Washington: Sikhs in the US state of California have raised a record USD 400,000 for a national media campaign to generate awareness among Americans about their religion in the backdrop of increasing hate crimes against the community.
This is the first time, Sikhs have raised such a big amount to spread the awareness about their faith in America. Previous record is of USD 90,000 in NSC's Los Angeles Gala in 2015.
At a fund raising gala in San Francisco Bay Area, television advertisements created by AKPD, President Obama's former campaign media team, were unveiled, a statement said.
Last year, National Sikh Campaign had hired the services of AKPD and Hart Research Associates which is headed by Geoff Garin, Hillary Clinton's former chief strategic advisor, to develop the messaging and framework of these advertisements.
"This is a historic moment in the history of the Sikh community in America. Never before have we had the opportunity to tell our story to our fellow Americans around the country and that time has come now," said Kaval Kaur, national charter member of NSC and host of the event.
Among the attendees were prominent Sikh entrepreneurs, leading Silicon Valley IT professionals, doctors, owners of trucking companies and officials of all gurdwaras in the area.
"We, Sikhs, need to change the narrative and present the correct image of who we are, showcasing how we are totally integrated in the American society and not only as victims," said Rajwant Singh, co-founder of National Sikh Campaign, who presented the overview of the campaign and appealed to the audience to donate for the cause.
There have been a number of incidents of attacks and discrimination against the community in the US.
A 68-year-old Sikh man was stabbed to death in California's Fresno city on 1 January while in December 2015, another elderly Sikh man was brutally assaulted by two persons in Fresno.