Blog

Class of 2015: Flare Up, Let Your Life Sing

  • 13th May 201513/05/15
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This piece was originally published on the Huffington Post. On May 9, 2015, I delivered the 100th commencement address at the College of Saint Benedict, a Catholic liberal arts college for women. I was the first commencement speaker of the Sikh faith in the College’s history. I addressed the Class of 2015 on Mother’s Day weekend. President Mary Hinton, professors and staff, family and friends, and the College of St Benedict’s Class of 2015, it is an honor for me to address you today. On a bright day like this, not so long ago, I was sitting in your place, my heart […]

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A Sikh Sermon at the Pentagon: Seva, The Call of Our Times

  • 4th May 20154/05/15
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Originally published in the Huffington Post. The following are my remarks from the Pentagon’s second-ever commemoration of the Sikh faith on May 1, 2015. I spoke alongside Simran Jeet Singh and Inni Kaur on “Seva” – selfless service in the Sikh religion. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain on Vaisakhi, the program was organized by Major Kamal Singh Kalsi and the Sikh Coalition, an organization leading the campaign for turbaned Sikhs and other people of faith to be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. My remarks at the first-ever Sikh event at the Pentagon in 2014 can be found here.  Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki […]

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Baltimore Is Burning: 8 Faith Voices You Should Hear

  • 30th April 201530/04/15
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By Faith Source Originally published on FaithStreet.com. “What is the call for people of faith when they are faced with the aftermath of a riot they may have helped create due to neglect or ignorance wrapped in arrogance? What do all riots all have in common? “They are the phonetic and kinetic sounds and rhythms of the unheard.” – Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Trinity Church, Chicago “I arrived outside the Supreme Court around 8:30. Crystal clear day. It was to be a landmark day. SCOTUS would hear arguments that could make gay marriage legal across all 50 states. Before the Gay […]

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Net Neutrality for Nonprofits: An Interview on “State of Belief”

  • 19th March 201519/03/15
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Friends ask me why I’ve taken on Internet freedom as part of my advocacy work. Click below to hear my 12-minute interview on “State of Belief” radio with Rev. Welton Gaddy explaining why: You can also read the transcript: Interfaith Alliance State of Belief Radio March 14, 2015 TRANSCRIPT: REV. DR. C. WELTON GADDY, HOST: This past week, I noticed a strident column in the conservativeWashington Timesdecrying the Federal Communication Commission’s new rules on Net Neutrality asan existential threat to religious freedom. Huh? Joining me now to shed some light on this issue is a pioneer in onlinefaith-based activism, Valarie Kaur. […]

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An open Internet, for God’s sake!

  • 16th March 201516/03/15
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By Valarie Kaur and Cheryl Leanza This week, a handful of Republicans will hold hearings on the Hill to challenge new federal rules protecting the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reclassified providers who connect us to the Internet as common carriers and adopted strong rules banning them from blocking or slowing down sites and charging access fees. The vote is already touted as among the greatest public interest victories in U.S. history, most vocally by the tech world. But also among those celebrating this vote are America’s Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and humanists. What’s faith got to do […]

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3000+ Prayers Pour Into Chapel Hill After Slaying of Muslim American Students

  • 23rd February 201523/02/15
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The families of three Muslim college students killed last week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina received more than 3,000 messages and prayers of love and support from people across America. The prayers were collected by Groundswell Movement at Auburn Seminary and delivered to the local mosque in Raleigh, NC by Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue. “Groundswell collected thousands of notes from caring souls throughout the world who declared their willingness to stand in grieving solidarity with these families,” Rabbi Solomon told the Barakat and Abu-Salha families. “May the souls of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha rest in peace and […]

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Protect Our Faithful Voices. Protect the Open Internet.

  • 23rd February 201523/02/15
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If you recognize my name, it’s because we’re connected in a magical way. Four years ago, I founded Groundswell because I had a dream – to connect people of faith to build a moral movement for justice. Today, you and me and over 100,000 others have taken faithful action together! We built this movement with a lot of heart – and with the help of the Internet. But right now the Internet is under attack, and I’m in the fight to save it. There’s a big vote this Thursday and if people like us speak up now, we can make the […]

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Solidarity and Prayers for 3 Muslim Students Killed in Chapel Hill

  • 12th February 201512/02/15
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The shocking news out of Chapel Hill tears at my heart – 3 young Muslim students murdered in their home by an extremist with a gun. Many of our friends in the Muslim community are feeling alone, and wondering why this tragedy isn’t getting the attention it deserves. In the midst of so much pain and suffering, let us stand with our Muslim American brothers and sisters. Please join me in offering a prayer or message in solidarity. Click here to offer your solidarity, love, or prayer. We’ll share your prayers with the community in Chapel Hill, and show the media […]

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My Top 10 Moments of 2014

  • 13th January 201513/01/15
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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: A wedding! The birth of a daughter! A son’s first day at school! A new job! 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! […]

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Remembering Legendary Dancer Pandit Chitresh Das

  • 5th January 20155/01/15
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Today, we mourn the sudden loss of Pandit Chitresh Das Ji, legendary dancer and luminary teacher of Kathak, the classical North Indian dance. He died unexpectedly on Sunday morning. It’s difficult to express this sense of tremendous loss and profound gratitude. He gave countless people the gift of dance, including me – When I wandered into his class at Stanford 12 years ago, I knew nothing about Kathak. Here was a man with wild hair and fire in his eyes, declaring the integration of mathematics and dance, storytelling and life! In that first class, he taught us tatkar (footwork) and pushed us to […]

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