A new lesson plan designed to understand Sikhs and Sikh American History in the U.S. has been rolled out for grades 8 to 12, the Sikh Coalition announced. The lesson plan will help students explore the history and experiences of Sikhs in the country, including the anti-Sikh hate incidents from the early 1900s to the present day. The archives will help students analyze how the community responded to these incidents.
Going back to the lesson, it has been developed in collaboration with Tejpaul Singh Bainiwal of the Sikh American History Project, to ensure educators understand and are better able to support Sikh students. “Sikh American history has been marginalized for far too long resulting in a lack of understanding about Sikhs and their experiences in the United States. This lesson plan helps to strengthen the foundation and build a stronger understanding of the history of Sikhs in the United States,” said Tejpaul Singh Bainiwal, Doctoral Candidate at UC Riverside.
“Introducing Sikhism through public education is a first step to creating inclusive classrooms that ultimately reduce hate,” said Harman Singh, Education Director of the Sikh Coalition. The organization presented the lesson plan to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction staff on May 22, 2023.
The FBI’s annual data on hate crimes from Dec. 2022 showed that Sikhs remain vulnerable to the risk of targeted hate. Anti-Sikh hate crimes between 2020 and 2021 increased by 140 per cent from 89 incidents to 214. According to trends observed, Sikhs and Jewish Americans were among the most targeted faith groups for hate crimes in the country, reported by the Sikh Coalition.