Front Edge Publishing and Michigan State University’s School of Journalism are proud to announce the publication of 100 Questions & Answers About Sikh Americans: The Beliefs Behind the Articles of Faith.
This guide is part of the diverse, award-winning series of “Bias Busters” guides created by the Michigan State University School of Journalism Bias Busters project that teaches cultural competence by spreading awareness about specific groups and communities.
Ultimately, the goal is to break down culturally and socially constructed walls by opening discussion among all Americans. The guides have been used in diversity training in business, the health industry, interfaith groups, universities and law enforcement.
Through the years, this entire project has been endorsed by Michigan’s main interfaith nonprofit, The InterFaith Leadership Council. This year, Michigan State University jointly awarded the InterFaith Leadership Council and Professor Joe Grimm, director of MSU’s Bias Busters program, the university’s 2022 Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Teaching.
In announcing the award, MSU explained the impact of these books:
The guides help student-authors learn about diversity, equity and inclusion in Grimm’s journalism course, and are also a resourceful tool for businesses and organizations. IFLC leaders share their expertise with students by suggesting topics, reviewing drafts to ensure accuracy, and using the guides in their work to create community conversations. Student-authors have learned from individuals from varying religions and backgrounds including Muslim Americans, African Americans, American Jews, Hispanics and Latinos, transgender people, immigrants, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To date, more than 7,000 guides have been sold, with more than 500 people being credited in the guides as collaborators, including students and community members. The series has resulted in several community programs, teach-ins, corporate trainings, and a diversity guide for the National Education Writers Association.
Who are the Sikhs?
Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. It is a young religion, having been founded in 1469. It has been in the United States for almost 150 years, but is still relatively unknown. Perhaps you have seen someone wearing a turban in public or seen Sikhs mentioned in the news and wondered who they were. Maybe your neighbor, coworker or friend is Sikh, and you want to learn more without making them feel offended or annoyed.
Questions we share when meeting Sikh neighbors
Many people have questions about Sikhs:
- What are the key beliefs of the Sikh religion?
- Do they worship in a Sikh temple?
- Why do Sikhs have long hair?
- You may wonder who is the Sikhism founder, how to pronounce “Sikh,” how Sikhism differs from other religions or what to call a Sikh turban.
This guide answers all these questions and many more to help you learn about this optimistic and service-oriented faith. The questions in this guide were created by interviewing Sikhs and asking them what they wish people knew about Sikhs and their religion.
Whether you know a Sikh personally or just want to learn about this young and growing religion, 100 Questions and Answers About Sikh Americans includes information ranging from Sikh history, Sikh beliefs and values, Sikh persecution, Sikh articles of faith, Sikh worship and Sikh demographics.
This book represents varying Sikh perspectives, not just those of one region, division or age. Encouraged by the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Sikh coalition, this book is an educational tool, complete with questions for discussion and reflection at the end, perfect for a school class or an interfaith learning community. It informs readers about gurdwaras, or the Sikh house of worship, and the 11 gurus. It includes answers about the three core tenets of Sikhism, the role of women in Sikhism and Sikh volunteerism and service.
The guides are meant to start that process and to lead to face-to-face conversations. The guides are ice breakers individuals can read on their own to make awkward conversations easier. Answers in these cultural competence guides are meant to be clear, honest and non-judgmental. The authors, aka Bias Busters, are students in a Michigan State University School of Journalism class. They are Ellen Taylor Bartush, Bridgette Bauer, Emily Jeanne Bevard, Subah Bhatia, Dea Chappell, Reanu Miriam Charles, Ryan Joseph Collins, Kennedi Mnaya Dubose, Kendall Marie Gulau, Megan Nalazek, Rachael Nemic, Elena Shklyar, Kaylee Heeju Uh, Akshita Verma, Bryson D. Watkins, Sam Woznicki and Jiamian Zhu. Students Lacie Kunselman and Dina Kaur helped edit. The series editor is professor Joe Grimm who has been working in cross-cultural communication for over 25 years.
Interested in a group order of these guides?