congress.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/new-jersey-senate-condemns-1984-riots-360467

The New Jersey Senate has passed a resolution condemning the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India and termed it as genocide.

#Tuesdaythoughts2020 SikhLEAD intern, Rimpal Kaur witnessed the countless injustices that plague society, kindling her p...
01/11/2022

#Tuesdaythoughts

2020 SikhLEAD intern, Rimpal Kaur witnessed the countless injustices that plague society, kindling her passion in advocacy and activism. Currently, she is a senior at Georgetown University and, in the future, she hopes to become a civil rights lawyer to fight for the rights of not only her own community but all marginalized communities.

During her time in the SikhLEAD program, Rimpal Bajwa interned with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She especially enjoyed the opportunity to hear from different Sikh American leaders who have been doing civil rights work and who have been fighting and organizing, as “they are fighting for the same values that our Gurus fought for in the past.”

To hear more about Rimpal’s experience in the SikhLEAD internship program, please join us on IG live tomorrow, Jan 12 at 7 PM EST and 4 PM PST.

Interested in applying to the SikhLEAD internship program? The application deadline has been extended to Jan 31, 2022, link in bio.

We want to know where your communities live, work, and gather - houses of worship, school districts, ethnic shopping are...
01/11/2022

We want to know where your communities live, work, and gather - houses of worship, school districts, ethnic shopping areas, etc.

Join your community members tonight at 7:30pm for a virtual mapping session of the AAPI community in Central Jersey!

All the data you provide will help us push for new state districts that keep intact our communities of interest and help elect representatives that share our communities' values and priorities.

Register now: https://bit.ly/3eZcbdt

We want to know where your communities live, work, and gather - houses of worship, school districts, ethnic shopping areas, etc.

Join your community members tonight at 7:30pm for a virtual mapping session of the AAPI community in Central Jersey!

All the data you provide will help us push for new state districts that keep intact our communities of interest and help elect representatives that share our communities' values and priorities.

Register now: https://bit.ly/3eZcbdt

Lovely tribute to Harpreet Chandi, British-born Indian Sikh Army officer, the first woman of color to ski solo and unsup...
01/11/2022
Indian-Origin British Sikh Army Officer Harpreet Chandi Treks Solo To South Pole | NewsMo

Lovely tribute to Harpreet Chandi, British-born Indian Sikh Army officer, the first woman of color to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole.

Say Chandi "You are capable of anything you want. No matter where you are from or where your start line is, everyone starts somewhere. I don't want to just break the glass ceiling, I want to smash it into a million pieces"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWj09LuwA0g

Meet Harpreet Chandi. She is the first woman of color to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole. Harpreet is an Indian-origin British Sikh woman. Watc...

#motivationmondayThe Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) congratulates the 23 leaders the White Hous...
01/10/2022
SALDEF Congratulates Dr. Kamal Singh Kalsi and Nominees to the President’s Advisory Commission - SALDEF

#motivationmonday

The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) congratulates the 23 leaders the White House announced as President Joe Biden’s intended nominees to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI). We are particularly delighted with the inclusion of a Sikh American leader from New Jersey, Dr. Kamal Singh Kalsi.

“Kamal is a trailblazer for our community and immensely deserving of this honor,” said Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director of SALDEF. “In addition to saving lives on the front lines in Afghanistan, he was the first Sikh in decades to be granted religious accommodation by the Department of Defense to wear the articles of his faith. His commitment to service is so strong that he founded the Sikh American Veterans Alliance (SAVA) to advocate for the rights of his fellow Sikhs in the military. SALDEF supports and has partnered with SAVA in the past and we look forward to continuing to work with Kamal to address the needs of the Sikh American and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. As a Sikh who also grew up in New Jersey, I am very proud to be able to call Kamal a friend. He is the embodiment of the Sikh principles of service, optimism, and hard work."

Read the full statement: https://saldef.org/saldef-congratulates-dr-kamal-singh-kalsi-and-nominees-to-the-presidents-advisory-commission/

The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) congratulates the 23 leaders the White House announced as President Biden’s intended nominees to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI). We are particularly delighted wit...

Happy Gurpurab from all of us at SALDEF!
01/09/2022

Happy Gurpurab from all of us at SALDEF!

