Since 9/11, Sikhs in America have faced many incidents of violence and prejudice due to ignorance about Sikh faith, their appearance and dress, especially the turban. This necessitated a need to launch a campaign to acquaint Americans, who have little to no understanding about Sikh faith, about the Sikh identity. Efforts of the Sikh community in US led to launching of National Sikh Campaign (NSC).
In a release issued on Friday, NSC’s senior adviser and chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, Rajwant Singh informed that as many as two hundred Sikhs came together to raise funds for the NSC’s media initiative to create awareness about Sikhism in America.
“An amount of $150,000 was raised by an enthusiastic audience at an evening gala from various parts of the Seattle suburbs and also all the way from Salem, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah,” he said.
He said the gathering also observed a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando shootings where 49 people were gunned down.
He said the community realized the need for this media outreach effort amidst concern for the backlash from the weekend Orlando massacre where the killer had pledged allegiance to ISIS. Previously, such occurrences have had a negative impact on Sikhs across the nation.
The NSC would run a historic, presidential-style TV Ad campaign for Sikhs that would educate Americans about the Sikh identity and Sikhism. “The campaign is working with President Obama’s media firm, AKPD, founded by David Axelrod, former senior advisor and Hillary Clinton’s former chief strategist, Geoff Garin to fundamentally change the way Sikhs are perceived in America,” he said.
Singh went on to add that thirty second advertisement on Sikhs have been prepared by AKPD under a strategic plan devised by Hart Research Associates, headed by Geoff Garin. The advertisements would be shown on major TV channels across America.
Coordinator of NSC’s team in Seattle Inderpal Singh said, “We are very thankful to the Seattle area community for showing their support for this very important initiative for Sikhs in America. It is for our future generations.”
He informed that the NSC had been gaining momentum in the past few months as they steadily reveal their sophisticated advertisements, website, and cutting edge research to select cities across the country