by We Are Sikhs — August 29, 2017
In a world brimming with racial tensions and political polarization, we have positive news: our “We Are Sikhs” initiative to increase awareness about Sikhism and Sikh values has made a big impact in California’s Central Valley and across the nation!
What began as a national advertising and grassroots effort to introduce Americans to their Sikh American neighbors zeroed in on Fresno, California – where violence towards Sikh Americans has occurred repeatedly.
Despite these turbulent times, we have made a difference. We are proud to share the results of a new survey, which highlights the dramatic success of our We Are Sikhs effort to help change minds and unite Americans.
We’re thrilled to see that, by educating our neighbors about our Sikhs values, we could enhance awareness of our faith as whole – uniting those in the Fresno community around a deeper understanding of who we are and what we believe.
Here’s a look at the highlights of the survey:
Conducted via two polls by Hart Research Associates, one conducted prior to the launch of advertising and one conducted after the completion of the ad buy. The surveys’ highlights included:
After the campaign, 59 percent of residents – a clear majority – say they know at least something about Sikhs who live in America.
The proportion of residents who saw the ads are nearly twice as likely to say they know at least something about Sikhs who live in America (78 percent) as those who did not see the ads (40 percent).
Respondents who saw the ads are also more likely to associate a bearded man wearing a turban with Sikhism (57 percent), compared with just 26 percent of respondents who did not see the ads.
The proportion of Fresno residents who know nothing about Sikhs decreased, especially among older residents, whites without a college degree, and Republicans.
Improving Positive Feelings Toward Sikh Americans
In terms of sentiment, there was a 12-point increase among Fresno residents overall who say Sikhs “generally have American values,” including a 25-point difference between those who saw the ads (60 percent) and those who did not (35 percent)
There was a 14-point increase among the general population that say Sikhs “are generally patriotic,” including a 22-point difference between those who saw the ads (56 percent) and those who did not (34 percent)
And there was a nine-point increase among Fresno residents overall who say that Sikhs “believe in equality and respect for all people,” including 67 percent of residents who saw the ad versus 36 percent who did not see the ads.
“Despite tense race relations and an extremely polarized political environment, the We Are Sikhs campaign has been able to make headway in creating awareness of Sikh Americans, who can commonly be identified by their turbans and beards,” said Geoff Garin, President of Hart Research Associates.
“This effort is a testament to the Sikh community’s commitment to reaching out to people of all faiths to help them recognize that we all have shared values, and that is a ray of hope that proves that understanding can bring people of all walks of life together.”
These results show that Sikhs anywhere can successfully create an appreciation of our values of equality, tolerance and service, and consequently an improved perception of our unique articles of faith among all Americans, whether liberal or conservative, young or old.
Help us spread the word far and wide that an inclusive position is the best and only way to educate our neighbors on the benefits of diversity and religious freedom by sharing these results
Our “We Are Sikhs” initiative has demonstrated that through education and a positive message, we can make a difference.
And with your continued support, we can’t wait to see the results in the months to come.