Happy Gurpurab from all of us at SALDEF!

The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) congratulates Ms. Neena Singh, the first Sikh woman elected ...
01/08/2022

The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) congratulates Ms. Neena Singh, the first Sikh woman elected to town Council in the state of New Jersey. On Thursday January 6, Ms. Singh took her oath of office remotely on the Gutka sahib to serve as Montgomery Township Councilwoman.

Shares Ms. Singh “As an immigrant woman from a small town in India this ceremony was the embodiment of the quote “America was and is the immigrant’s dream” I hope to give my best to Montgomery and fulfill the oath I have taken."

SikhLEAD'19 Alumnus, Jyot Singh said there should have been two districts where at least 20% of the residents were membe...
01/07/2022
N.J.’s new congressional districts show how diverse the state has become

SikhLEAD'19 Alumnus, Jyot Singh said there should have been two districts where at least 20% of the residents were members of the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

Singh added, “The map ignores the growth of the AAPI community - the fastest-growing racial or ethnic minority community in the state,” he said. “The AAPI residents of central NJ were already divided up amongst three congressional districts, and their communities continue to be split.”

Whites aren't a majority of residents in five of the 12 districts. Ten years ago, it was three of ten.

For over a decade, The SikhLEAD Washington DC Internship Program has placed over 100 interns with members of Congress, F...
01/04/2022

For over a decade, The SikhLEAD Washington DC Internship Program has placed over 100 interns with members of Congress, Federal Agencies, and civil rights organizations in Washington DC.

The SikhLEAD Washington DC Internship Program partners with congressional offices, federal agencies, and Washington, DC-based organizations to provide Sikh American students (undergraduate, graduate, and law students) with enriching internship experiences.

This national program is open to students who are 18 years and above and the participants not only get a $1,500 stipend at the completion of the program, but also get the unique opportunity to:

✅ Make invaluable connections

✅ Build their resume

✅ Gain first-hand knowledge of the federal government and the legislative process


The experiences of the SikhLEAD Alumni have allowed them to grow to become politicians, community leaders, lawyers, and much more. Begin your career with SALDEF, apply to the SikhLEAD program now!

https://bit.ly/3mlsO7k

🚨Only a few hours left to join us at SALDEF’s 25th anniversary virtual gala. 🤩 You won’t want to miss out on a night of ...
12/19/2021

🚨Only a few hours left to join us at SALDEF’s 25th anniversary virtual gala.

🤩 You won’t want to miss out on a night of amazing performances, funny skits and inspiring stories.

🎟 There is still time to buy your ticket, but don’t wait too long! Buy your ticket now. bit.ly/3Eu92xg

🚨Only a few hours left to join us at SALDEF’s 25th anniversary virtual gala.

🤩 You won’t want to miss out on a night of amazing performances, funny skits and inspiring stories.

🎟 There is still time to buy your ticket, but don’t wait too long! Buy your ticket now. bit.ly/3Eu92xg

12/15/2021

What does SALDEF represent to you?
 
For Gurbir Grewal, the Nation’s First Sikh Attorney General, SALDEF symbolizes a credible voice.
 
Listen to his full speech THIS Sunday Dec 19 at 6:00 PM EST during our 25th anniversary virtual celebration.
 
🎟Tickets are just $45 for adults and $25 for students, for an evening of inspiring Sikh luminaries, visionaries and artists. Buy your tickets now before its’ too late using the link in our bio or visit www.saldef.org/virtual-gala-2021

Can’t attend? Make a tax-deductible donation now at www.saldef.org/donate

"Stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. I think ...
12/15/2021
Harnaaz Sandhu, the first Sikh woman Crowned as Miss Universe 2021

"Stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. I think this is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourself because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that’s why I’m standing here today.” said Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu on December 13.

We would like to extend a huge congratulations to Harnaaz Sandhu, the first Sikh woman Crowned as Miss Universe 2021 👏

Home World Other News Harnaaz Sandhu, the first Sikh woman Crowned as Miss Universe 2021 Other News 14 December 2021 15:00 (UTC+04:00) Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu is the new Miss Universe 2021! The 21-year-old from Chandigarh, was declared the winner of the 70th edition of the pageant on Sunday night in Eil...

12/14/2021

Get inspired and unlock your potential.

