A new national campaign is hitting the country today.
“We are Sihks” is aimed at tackling misconception about the religion and its followers.
Local Sihk community advocate, Manpreet Kaur, says the new campaign focuses on Sihks being more than just victims of hate crimes.
“It’s not that we’re highlighting that we are such a community that’s targeted. It is that these are the things that make us positive,” said Kaur.
Since the 9/11 attacks there has been a surge of violence and discrimination towards Sihk Americans.
According to the Sihk Coalition, they are thousands of times more likely to be the victim of a hate crime than the average American.
In 2012 a white supremacist entered a Sihk temple in Wisconsin then shot and killed six worshippers. All of the male victims were wearing turbans.
In October 2016, Balmeet Singh, a Bakersfield Sihk man, was attacked outside habit burger on California Avenue.
Kern County is home to roughly 30,000 Sihks. Local organizations routinely give back to the community.
Just last month teens with the Jakara Movement went door-to-door giving out over a hundred pizzas as part of their “Know your Neighbor” movement.
Sihk Friends of Bakersfield spent an entire month serving free meals at Mill Creek Park.
“Constantly we are looking for ways to engage our community, kind of raise awareness but also make our presence known,” said Kaur.
The commercials, created by the National Sihk Campaign, will run nationally on CNN and Fox News.