Blog

First-Ever Sikh Prayer at the Pentagon - My Remarks

  • 29th April 201429/04/14
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Published by Huffington Post. The following remarks were delivered at the Pentagon’s first-ever event to commemorate the Sikh faith on April 25, 2014. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain, the program was organized by Major Kalsi, Captain Rattan, Corporal Lamba, 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. Waheguru Ji Ka Kalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. Thank you to the Pentagon Chaplain and Chaplain corps for gathering us here to celebrate Vaisakhi, the founding of the Sikh community as the Khalsa, a spiritual […]

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Celebrating Eight Sikh Americans We Admire – Huffington Post

  • 29th April 201429/04/14
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Published by Huffington Post. HuffPost Religion celebrates the Sikh American community and all of its diverse accomplishments. These eight people have made headlines for a wide variety of achievements, from athletic prowess to human rights leadership. Meet the future of America’s Sikh community here: Prabhjot Singh Prabhjot Singh, a professor at Columbia University, sustained serious injuries after being subjected to a brutal hate crime attack. In a blog about the incident, his friend Simran Jeet Singh said that “Prabhjot has dedicated his life to serving the underserved,” as Director of Systems Management at the Earth Institute as well as within his local Harlem community. […]

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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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