National Effort Aims to Inform Americans about Sikhism and Sikh Turban

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Friday, April 18, 2017: Washington, D.C. – The National Sikh Campaign (NSC) has launched We Are Sikhs - an initiative to improve awareness of the Sikh religion and Sikh Americans nationally and in local communities throughout the United States. This was unveiled on April 14 on CNN as the Sikh community in the United States was celebrating Vaisakhi, an auspicious occasion celebrating the Sikh identity. 30 second ad was run on CNN and on social media. It also intends to run similar ad on FOX. In addition, it unveiled a state of the website, www.WeareSikhs.org.

Through a major marketing, grassroots and public relations effort, We Are Sikhs will focus on increasing the Sikh American community’s presence in national and local news outlets, online platforms and within their neighborhoods. The initiative will utilize national and local television and cable advertisements, digital advertisements, an innovative website and social channels and community events to affect change.

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“We are very proud to launch We Are Sikhs, a national effort to help inform our fellow Americans about who we are and why we are proud to wear the turban, a symbol of our community’s commitment to equality and serving others,” said Dr. Rajwant Singh, co-founder and senior advisor of the National Sikh Campaign. “Sikh Americans are pillars of their communities in every corner of our nation and we must work to proactively meet and connect with our neighbors.”

For this unprecedented PR work for Sikhs, NSC had engaged AKPD, President Obama's media team and Hart Research Associates, which does strategy work for the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Harvard University. In addition, it has hired FP1 Strategies, a conservative and Republican leaning marketing team which has done strategy work for President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaign and it has done marketing for Facebook and Ford Motor Company. President Bill Clinton's speech writer planned and edited the content of the website WeareSikhs.org. NSC held fundraising events in 14 cities to garner support from the community and the total cost of this campaign is expected to be $1.3 Million.

The Sikh community has been the target of discrimination, intimidation, harassment and hate crimes since the 9/11 Attacks largely because of a collective misunderstanding of what the turban means in the Sikh faith. Sikhs wear the turban to show their willingness to serve others in the community and their commitment to equality for all people. 99% of individuals wearing turbans in the U.S. are of the Sikh faith.

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“Sikh values are American values, and Sikh Americans have been making positive and significant contributions to American life for more than a century. We run local businesses, sing our national anthem with pride, serve on local Parent Teacher Associations and lead Boy Scout Troops,” said Gurwin Singh Ahuja, co-founder and executive director of the National Sikh Campaign. “We welcome the opportunity to share our values of equality, diversity and service through We Are Sikhs. The American dream is fundamental to our identity here in America, and we believe deeply in the freedom to pursue one’s own success through hard work.”

Despite these many contributions, 60% of Americans admit to knowing nothing at all about Sikh Americans, and 66% of Americans have never interacted with a Sikh American before. While this lack of awareness and interaction exists, the National Sikh Campaign believes there is enormous potential to enhance positive feelings and familiarity toward Sikh Americans through this effort.

The National Sikh Campaign (NSC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the many contributions Sikh Americans are making in their communities every day. Whether it’s serving multiple tours overseas, leading Fortune 500 companies, managing family farms, serving as elected officials or promoting equality and serving the local community, Sikhs put into action the values that make America great.

NSC’s mission is to ensure that more Americans can immediately recognize and understand who Sikh Americans are, what their faith is all about and how it shapes their significant contributions to American life. To learn more, please visit www.sikhcampaign.org

Contact: [email protected]

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