THIS Sunday, join SALDEF’s first-ever virtual celebration featuring inspirational leaders and community trailblazers such as keynote speaker, Senator Manka Dhingra!

Get your tickets now to make sure you don’t miss out on December 19, 2021 at 6:00 PM EST.

Buy your tickets here: bit.ly/3Eu92xg

#weekendmood We had so much fun filming the vibrant @ikaasasuri and @gurpreetsarin who will be hosting SALDEF’s upcoming...
12/11/2021

#weekendmood

We had so much fun filming the vibrant @ikaasasuri and @gurpreetsarin who will be hosting SALDEF’s upcoming virtual gala next Sunday!

🎁With only a week left for the event, buy your tickets now for a chance to win some awesome prizes, swipe right to see! All ticket proceeds go directly to SALDEF.

💫Be sure to join the fun on December 19, 2021 at 6:00 PM EST. Link in bio or visit saldef.org/virtual-gala-2021

12/09/2021
SikhLEADer and Soon to be Published Author!

What does it mean to unlock Sikh American potential?

For soon to be published author, Ekjoatroop Kaur, it means using your talents to elevate the representation of your community. As a SikhLEAD class of 2021 alumni, Ekjoatroop gained the mentorship and sangat of like-minded peers to achieve her goals of improving Sikh representation through storytelling and writing a book, “For the Sake of It”.

This thrilling dystopian novel is set in the aftermath of WW3, the story follows Meher, a Sikh American teenager, as she is sent to a concentration camp where she struggles with being nothing less than an abomination in a society that has made her out to be the villain in their narrative.

We are so proud of Ekjoatroop’s work, and can’t wait to read her upcoming book!

If you would like a chance to win a free copy and hear the rest of her speech, please buy your tickets to SALDEF’s upcoming virtual gala, “unlocking Sikh-American potential” now!

https://bit.ly/3y8FKSu

To be a part of the upcoming SikhLEAD class of 2022, apply here: https://bit.ly/3DHek7g

#throwbacktuesday Creating Sikh American history, the SikhLEAD Class of 2014 held the first-ever Langar on Capitol Hill,...
12/07/2021

#throwbacktuesday

Creating Sikh American history, the SikhLEAD Class of 2014 held the first-ever Langar on Capitol Hill, introducing Congressional leaders, colleagues and neighbors to the Sikh American way of life.

Reflecting on the values of langar, people of all faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds were invited to sit together on the floor to share a simple, vegetarian meal in the Rayburn Building of the U.S. House of Representatives. 
 
National leaders, including Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), and Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA) addressed the gathering, reflecting on Sikh American contributions, as well as their ongoing commitment to serve Sikh American communities across the nation. Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) also visited the langue.
 
To be a part of the upcoming SikhLEAD class of 2022, please apply now using the link in our bio!

