Sikh Americans hold Hate Crime Conference in Delano, CA on April 5, 2017

Honorable David Wolf being honored at the Hate Conference, Delano, CA

Members of the Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Delano along with American Sikh Council (ASC) representatives S.Manbir Singh, S.Balmeet Singh in Delano, CA, planned, organized and held a conference on ‘Accessing the Justice System’ on Wednesday April 5, 2017.

There were several speakers who spoke at the conference, including Scott Spielman (Assistant District Attorney), David Wolf (Court Judge), Peter Kang (Public Defender), S.Balmeet Singh, and Harnoor Kaur.  S.Manbir Singh led and conducted the program. All the justice officials were from the City of Bakersfield, CA.

Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman being honored at the Hate Conference, Delano, CA

The sangat was informed about crime prevention, reporting and recording bias/hate based incidents, and speaking up so that justice can be served. Many times the proper protocol is not followed and therefore the results are poor. The guest speakers did reiterate their promise to make sure justice is served when and if there are hate crimes since accountability is paramount. They also spoke about the need to see diversity in the next generation of justice system officials. Judge David Wolf reaffirmed his promise that Sikhs will be welcomed to his court with Kirpans on.  S.Balmeet Singh, a local resident and Sikh activist, shared his experiences since the hate crime in September 2016.

This event was for community awareness, bridge building, networking, critical resources material availability, and clarifications on how to respond and report bias/hate crimes. The information and material, including re-affirmation that the justice system needs to be accessible to all, was very informative and helpful.

The local sangat was very appreciative of the fact that the officials made an effort to reach out to the Sikh American community who continue to report incidents of hate crimes, not only in Bakersfield, but across the country.

Senior city justice officials at the Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Delano, CA for the Hate Conference

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