TSA recognizes the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund for contributions to the traveler experience

Local Press Release
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund of Washington, DC, was recognized by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and was presented with the TSA Disability and Multicultural Coalition Partnership Award during the agency’s 15th Annual Disability and Multicultural Coalition Conference held in Arlington, Virginia, today.

TSA recognized the locally based Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) of Washington, DC, and The Oley Foundation of Albany, NY, with the award that recognizes organizations that provide invaluable service and contributions to TSA in enhancing the traveler experience and ensuring fair and lawful treatment of all passengers, while keeping the highest standards of transportation security. 

The SALDEF is a national Sikh American policy, education, and media organization whose mission is to empower Sikh Americans by building dialogue, deepening understanding, promoting civic and political participation and upholding social justice and religious freedom for all Americans.

The organization was recognized for its continued collaborative work in bringing TSA to the SALDEF “Know your Rights” events held in local Sikh communities and assisting TSA is finding ways to accommodate Sikh religious practices while ensuring effective screening at airport checkpoints. Additionally, SALDEF has worked with TSA over the years to develop appropriate cultural and religious awareness training materials.

“TSA commends the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund for its commitment and continued work on behalf of so many travelers,” said Kimberly Walton, TSA’s Assistant Administrator for Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman, and Traveler Engagement. “Our partnership is instrumental in strengthening our training programs, and this conference supports our efforts to improve the screening experience, while providing the most effective and efficient aviation security for all travelers.”

This year’s Disability and Multicultural Coalition Conference focused on innovation and highlighted TSA programs and initiatives that improve the security screening experience for passengers with medical conditions and disabilities as well as individuals from religious and cultural groups.  

Held annually, the conference brings together TSA leadership and leaders from organizations representing various religious, cultural, gender and disability communities to discuss security screening and issues of concern to coalition constituencies. To join the coalition, send an email to Marie.Trottier@tsa.dhs.gov.