‘Sikh Americans for Biden’ an advocacy group made up of Indian-Americans of the Sikh faith, held its first official event Sept. 17, 2020, co-sponsored by South Asians for Biden, the umbrella organization formed to garner support in the South Asian community for the former Vice President’s run for the White House.
The meeting was intended to address the unique challenges faced by the Sikh Indian-American community with regard to bullying, and highlighted Vice President Joe Biden’s plans for protecting Sikh American youth in schools, a press release said.
The online event was hosted by three prominent figures in the Sikh American community, filmmaker and lawyer Valarie Kaur, bullying survivor and advocate Japjee Singh, and child psychiatrist Dr. Gagandeep Singh.
Japjee Singh detailed experiences of bullying at his high school in Georgia.
“A lot of the systems in place prevent victims of bullying from being heard and validated,” said Japjee Singh. “Oftentimes, these victims are perceived as the aggressors; they are not. Vice President Biden is committed to changing these systems so we can provide survivors of bullying with the support that they need,” he is quoted saying in the press release.
Civil rights activist and member of the Sikh American National Leadership Council (an advisory council to Sikh Americans for Biden) Kiran Kaur Gill said Vice President Biden “has a track record of taking stances against hate, discrimination, and bullying, and his leadership on these issues matter to our community.”
Both Josh Dickson, the National Faith Engagement director for the Biden campaign, and Seema Sadanandan, a policy advisor for the campaign, were present at the event according to news reports.
Sadanandan and Dickson noted that Biden has committed to a number of initiatives that garner strong support from the Sikh American community including allocating additional funding to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education for anti-bullying initiatives. Biden has also cited specific plans to re-establish the Obama-Biden White House AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force, which would partner with community organizations, including Sikh non-profits, the newspaper, India West, reported.