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Amrith Aakre

National Legal Director, Sikh Coalition

Amrith Aakre headshot

Amrith Kaur Aakre is the legal director of the Sikh Coalition, where she coordinates legal and policy initiatives to protect the civil rights of all Americans, create community empowerment, and continue efforts to engage communities for positive opportunities. Aakre was part of the original group of student activists at George Washington University in Washington, DC, who, after 9/11, cofounded the Sikh Coalition. Aakre served as a Cook County assistant state’s attorney for 11 years, where she directed the highly successful Bond Court Initiative, which identifies nonviolent offenders to determine whether they meet the legal criteria for rehabilitiative and alternative treatment courts as opposed to traditional prosecution and incarceration. She is a recognized expert, and has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on the topics of government collaboration, crisis intervention training, and alternative prosecution. She was recently quoted in The New York Times as an expert in diversion court screening processes. Aakre served as a member of the CCSAO Hate Crime Advisory Council and is a liaison to the Department of Justice’s Hate Crime Training Initiative, for federal and state law enforcement, as well as public and private organizations. After 9/11, Aakre codrafted Senate Resolution 74, passed by Congress, in partnership with Senator Richard Durbin’s office to strengthen existing hate crime prosecution, and was recognized by Senator Durbin in the Congressional Record. Aakre is a 2017 recipient of the Asian American Coalition's Community Service of the year award, and is a guest lecturer at DePaul University.