United We Stand Summit at White House on Sep 15

The day commemorates1963 Baptist Church bombing and first post-9/11 hate crime murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi in 2001

The White House will be hosting a United We Stand Summit on Sep 15 to formulate a strategy to fill longstanding gaps in the federal government’s response to hate crimes and white supremacist violence.

New York based Civil rights organization Sikh Coalition has been in conversation with the Biden Administration for the past few months about the structure and goals of this summit.

Read: Vigil in Arizona to honor Sikh victim of 9/11 hate crime (September 15, 2021)

The civil rights group has been asking for more encouragement for the inclusion of a wide range of communities including those from the Muslim, Sikh, South Asian, and Arab American populations.

The early policy recommendations include a presidential commission on hate and white supremacist violence as well as an executive order in response to longstanding gaps in the federal government’s response to hate crimes and white supremacist violence.

Also recommended is a national strategy to ensure that schools across the nation are able to teach accurate curriculums on diversity, inclusion, and the identity and history of communities who are impacted by bigotry and hate.

The Sikh Coalition also recommended the date —Sep 15 — as a commemoration of both the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, and the 2001 murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi in Mesa, Arizona — the first deadly post-9/11 hate crime.

Read: Biden to host ‘United We Stand’ summit against hate-fuelled violence in US ( August 19, 2022)

At the summit, some Sikh community voices will be recognized and honored. Sikh Coalition Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager Sim J. Singh Attariwala will be attending the day’s conversations. Rana Singh Sodhi, Sikh community leader from Mesa, Arizona and brother of Balbir Singh Sodhi, will also be there.

Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Sikh community leader from Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and son of Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was killed in the Aug 5, 2012 attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and Mandeep Kaur, another Sikh community leader from Oak Creek will also attend the summit.

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