Press Release: SALDEF Hosts Know Your Rights Forum in Jersey City, NJ
January 29, 2018
For more information contact: Gujari Singh (631) 404-9977
Jersey City, NJ – Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) hosted a Know Your Rights Forum this past weekend on Sunday, January 28, 2018, in Jersey City, NJ at Nanak Naam Jahaj Gurudwara.
The purpose of the Know Your Rights Forum is to: (1) introduce Sikh American community members to agencies and groups that can address complaints, incidents, or issues they may have and (2) provide local, state, and federal government agencies the opportunity to build relationships with and address the specific needs of their local Sikh American community (3) provide local, state, and federal government agencies the opportunity to build relationships with and address the specific needs of their local Sikh American community.
Participating agencies include the Department of Justice, the NJ-Dept of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Mr. Michael Rojas from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was the first speaker, he covered the role of the EEOC, focusing on the enforcement of civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. Mr. Rojas said, “our ultimate goal is to prevent discrimination in the workplace.” He also noted that you have 300 days to report the matter from the initial incident.
Mr. John Paige from the NJ-Dept. of Homeland Security spoke about what NJ-DHS does and how they coordinate with Federal Government on threats. He also talked about the interfaith quarterly meeting they conduct. Mr. Paige encouraged the Sangat to be vigilant in reporting crimes, he said, “it empowers people (the assailant) if you don’t report hate crimes and harassment.”
Mr. Anthony Zampogna, from the FBI, spoke about the recent uptick in hate-crimes, what constitutes a hate-crime and how to report it. Mr. Zampogna said, “the matter of hate crime is our highest priority in our civil rights program and in the past year we have engaged in a lot more investigations than in past years.”
Ms. Suzanne Buchanan of the Dept. of Justice Community Relations Service spoke about conflict resolution between communities, and misunderstanding between law enforcement and minority communities. She also spoke about child bullying at schools, and what to do, if your child is a victim. During the Q & A after the presentation, a few members talked to Ms. Buchanan about child bullying at school. She talked at length describing the long-term and short-term actions. In the short-term, she suggested reaching out to your local affiliate in the DOJ, to conduct in school mediation with the faculty. For the long-term she suggested working with local officials and representatives on introducing Sikhism to the curriculum.
SALDEF is committed to empowering the Sikh American community nationwide about their rights and how to exercise them without fear or hesitation.
READ MORE: Who are Sikh Americans (informational) www.saldef.org/who-are-sikh-
READ MORE: Sikh Media Style Guide — http://saldef.org/wp-content/
Please direct any inquiries and RSVP to:
For pictures of the event please email Gujari@Saldef.org
About SALDEF: SALDEF is a 20 year old national Sikh American policy, media and educational organization. Our mission is to empower Sikh Americans by building dialogue, deepening understanding, promoting civic and political participation, and upholding social justice and religious freedom for all Americans.
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