WASHINGTON, DC, USA—SALDEF, the nation’s oldest Sikh American civil rights organization, received the first ever Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Community Partnership Award presented at TSA’s Annual Coalition Conference held at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
SALDEF received the award due to the strong partnership developed and maintained with TSA over the past decade by conducting trainings for transportation safety officers across the country, developing classroom and online curricula for TSA officers and leadership, creating the On Common Ground training video, working with the agency to help solve problems associated with screening policies, and educating the Sikh American community about such policies. The award was presented by John W. Halinski, Deputy Administrator and Kimberly Walton, Assistant Administrator for Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman, and Traveler Engagement.
“SALDEF has been an excellent partner and we look forward to continuing our productive collaboration and open dialogue with them”, said TSA Deputy Administrator Halinski. “While SALDEF reaches out to engage their constituency, they also reach out to engage with TSA. The goal has been to work together to find the balance between security and civil rights and liberties. SALDEF also regularly conducts religious awareness training for government, law enforcement agencies and private businesses. In fact, the training video On Common Ground was produced by SALDEF and is one of three videos that TSA has used for so many years in its annual cultural awareness training for the entire workforce.”
“SALDEF is honored to receive this award from TSA leadership, and we greatly value this key partnership”, said SALDEF Executive Director Jasjit Singh. “While there is still room for agreement in several areas, this partnership has been key in making advances to improve the travel experiences of all Americans. We look to continue to partner with our colleagues at TSA to ensure that we not only protect our nation’s travelers, but also their civil rights.”
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) was also recognized for their years of partnership and community advocacy with the TSA following the creation of the agency in November of 2001.