A statement of solidarity regarding the recent shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, signed by a diverse array of 186 national and local organizations representing a range of communities and social justice issues, was distributed to the media on Thursday in conjunction with a wake and visitation for the victims on Friday morning at Oak Creek High School’s gymnasium. It was developed by SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together) and Muslim Advocates.

This Friday, Aug. 10, a memorial service will be held for the six individuals who lost their lives in the tragic shooting at the gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

The 186 undersigned community of civic, faith-based, immigrant rights, and civil rights organizations expresses our deepest condolences to the victims and their families affected by the mass shooting which left six individuals dead, at least three others critically injured, and many others wounded.

We are grateful for the efforts by many gurdwara congregants, first responders, and the local community in Wisconsin who helped to save lives and prevented an even greater loss of life from occurring.

Members of the Sikh community during a vigil for the victims in Oak Creek on Aug. 7. (Photo by Ernie Mastroianni, courtesy of the Sikh Coalition)

We call upon Americans to respond to this tragedy by supporting the families of the victims and Sikh community members. Over the course of this week, vigils are being planned around the country with the message of “We are all Sikhs.” We urge you to stand in support of the Sikh community and the values that bind us as Americans by attending a vigil in your area.

While facts are still emerging regarding the motivation of the perpetrator, the massacre at the gurdwara in Oak Creek is part of a history of bias and violence that members of Sikh, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities have endured in the decade following Sept.11, 2001.

Sadly, community members continue to report discrimination, and places of worship are routinely targeted. Within 24 hours of the Wisconsin shooting, a suspicious fire, now being investigated as a possible arson, destroyed a mosque in Joplin, Missouri. The level of hate and violence inflicted on innocent Americans because of their appearance or religious faith is now at a crisis point.

While our organizations represent a wide swath of individuals from different nationalities, backgrounds, faith traditions, and belief systems, we are bound together by a common purpose: we believe in the core American values of religious pluralism, equality, and inclusion.

Our collective voices send out the message that as a nation, we must denounce the hate-fueled sentiment and bigoted rhetoric that has become much too frequent in our public and political discourse. The essence of our country after all is “E pluribus unum”: out of many comes a strong, unified one.

We call upon our elected leaders, and civic, faith-based, and educational institutions to take steps to address xenophobia, racism, and anti-religious hate in our country today. We ask President Obama to host a summit that brings stakeholders together to identify concrete solutions.

And we urge all individuals, regardless of faith or background, to speak out against bigotry at workplaces, schools, and family kitchen tables. As Americans, we must stand together to protect our nation’s values of equality and freedom for all.

Endorsing Organizations (as of Aug. 9)




Alliance San Diego (aka Equality Alliance)

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Florida Chapter (ADC-FL)

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

American Civil Liberties Union

American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA)

American Muslims for Emergency and Relief (AMER)

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

API Chaya

Apna Ghar, Inc.

The Applied Research Center

Arab American Action Network (AAAN)

Arab American Association of New York

Arab American Family Services

Arab American Family Support Center

Arab American Institute

Arab Muslim American Federation

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)

Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago

Asian American Federation

Asian American Institute, member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

Asian American Justice Center, member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

Asian American Recovery Services, Inc.

Asian Americans for Community Involvement

Asian Americans for Equality (AAAFE)

Asian Health Coalition

Asian Law Alliance

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center

Asian Pacific American Network (APAN) of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)

Asian Pacific Community in Action

Asian Services in Action, Inc. (ASIA)

Asians Against Domestic Abuse

Auburn Seminary

Bay Area Asian Pacific American Legislative Staffers (BAAPALS)

Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)


Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition

Causa Justa: Just Cause Center for American Progress

Center for Social Inclusion

Chhaya CDC

Chicago Area Ethnic Resources

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)

Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community

Community to Community Development

Coney Island Avenue Project

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

Council of Peoples Organization (COPO)

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Arizona Chapter

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Cincinnati Chapter

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Greater Los Angeles Area

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Iowa Chapter (CAIR-Iowa)

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Minnesota (CAIR-MN)

Council on American-Islamic Relations – New York

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Oklahoma Chapter

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Sacramento Valley Office (CAIR-Sacramento Valley)

Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Antonio Chapter (CAIR-SA)

Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Diego Chapter

Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA) Office

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Texas, DFW Chapter

Council on American-Islamic Relations – Washington (CAIR-WA)

Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians, Inc.


DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving

Elemental Partners

Faith in Public Life

Families for Freedom

Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc.

FICA (Federation of India Community Associations of NE Ohio)

Four Freedoms Forum

Franciscan Action Network

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network

GlobeMed at Indiana University


Health Through Action Arizona Coalition

Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Human Rights First

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH)

Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago

Indo-American Center

Indo-American Heritage Museum

Interfaith Alliance

International Organization for Adolescents

Iota Nu Delta Fraternity, Inc.

Islamic Society of Milwaukee

Islamic Society of North America

Islamic Society of Tulsa

Japanese American Citizens League

Japanese American Citizens League – Chicago Chapter

Japanese American Citizens League – Midwest District Council

Japanese American Citizens League – Wisconsin Chapter

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Laotian American National Alliance (LANA)

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP)

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Mai Family Services



Mt. Zion Church of God (7th Day)

Mujeres Unidas y Activas

Muslim Advocates

Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY)

Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA)

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)


National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Greater Phoenix Chapter

National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

National Disability Rights Network

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)

National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

National Tongan American Society

National Urban League

Natya Dance Theatre

Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP)

North America Network of Arab American Professionals (NAAP)

North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA)

North Carolina Justice Center


OCA – Greater Phoenix Chapter

Ohio Asian American Health Coalition

Oklahoma Conference of Churches


Open Society Foundations

The Opportunity Agenda

Organization of Chinese Americans – Silicon Valley Chapter


Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago

Raksha Rights Working Group

Saathi of Rochester

Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus

Sakhi for South Asian Women

San Jose State University Asian Pacific Islander Faculty Staff Association


Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority

Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE)

Shama Inc.

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)

The Sikh Coalition

Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team

South Asia Society of the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI)

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

South Asian Bar Association of Arizona

South Asian Bar Association of British Columbia

South Asian Bar Association of Delaware (SABA-DE)

South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)

South Asian Bar Association of Northern California

South Asian Bar Association of Ohio (SABA Ohio)

South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia (SABA Philadelphia)

South Asian Bar Association of San Diego

South Asian Bar Association of Southern California

South Asian Bar Association of Washington

South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC

South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS)

South Asian Network

South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC)

South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ)

The Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs of ACPA – College Student Educators International

Turning Point for Women and Families

United Methodist Women


United We Dream Network

USPAK Foundation

VAMOS Unidos

We Are All Brooklyn (WAAB)

For more information, visit www.saalt.org.


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  1. Our friends at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin obviously have a lot on their minds right now. To ease their burden somewhat, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee has stepped forward to accept online donations to the temple’s Victims Memorial Fund at http://www.SikhHelp.org/. Contributions are processed securely online through the ICoGM PayPal account, and all proceeds will be transferred directly to the temple. The ICoGM is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation may be claimed as a charitable contribution for tax purposes.

    If you prefer to donate the old fashioned way, check or money order can be sent via snail mail to:

    Victim Memorial Fund c/o Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

    7512 S. Howell Ave.

    Oak Creek, WI 53154

    You can also help spread the work by “Liking” and “Sharing” the SikhHelp.org Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SikhHelp