On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, made history by becoming the first Sikh American to speak at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service in Washington, DC., at the request of the White House. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden were in attendance. The service included prayers and remarks from a variety of faith representatives.
“It’s exciting to be here because this president means a lot to me because of what he’s done over the years,” [California Democratic Party Delegate Harpreet Singh Sandhu] said. “(It is) what I’ve been affected directly in terms of healthcare for my kids, education, for them, and also for my mother who now is under disability, and what it provides for that. And moving forward, there are things that need to happen… But today we’re very excited about celebrating this beautiful event.”
The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service has historical roots in the inauguration of the first American President, George Washington. It evolved into an interfaith event following the American Civil War and became a regular tradition during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.
Although Sikhs have lived in the United States for more than a century, the inclusion of the first Sikh speaker in this year’s Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service means that Sikhs are gaining visible recognition as an integral part of American society. The Sikh Coalition is especially proud that a Sikh woman represented our community in this historical feat, consistent with the Sikh belief in gender equality, as taught by Guru Nanak over five centuries ago.
Similar to Ishwar Singh offering an invocation during the Republican National Convention last fall, this is a noteworthy event that demonstrates the increasing recognition and engagement of Sikhs in the American political process.
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
There are no upcoming events at this time.
This Single Girl shares her perspective on dating and life.
A hilarious weekly comic. Tune in every Monday!
Dear Bharti answers your life's most pressing questions.
Uh Oh! This single man bares all - Readers Beware!
Tips on turning house-hold items into life-savers.
Mind your language with these Hindi word translations.