Karanveer Singh with educators at the ASC exhibit
American Sikh Council (ASC) representatives S. Sutinder Singh, S.Ashvinder Kaur, S.Mohanbir Singh, S.Baljeet Singh, S.Karanveer Singh, S.Sherveer Singh and S.Kavneet Singh organized and set up an Sikh exhibit at the National School Board Association (NSBA) Convention which was held for two days, March 30 – 31, 2019 at the Philadelphia Convention Center, in downtown Philadelphia, PA
Over 6,000 superintendents, school board administrators, principals, specialists, educators, professors, attorneys, and many other experts attended this conference. There were over 225 exhibitors and hundreds of educational sessions covering, topics from bullying, racism, bias; use of technology, enhancing education, empathy training to suicide prevention, and much more.
ASC representatives interacted with the convention attendees by having conversations and answering many interesting questions posed by the superintendents, school board officials and other educators. Hundreds of brochures covering the Sikhs and Scouts, History of Sikh Americans, Sikh Genocide and Bullying of Sikh American Children were displayed and distributed. The recently published book supported by the American Sikh Council ‘Bullying of Sikh American Children – Through the Eyes of a Sikh American High School Student’, www.bullyingasikhamericanchildren.org was displayed; as this is another very important resources tool which can be used by school superintendent to help the rampant bullying and victimization of many minorities groups like the Sikh American children. This book was even attested by President Barack Obama on April 29, 2016. The book is already implemented in over three dozen school districts across the East Coast and some high schools are using the book for their AP English, AP Psychology and AP History classes.
Kavneet Singh with an attendee Karanveer Singh with attendees
Ms.Kim B from Maine was so enthused by the ASC exhibit and the information she received, that she requested videos, power point presentation and other material, as she felt there is a dire need to educate those children who grow up with less diversity around them.
ASC has thousands of requests by schools to come and give presentations in schools to educate and dispel ignorance about the Sikh heritage. It behooves all the member gurdwaras, sangat members and concerned parents to step up and support the ASC initiatives and only then can we make a positive change and a bigger impact.
Attendees having turbans tied at the ASC exhibit at the NSAB Conference 2019
Numerous attendees complimented the ASC representative on the interactive exhibit and the various levels of educational material available to educate the educators.
Ms.Kristie H an attorney who visited the exhibit stated, “It was a pleasure meeting you today. Speaking with you was extremely informative. Your message is one that should be shared with the masses to increase awareness and avoid bias.”
The American Sikh Council (ASC) representatives tied over 175 turbans on all those attendees who wished to understand what it means to wear a dastaar. Many came back with a renewed understanding and more empathy and shared their comments of they felt while being ‘turbaned’ in and around the convention area.
Attendees proudly wearing turbans with Baljeet Singh
The networking and the result of ASC’s collective work was a unqualified success. In order to sustain this ongoing effort ASC requests all the gurdwaras but especially member gurdwaras to continue their support of these very important educational initiatives to help our next generation thrive for a better future.
Baljeet Singh with visitors at the ASC exhibit