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Comments

Hurry! There are ONLY 10 days left to apply to the SikhLEAD #internship program. The SikhLEAD internship program provides students with skills that are essential for becoming community leaders that can foster social change. From Senators to Representatives, to Assemblymen—the offices that the SikhLEAD interns will be working in will give Sikh American youth the opportunity to learn and gain hands-on experience, while the offices themselves get to engage, interact, and learn about the Sikh religion and culture. Interested? Apply now to be placed in competitive internships. https://saldef.org/initiatives/sikhlead/sikhlead/
Thank you to everyone who joined our New Jersey #AAPI mapping forums last week! If there is a significant community center that is important to you - a house of worship, a school where your community tends to send its kids, a block of small businesses owned and patronized by your community, etc., let us know so we can let the commission know! You can use this spreadsheet, or forward it on to anyone else with important knowledge: https://bit.ly/3FcsZbk
#tuesdaythoughts During her 2020 SikhLEAD internship, Kismat interned with the Cornerstone Government Affairs, a consulting firm specializing in federal and state government relations, public affairs and strategic communications. Despite the pandemic, Kismat was still able to gain valuable experience and exposure to the people and processes of the United States Congress and Washington, D.C. To hear about Kismat’s program experiences, please join us on IG live tomorrow (1/19) at 4 PM PST // 7 PM EST. Be a part of this year’s SikhLEAD class. Please visit the link in our bio to learn more and apply to the SikhLEAD program.
A huge congratulations to Sukhvir Grewal, the first turbaned Deputy Sheriff in Ohio! Sukhvir will serve in the Summit County Sheriffs Office as well as the Ohio National Guard. #representationmatters
Lohri is a festival of cheer and celebration. Traditionally, farmers gather around a bonfire in thanks for the blessing of heat and warmth that enabled the wonderful harvest - reward for their long months of hard work. We are all indebted to the farmers for their painstaking efforts all year round without which we would not be able to eat or live. It is as much a mark of respect and recognition to the farmers as a celebration of a bountiful and prosperous year of harvest, that the festival of Lohri is celebrated. Sending warm wishes your way on this beautiful festival of Lohri from all of us here at SALDEF! Tag your friend to wish them a happy lohri.
The New Jersey Senate has passed a resolution condemning the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India and termed it genocide. Dr. Pritpal Singh of the American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee said: “The resolution recognizes and condemns the state-sponsored violence that targeted Sikhs across India in 1984. It is an important and historic step towards justice, accountability, and reconciliation.” The resolution was sent to the US President and Vice-President and all elected officials of the US Senate of the US Congress. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/new-jersey-senate-condemns-1984-riots-360467
#Tuesdaythoughts 2020 SikhLEAD intern, Rimpal Kaur witnessed the countless injustices that plague society, kindling her passion in advocacy and activism. Currently, she is a senior at Georgetown University and, in the future, she hopes to become a civil rights lawyer to fight for the rights of not only her own community but all marginalized communities. During her time in the SikhLEAD program, Rimpal Bajwa interned with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She especially enjoyed the opportunity to hear from different Sikh American leaders who have been doing civil rights work and who have been fighting and organizing, as “they are fighting for the same values that our Gurus fought for in the past.” To hear more about Rimpal’s experience in the SikhLEAD internship program, please join us on IG live tomorrow, Jan 12 at 7 PM EST and 4 PM PST. Interested in applying to the SikhLEAD internship program? The application deadline has been extended to Jan 31, 2022, link in bio.
We want to know where your communities live, work, and gather - houses of worship, school districts, ethnic shopping areas, etc. Join your community members tonight at 7:30pm for a virtual mapping session of the AAPI community in Central Jersey! All the data you provide will help us push for new state districts that keep intact our communities of interest and help elect representatives that share our communities' values and priorities. Register now: https://bit.ly/3eZcbdt
Lovely tribute to Harpreet Chandi, British-born Indian Sikh Army officer, the first woman of color to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole. Say Chandi "You are capable of anything you want. No matter where you are from or where your start line is, everyone starts somewhere. I don't want to just break the glass ceiling, I want to smash it into a million pieces" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWj09LuwA0g
#motivationmonday The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) congratulates the 23 leaders the White House announced as President Joe Biden’s intended nominees to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI). We are particularly delighted with the inclusion of a Sikh American leader from New Jersey, Dr. Kamal Singh Kalsi. “Kamal is a trailblazer for our community and immensely deserving of this honor,” said Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director of SALDEF. “In addition to saving lives on the front lines in Afghanistan, he was the first Sikh in decades to be granted religious accommodation by the Department of Defense to wear the articles of his faith. His commitment to service is so strong that he founded the Sikh American Veterans Alliance (SAVA) to advocate for the rights of his fellow Sikhs in the military. SALDEF supports and has partnered with SAVA in the past and we look forward to continuing to work with Kamal to address the needs of the Sikh American and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. As a Sikh who also grew up in New Jersey, I am very proud to be able to call Kamal a friend. He is the embodiment of the Sikh principles of service, optimism, and hard work." Read the full statement: https://saldef.org/saldef-congratulates-dr-kamal-singh-kalsi-and-nominees-to-the-presidents-advisory-commission/
Happy Gurpurab from all of us at SALDEF!
The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) congratulates Ms. Neena Singh, the first Sikh woman elected to town Council in the state of New Jersey. On Thursday January 6, Ms. Singh took her oath of office remotely on the Gutka sahib to serve as Montgomery Township Councilwoman. Shares Ms. Singh “As an immigrant woman from a small town in India this ceremony was the embodiment of the quote “America was and is the immigrant’s dream” I hope to give my best to Montgomery and fulfill the oath I have taken."