The Sikh Coalition announced Aug. 6 that U.S. Rep. T.J. Cox, D-California, introduced a resolution formally recognizing the significance of Guru Nanak’s 550th gurpurab, or birth anniversary, as well as more than 125 years of Sikh contributions to U.S. society.
The coalition, the nation’s largest Sikh civil rights organization, endorsed Cox’s resolution and is grateful for his leadership, it said in a statement.
“I am proud to recognize American Sikhs by introducing this resolution,” said Cox, who serves as vice chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, in a statement.
“My district in California is home to approximately 25,000 Sikhs and seven gurdwaras (Sikh houses of worship),” he added. “Because diversity is a core strength of our country, we must respect the contributions and traditions of Americans of all faith backgrounds. I look forward to continuing to work with the Sikh community in my district.”
Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Advocacy and Policy Sim J. Singh added: “Resolutions like this are a key part of the Sikh Coalition’s ongoing efforts to engage our elected officials. Raising awareness of the contributions of Sikh Americans as well as the cultural and historical significance of our religion is a critical component in the larger fight to ensure our civil rights are protected and respected.”
In addition to supporting this resolution, the Sikh Coalition is working with gurdwaras across the United States to celebrate Guru Nanak’s 550th gurpurab.
This effort includes hosting gurdwara open houses to welcome elected officials, law enforcement and members of the community, as well as facilitating seva projects with national partners.
To date, more than 10 gurdwaras have signed on to these efforts, which will help people across the United States learn more about the Sikh community, faith and traditions, the coalition noted.
This year, the Sikh Coalition has worked with community members, legislators, and others across the United States to pass resolutions and proclamations promoting Sikh awareness.
The coalition said that, thanks to these efforts, five states — Colorado, Utah, Connecticut, Washington and Wisconsin — all passed their first-ever statewide resolutions, and eight additional states built on similar work from years prior.
These efforts remain a key part of the Sikh Coalition’s work to make sure that elected officials at the local, state and federal level — as well as the broader public — recognize the invaluable contributions of the Sikh community in the United States, it said.