Board of Education Designates November As Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month

LOS ANGELES (Nov 15, 2016) - The Board of Education voted unanimously today to join the state of California in recognizing November as Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month.

Sponsored by Board President Steve Zimmer and Board Member Mónica Ratliff, the resolution honors the estimated 500,000 Sikhs who live in the United States, primarily in California, New York and New Jersey. Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world.

“I have come to know and respect the contributions from our Sikh community in California,” said Board President Zimmer. “We also know and understand the adversity and prejudice our Sikh brothers and sisters, especially our young men, have faced in our schools and in our neighborhoods. We will not rest until our schools are safe and respect the dignity of all students – a key pillar of the Sikh faith.”

Board Member Ratliff said she was pleased the board approved the measure.

“I am proud to co-sponsor this resolution with Board President Zimmer, joining the state of California in designating the month of November to be Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month,” Board Member Ratliff said. “In the East San Fernando Valley, my office has worked with the Khalsa Care Foundation, a Sikh organization, which has been a strong partner to local public schools and the broader community.” 

Sikh history and culture is represented throughout Los Angeles and in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County and in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

The resolution also acknowledges the efforts of the Sikh American community to overcome harassment, discrimination and violence that have threatened their identity and practices.

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766

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