ASC’s Annual General Body Meeting held at the Sikh Center of Seattle, Bothell, WA on Oct 11-13, 2019

ASC delegates at the Bothell Gurdwara Sahib ASC-GB Meeting on Oct 12, 2019

American Sikh Council (ASC) held its annual General Body meeting at the Walnut Gurdwara from October11 – 13, 2019.

The American Sikh Council (ASC) is a national association of currently 74 gurdwaras and Sikh institutions across the US. ASC has six (6) major ongoing national initiatives, namely; ‘Bullying Prevention’, ‘Sikh Scouting’, ‘Educate the Educators’, ‘Sustained Sikh Genocide 1984-1998’, ‘Sikh Centered Book Publishing’ and ‘Interfaith Dialog’.

ASC has educated, face to face by holding Sikh exhibits across the nation, to over 120,000 educators in the last 45 months. Also held 49 events and educated over 5,000 school children and 6,000 bullying prevention specialists in the last 45 months. Additionally, ASC has educated over 170,000 Boy and Girl Scouts in the last five years, across the US. Over a dozen brochures and twelve (12) academic books have been published since 2013. Thanks to ASC’s painstaking effort the ‘Sustained Sikh Genocide 1984-1998’ is part of the ‘Holocaust and Other Genocides’ curriculum in the state of New Jersey. All the effort is making an incredibly positive change and a groundswell of goodwill towards Sikhs and their faith by the general public in America.

The ASC annual General Body meeting was well attended and very successful as many new initiatives and ongoing projects were discussed, proposed to be approved by the General Body.

Representatives from ASC member gurdwaras, in addition to the leaders from several gurdwaras from across the greater Seattle area came and participated in this important event.

ASC Vice-President, S.Jasbir Kaur led the meeting for the three-day event.

On Friday Oct 11, 2019 the start of the meeting was attended by over a dozen attendees and there was a brief overview of the planned GB meeting. Some general ideas were shared and suggestions were given to be used for the main meeting.

On Saturday October 12, the morning session was ASC held the main GB meeting where the work of 2019 was discussed, while further changes and suggestions were deliberated on for approval.

S.Harchhinder Singh addressing the representatives and community leaders at the ASC-GB meeting

In the afternoon all major projects completed by ASC in 2019 were highlighted to the audience. The sangat not only appreciated the work but also had additional suggestions to improve and ways to financially support these ongoing initiatives.

Several ASC representatives, including, S.Jasbir Kaur, S.Kirpal Singh, S.Sutinder Singh, S.Harkirat Singh, S.Balraj Singh and S.Kavneet Singh presented and highlighted some of the ongoing initiatives and issues to be driven by all the attendees. The local community leaders and other attendees were really impressed by the depth and wide spectrum of projects focusing on the Sikh youth in order to empower them and create a higher quality of leadership within the community. Bothell Gurdwara representative S.Balwant Singh and Sacha Marg Gurdwara representative S.Harchindder Singh had many good suggestions to improve and enhance the ongoing projects.

S.Asses Singh addressing the audience at the Annual ASC-GB Meeting

S.Asees Singh from Kent, WA, a junior in high school had some very pointed suggestions to bring about change among the youth. He recommended that we need to get online and be engaged through social media to be really impactful. We need inspiring Sikh role models which are extremely important. Most teenagers do not know much Sikh history of the last 3 centuries and the incredible servant leadership, of our Gurus. He challenged the adults to do more so the youth can be trained to run the gurdwaras of the future.

Jasbir Kaur spoke on the empowerment of young Sikhs through various ways of youth leadership, many of which the American Sikh Council has been engaged in for the last several years across the US. In order to save the next generation, women must be included, only then will our future survive. We must make sure women step up their responsibilities and take charge for the community so our young children are further strengthened.

S.Kirpal Singh spoke about the challenges faced by Sikhs on the issue of safe guarding all old Sikh scriptures. The very recent issue of quickly burning any old worn Sri Guru Granth Sahib by certain groups of Sikhs who very cleverly replace them with brand new one is very disturbing. Further deliberations will be led to get consensus on this important issue. S.Kirpal Singh also helped engage with the audience on this critical issue bring context through some anonymously  written Sikh literature which is inimical to the Sikh Faith. We must never dispose off any old worn out Sri Guru Granth Sahib, instead store them in various homes for posterity as you never know when they been needed for cross-checking the authenticity of the new ones.

S.Sutinder Singh and S.Kavneet Singh presented and had a very interactive discussion on ‘Bullying Prevention’ and ‘Sikh Scouting’ with about 25 children and five adults later in the evening.

Sutinder Singh addressing the Khalsa School children at the Bothell Gurdwara Sahib, Oct 12, 2019

On Sunday October 13, 2019 the ASC Vice President Jasbir Kaur, Board member Harkirat Singh and representative Kavneet Singh addressed the sangat.

S.Harkirat Singh first addressed and introduced the speakers and gave an overview of what the ASC does and asked the sangat to support the long-term causes be worked on continuously.

Vice-Pres S.Jasbir Kaur addressing the ASC-GB meeting at the Bothell Gurdwara on October 13, 2019

S.Kavneet Singh addressed the highlighted all the key items and ongoing initiatives that ASC has done in 2019 and really captivated the sangat. He spoke about how these projects are making an impact on our youth and made an appeal for funds to support these ongoing initiatives. He thanked the President and other sewadars for the excellent support to make the conference a resounding success.

Jasbir Kaur spoke about the Sikhi and how the Guru guides us to make our lives more meaningful in our everyday lives. She quoted profusely from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and reiterated that it behooves every Sikh to be active and lead and be good role models for others around us.

Jasbir Kaur doing ‘katha’ and addressing the Bothell Gurdwara sangat on October 13, 2019

Gurdwara Sikh Center of Seattle President S.Gurmail Singh, S.Balwant Singh, S.Manmohan Singh, S.Manjit Singh, S.Bikrampal Singh, S.Sarmanjit Singh are some of the key sewadars along-with many others who help make the event a great success. ASC is very thankful to the leadership and sangat of the Bothell Gurdwara Sahib in hosting the council’s Annual General Meeting. We look forward to a continued and prevailing relationship with the sangat at the gurdwara.

The ongoing ASC initiatives will be continued for next year as the General Body was impressed with the results and the array of material to help empower the youth internally and engage with the larger public. ASC thanks everyone who took the time to give their input and support the ASC and hopes that more gurdwaras and the sangat at large, steps up their effort to make this a larger movement for the benefit of all.

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