Blog

The Story of Self, The Story of Us, The Story of Now

  • 1st March 20141/03/14
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By Annabelle Estera, Asian Pacific American Network, Ohio State University One of the best parts of my job is the ability to bring in engaging, thought-provoking, and inspiring speakers. On November 14th, The Ohio State University welcomed filmmaker, civil rights advocate, and interfaith leader, Valarie Kaur to campus. There was a full day of activities planned, including a lunch, workshop, and dinner with staff and students, culminating with an evening screening of her 2006 documentary “Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath,” which tells the story of her travels around the country documenting hate crimes post-9/11.  must say I was unfamiliar with her and […]

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My Top 10 Moments of 2013

  • 13th January 201413/01/14
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Today, families are gathering together around great bonfires in Northern India and around the world to celebrate Lohri, the harvest festival of Punjab. As a girl, I would blink at the growing flames, listen to the pounding of the dhol (drum), and hold my breath as family members stepped forward to announce good news of the last year: The birth of a daughter! A son’s first day at school! A new job! A wedding! We would then jump up and dance around the fire, singing folk songs, throwing popcorn into the flames, and celebrating the news all together. It’s one of my favorite festivals! And […]

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DesiClub.com’s Top 50 Coolest Desis of 2013

  • 4th January 20144/01/14
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Here it is — the “Top 50 Coolest Desis” of 2013! Congrats to the dizzying array of artists, entrepreneurs and activists who made the list. Surprised and grateful to make the top 10 with brother Prabhjot Singh! When else do we get to be in the company of stars like Neena Davaluri, Mindy Kaling, Aasif Mandvi, Aziz Ansari, and Russell Peters? Check out the top 10 picks below, or follow the link to see the full list: http://www.desiclub.com/community/culture/culture_article.cfm?id=1210 Excited to see so many trailblazers who inspire me, including Saru Jayaraman at #2, Amrit Singh at #11, Simranpreet Lamba at #18, Sri […]

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Video: Law & Order & Race

  • 9th December 20139/12/13
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Recently, I had the privilege to appear as a guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show. Watch here as we discuss voting rights, race, and policing fifty years after Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.

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Video: 2013 Stanford Baccalaureate Address

  • 7th December 20137/12/13
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As we reflect on 2013, I would like to share a video of my Baccalaureate address to Stanford University’s Class of 2013. I had the honor of becoming the youngest person to deliver the address, and the first from the Sikh tradition. But I offer the call to “enter the whirlwind” for people of all faiths, and all ages. Read the prepared text of my speech below: President Hennessy, Dean McLennan, professors and staff, family and friends, and the Class of 2013, it is a profound gift for me to return to Stanford to address you. Ten years ago, when […]

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How to Make Love, Not Bigotry

  • 4th December 20134/12/13
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Published on CNN. This holiday season, an ad campaign is selling clothes and challenging bigotry in America. A poster of a turbaned and bearded man in Gap clothes with a woman hanging on his shoulder hit store windows and subway walls across the United States last month as part of Gap’s “Make Love” ad campaign. The model is Waris Ahluwalia, a Sikh actor whose turban and beard is part of his faith. For the first time, a mainstream, nationwide ad presents a turbaned man as beautiful, even sexy. He is not a suspect, but a model; not a terrorist, but a person […]

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My Remarks at the White House Commemorating the Sikh Faith

  • 20th November 201320/11/13
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Published on Huffington Post. The following remarks were delivered by Valarie Kaur at The White House on November 20, 2013. Waheguru Ji Ka Kalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Thank you to President Obama and his staff for gathering us in the White House to celebrate Gurpurab, the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith. I am deeply honored to reflect on the story of our faith with you. The story begins halfway around the world in Punjab with the birth of a humble herdsman named Nanak in the year 1469. “Those were foolish times,” my grandparents would […]

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Dynamic Leader Using the Power of Media for Social Change

  • 14th November 201314/11/13
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Published on the blog for the Middle East Studies Center at Ohio State University. We had the honor of co-hosting Valarie Kaur with the Multicultural Center, OSU Hillel, Mundo, OSU First Year Experience, the Office of Student Life, Asian American Association, Better Together, Indian Student Association, and the South Asian Student Association. Twelve years ago,  in the wake of September 11, 2001, Kaur set off across the country to discover the stories of those affected by this post-9/11 anger and hatred toward what Mahmoud has called “Muslim-looking others”.  Since September 11th Sikhs, who often wear turbans as a part of religious observance, have been targets of […]

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Sikh Doctor’s Response to Brutal Hate Attack? ‘Love and Service’

  • 26th September 201326/09/13
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Published on Melissa Harris-Perry Blog, MSNBC. Last Saturday night, a young man dropped his wife and one-year old at home and went for a walk in Harlem. Soon thereafter, he heard “Get Osama!” Twenty men on bicycles chased him down, pulled his beard, and punched him to the ground. The blows would not stop as his assailants called him a “terrorist.” When bystanders came to his aid, he was rushed to the hospital, his face bloody and bruised, and his jaw fractured. The victim, Dr. Prabhjot Singh, is a young professor and doctor who also happens to be a leading voice […]

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Eight Asian American Women of Influence

  • 17th September 201317/09/13
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I’m deeply honored to be included in Audrey Magazine’s list of influential Asian American women, especially alongside two of my heroes, Grace Lee Boggs and Somaly Mam. These women have inspired me for years to follow in their footsteps as strong women of color. Check out the video below to learn more or go here to read full profiles for all eight women. Profile: Valarie Kaur By Audrey Magazine On September 11, 2001, Valarie Kaur watched in horror, along with her fellow Americans, as the two towers fell. A third generation Sikh American — her grandparents came from India to California […]

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