Sikhs Host Sunnyvale Run After Temple Shooting

The Sikh Coalition in Fremont hopes to raise $75,000

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012  |  Updated 1:42 PM PDT
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San Jose Sikh Temple

The Sikh Coalition

The Sikh Coalition held a 5K run/walk in Sunnyvale in 2011. They are hosting another one this year.

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As a way to remember the Sikh temple shooting victims in Wisconsin - and hopefully prevent a massacre like that from happening elsewhere - a group of Bay Area Sikhs is hosting a run/walk Saturday in Sunnyvale to raise money for education.

Simran Kaur, the advocacy manager for The Sikh Coalition in Fremont, said her group hopes to raise $75,000. That money, she said, will go toward further educating the public about Sikhs and who they are.

Her coalition, which advocates for civil rights, already has formal partnerships with the Fremont  and New Haven unified school districts, and some individual San Jose schools.


Kaur said she hopes that public awareness will curb horrific violent acts, such as the one that occurred in early August, when Michael Page, a neo-Nazi and former Army sergeant, opened fire on worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, killing six.


"It's important to have longterm programs," Kaur said. "We don't want Oak Creek to happen again."

Kaur said despite all their efforts, discrimination against Sikhs is still prevelant.  A 2010 Sikh Coalition survey revealed that 69 percent of turban-wearing Sikh students in the Bay Area have suffered bullying and harassment because of their religion and that 30 percent of them had been hit or involuntarily touched because of their turbans.

 According to a recent survey of 1,370 Sikhs living in the  Bay Area, 10 percent reported being the victim of a hate rime, and 68 percent of those crimes were in the form of physical attacks.

The 5K run/walk will take place 9 a.m. Saturday at Baylands Park, 999 Caribbean Drive in Sunnyvale.  Anyone, regardless of religion, is invited to participate. The suggested donation to run is $100.

Please register before the race at the Sikh Coalition's website. Questions? Email simran@sikhcoalition.org

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