NYC community groups, city agencies provide taxi drivers with resources on hate crime

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Sikh Coalition volunteers in NYC help distribute information on how to protect yourself against hate crimes, to taxi and rideshare drivers Feb. 12, 2022 at JFK. Photo: Sikh Coaliltion.

On Saturday, February 12, the Sikh Coalition joined with ‘sevadaars’ (members doing service), city agencies, and fellow civil rights and community organizations to distribute free resources to taxi and rideshare drivers in New York City, meant to prevent hate crimes and help drivers respond quickly and effectively if passengers do threaten their safety.

Gathering at JFK International Airport on Saturday, February 12, more than 25 volunteers distributed 600 fliers with links to free resources available from 10 organizations in more than 12 different languages.

“Events like these are critical for getting resources into the hands of people who need them and showing solidarity between different community organizations and the city agencies that serve them,” Sikh Coalition Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager Nikki Singh is quoted saying in the press release from Sikh Coalition. “We are grateful to everyone who made this resource distribution possible, and look forward to continuing to provide legal, advocacy, and community-based support to our taxi and rideshare drivers,” she added.

A Sikh Coalition distributing informatuion to taxi drivers about hate crime in a Saturday Feb. 12, 2022 event. Photo: Sikh Coalition
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The organizations involved included Arab American Association of New York, the Asian American Federation, CAIR of New York, the Korean American Family Service Center, Muslim Community Network New York, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Stand with Asian Americans, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the NYC Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, and the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. The Sikh Coalition thanked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for providing volunteers transportation and means to reach the drivers.

“Taxi and rideshare drivers from our communities remain vulnerable to hate and discrimination given their interactions with the public,” the Sikh Coalition noted pointing to the past several years, when it has provided free legal aid to a number of Sikh drivers who have been violently attacked–including a community driver assaulted at JFK early last month, whose attacker has since been charged with a hate crime.

“… we are excited to partner with city agencies and other local organizations to reach individuals in need outside of our own community,” the Sikh Coalition said.

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