17 Mar

Selected participants would reconvene in Washington, DC, later this year

Credit: SALDEF

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) concluded the first part of its sixth annual SikhLEAD Leadership Development Program (LDP) in Los Angeles, CA, its news statement said on Thursday.

“My experience with LDP was extremely valuable, inspirational, and impactful,” said participant Hakikat Bains from Washington. “I was able to not only connect with other young leaders within the Sikh American community, but also to learn more about my own identity and how it impacts my experiences.”

Washington, DC,-based SALDEF is a national civil rights and educational organization. Founded in 1996, the organization describes itself as a national Sikh American media, policy and education organization.

SALDEF selected 16 students between ages 18-27, for its 2017 LDP. The program includes two weekend convening – one in Los Angeles, CA, and the other in Washington, DC, that is due later this year.

“LDP6 inspired me to reflect on my story. I now think differently about the ways in which I can apply my experiences and knowledge to bring about change in my own life and community,” said Kanwar Singh from Illinois, another LDP participant.

Varun Soni, the Dean of Religious Studies at the University of Southern California (USC) and Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) held the weekend talk at Los Angeles. The participants also attended a workshop on the role of activism in Sikhi by LDP3 Alum Angad Singh, a session on how to create personal mission statements, an introduction to SIkh American history, and methods of self-care.

SALDEF held its first Leadership Development Program (LDP) in 2011. The deadline for this year’s participation was January 23, according to the SikhLEAD website. The organization selects its participants from all over the US. The applicants should be at least 18 years of age to qualify.

The organization website has more information on the program requirements.