SALDEF recently held our sixth annual SikhLEAD Leadership Development Program (LDP) in Los Angeles, CA. Sixteen Sikh American youth from across the country gathered to learn how to become effective leaders in their communities. The professional and educational backgrounds of the cohort were incredibly diverse–from financial analysts to union organizers and graduate students in policy, politics, and medicine. These emerging leaders came together to create mission statements through articulating their personal narratives and discussing solutions to issues affecting our communities.
“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.”
We appreciate your support as we continue to make a difference in the Sikh American community and give our youth the tools they need to succeed as leaders and activists for our community.
After successfully completing Part I of the SikhLEAD program, LDP participants will continue working closely with SALDEF staff and mentors to implement a community service project in their local communities. They will re-convene for Part II in Washington, DC later this year to complete the program.
“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.
The weekend included talks from Varun Soni, the Dean of Religious Studies at the University of Southern California (USC) and Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27). SikhLEADers 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. On their off-time, participants were able to bond with each other through trips to the LACMA and Santa Monica Pier and even set up an impromptu talent show!
We would like to thank USC’s Office of Religious Life for hosting the event and members of the local Southern California sangat for their support and throughout the weekend.
LDP was funded through generous support of community members across the country and the following sponsors: Comcast, Ik Manzil, and the Kellogg Foundation. To learn more about how you can support the SikhLEAD initiative, please click here.