NPR

Why American Sikhs Think They Need A Publicity Campaign

American Sikhs faced an onslaught of violence and hate crimes following the Sept. 11 attacks. In the face of renewed racist vitriol, they have devised a positive-media plan.
A screenshot from a video about the Sikh community that is part of a large awareness campaign. The project was funded entirely by grass-roots donations. The campaign's ads will air nationally. Source: We Are Sikhs

Nearly 60 percent of Americans admit knowing nothing at all about Sikhs. That lack of knowledge comes at a deadly cost. In the wake of recent incidents from the 2012 Oak Creek Massacre to a shooting of a Sikh man in Washington this March, the Sikh community is taking a more vocal stand against hate.

This month, the National Sikh Campaign, an advocacy group led by former political strategists, launched a $1.3 million awareness campaign, "We are Sikhs." Funded entirely by grass-roots donations, the campaign's ads will air nationally on CNN and Fox News as well as on TV channels in central California — home to nearly 50 percent of the Sikh American population — and online.

The ad, which aims to tackle misperceptions of Sikhism, shows Sikh men and women speaking about how values of their faith — tolerance, religious freedom and gender equality

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