April 1, 2019 (New York, NY) – Yesterday, CBS's Religion & Culture documentary series launched an episode featuring youth from minority faiths, including the Sikh American community.
The CBS episode, titled “Religion & Identity in Young America,” deepens the conversation about the impact of religious-based bullying and the work being done within the Sikh community to collectively combat the problem. It features multiple Sikh interviews – including a former Sikh Coalition legal client and his family, a Sikh psychologist and a New Jersey Sikh community leader.
“The story of bullying in American schools is rarely told,” said Sikh Coalition Executive Director, Satjeet Kaur. “But I am confident this new CBS episode highlighting this problem will inspire youth to know they are not alone, as our organization continues to empower the community and educate.”
The Sikh Coalition is leading a multi-year campaign to address the issue of bullying in schools nationwide. In 2014, the Sikh Coalition launched the first-ever comprehensive report examining Sikh bullying in schools.
In 2015, the Sikh Coalition settled a landmark anti-bullying case with the Department of Justice that now better protects over 100,000 children from bullying. The national civil rights organization continues working to combat this issue through its free legal aid for students and families, educational resources and work to ensure Sikhism is included in state educational standards.
Last year, the Sikh Coalition released a comprehensive toolkit for parents and educators with resources to make classrooms more inclusive. Additionally, as part of its campaign to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn about the Sikh faith and community, the organization has worked with Sikhs and policymakers across the U.S. to secure updates in eight state education standards that now include accurate information about Sikhism, impacting up to 15 million students.
“We have a collective responsibility to ensure that our nation’s schools are safe for all children, and this CBS episode will help reinforce that accountability on a national scale,” said Sikh Coalition Education Director, Pritpal Kaur.
The Sikh Coalition supported the CBS production team, pitched the idea, provided background resource material and facilitated all of the Sikh interviews. Additionally, the CBS team spent a day filming Khalsa school students and the Junior Sikh Coalition at the Guru Nanak Mission Gurudwara in Oakland, New Jersey and separately filmed Jewish and Muslim community members for the episode.
Additionally, the Sikh Coalition joined New Jersey's Guru Nanak Mission Gurudwara to host a screening of the CBS episode and a panel discussion on school bullying. The event aimed to foster a larger conversation within the Sikh community about how religious-based bullying is affecting Sikh children. Click here to watch the panel online.
“Religion & Identity in Young America” began airing in regional media markets across the United States on March 31st. It is also available to watch on digital platforms, including the CBS News website and YouTube. For a full list of television airtime schedules, please visit the complete listing.
The Sikh Coalition has worked on several high-impact television moments in recent years, including CNN’s United Shades of America, The Daily Show, NBC Evening News and CBS Evening News. For more information about the upcoming CBS episode or to interview Sikh Coalition staff involved with the project, please contact Rajanpreet Kaur or Harkeet Singh.