Blog

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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First-Ever Sikh Float in Rose Parade

  • 1st January 20151/01/15
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It was an incredible experience to watch the first-ever Sikh float at the Rose Parade. It celebrated the story of Sikhs in America, starting with pioneers like my grandfather who settled in California 101 years ago. The float features a replica of the first gurdwara in America – one that he helped build – and a tractor like the one he used to farm. Watching the Rose Parade next to my parents and Sharat, baby Kavi sleeping on my chest, we all teared up when we saw the Sikh float on the screen. My dad started it: “That gurdwara, that tractor, those peaches… that was Dad’s life when […]

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Welcoming Kavi Singh Raju

  • 10th December 201410/12/14
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We present to you Kavi Singh Raju, born Wednesday December 3, 2014 at 4:58am Pacific in Los Angeles, California. “Kavi” means “poet” in Sanskrit and also our family’s languages Punjabi and Kannada. “Singh” binds him to the Sikh tradition of saint-soldiers. He is named after the spirit of his poet-warrior great grandfathers, including one who settled in America 101 years ago. We hope Kavi lives a life of exploration, creativity, wonder and seva as he discovers this big, beautiful, complicated, noisy and blissful world. We just brought him home to our little nest by the sea. Our hearts are overflowing with joy. Kavi is so fortunate to be born […]

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An Interfaith Thanksgiving

  • 27th November 201427/11/14
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I am thankful that the International Business Times included me in their article on the ways in which different faiths celebrate Thanksgiving. You can read the article and my quote in it here. Also, here is the rest of the text from my interview: “Many Sikhs choose to commemorate the holiday through the core Sikh practice of seva, or ‘spiritually grounded service.’ The Sikh commitment to seva inspires the tradition of ‘langar’ — a free communal meal served to anyone who walks into a Sikh gurdwara (house of worship) in America and around the world. On Thanksgiving, many American Sikh families will take […]

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