Valarie's Oak Creek Posts
Kaur issues call to ‘revolutionary love’
At the conclusion of Valarie Kaur’s Jan. 4 electrifying keynote address at the College Conference at Montreat, the tandem lines on either side of Anderson Auditorium were at least ten deep with students all but on fire to have her respond to their questions. In fact, “fire” was an operative word for Kaur, an American interfaith leader, lawyer, filmmaker, Sikh activist, and founder of The Revolutionary Love Project based at the University of Southern California. She had so galvanized the conference by charging her listeners “to have the courage to walk through those flames of hatred and bigotry and rage, […]Read more
KAUR TOURS USA FIGHTING HATE WITH LOVE
This fall I have been on stages across the country with the Together Tour. Each evening courageous, trailblazing women gather to share their stories, to weave them into a beautiful tapestry. It has been a humbling and magical experience thus far. I am so thankful to Kaur Life for the beautiful feature, below, on the Together Tour and my most recent initiative, The Revolutionary Love Project. The tour is half way done, but there is still time to join us! Upcoming stops: BROOKLYN 10/17, ATLANTA 10/19, DENVER 10/24. Use code VAL10 for discounted tickets: togetherlive.com As hate crimes, violent rhetoric, and polarizing politics threaten […]Read more
I’m Still finding Love in America
One of the first people killed in a hate crime after 9/11 was a family friend, Balbir Singh Sodhi. He was 52, a Sikh father who wore a turban and beard as part of his faith. He was the first of dozens of Sikhs and Muslims in America killed in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attack. But his murder barely made the evening news. I was 20 years old, afraid for both my country and community. The Sikh faith calls us to social action, even in times of crisis. Desperate to act, I grabbed my camera and drove across […]Read more
Combat Hate with Love: Join Me this Election Season!
The way that America commemorates the 15 year anniversary of 9/11 will shape our nation’s future. Will we honor the dead by recommitting our nation to love? Or will we allow 9/11 to be used to incite hate and violence this election season? As a Sikh mother, the question is a matter of life or death. Because on every 9/11 anniversary, we see an astounding rise in hate against Muslim and Sikh Americans – profiling, bullying, beatings, and killings. That’s why, for the first time ever, we are releasing our award-winning film DIVIDED WE FALL for free. And we invite […]Read more
On the Four Year Anniversary, Will America #RememberOakCreek?
I’m in Oak Creek today to commemorate the four-year anniversary of a mass shooting on Sikh Americans. On August 5, 2012, a white supremacist opened fire in a Sikh gurdwara in this small town in Wisconsin, spilling blood in a place of prayer and peace. He killed six people and wounded many more. The tragedy too quickly fell out of national memory. But that’s not why I keep coming back. As a Sikh, all my life I have been taught “chardi kala” – the spirit of optimism and revolutionary love even in suffering. But I had never witnessed this kind […]Read more
A Call to Action to End Racism and Violence
A call to action: If you grieve the police officers killed in Dallas and the black people shot by police, if you believe we can demand police accountability and join hands with police officers who want to end racism and violence, if you hunger to channel anger and grief into #revolutionarylove, then please read and sign this letter. We are going to deliver this letter to police departments and Black Lives Matter chapters across the country. I wrote this letter with prophetic faith leaders Jacqui Lewis Brian D. McLaren Gene Robinson Sister Simone Campbell and Michael-Ray Mathews. In this time of deafening crisis, we can break the cycle of hate […]Read more
Global Program Scholar-In-Residence: Serve with Courage, Forgiveness, Love
Read the original post, from the Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, here. Seniors in the Program for Global Citizenship presented their innovative Capstone Projects Tuesday night, Elizabeth Kendrick ’16 spoke of her Global experience, and Scholar-in-Residence Valarie Kaur capped off two days on campus with an inspirational Global Citizenship Lecture in the Fine Arts Building. Kaur, a multitalented worker for social justice, is an author, MSNBC commentator, civil rights lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, and young mother, but she does not let her roles define her. And in her talk, “The Hot Winds of the World Cannot Touch You,” she encouraged students pursuing the path of global service to resist letting others define them, too. “What has always worked for […]Read more
Beyond ‘Us and Them’ – Harvard Divinity School
I was honored to receive the Peter J. Gomes STB ’68 Memorial Award this week from my alma mater, Harvard Divinity School. Here is the wonderful article that Harvard posted: When Valarie Kaur, MTS ’07, visited the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, after a white supremacist shot six people there in August of 2012, she found none of the recriminations and finger-pointing that characterized the politics of gun violence in the United States. Instead, she joined the community in responding to the hate crime with love, solidarity, and resolve. “I witnessed courage that astounded me,” she says. “The Sikh […]Read more
Amid Anti-Muslim Hate, Sign This Letter of Support to the Muslim Community
Sign our letter of solidarity with the Muslim community in America. The letter says: America is not America without Muslims. As people of faith and moral conscience, we promise to defend our Muslim brothers and sisters from attack, to speak up when they are maligned, and to support them with our voices, our actions, and our bodies. We’re going to send this letter and a copy of the signatories to the media, as well as to as many mosques and Muslim community centers as possible. Together, thousands of us can speak up and battle hate with love. This moment calls for […]Read more
Honoring the Charleston nine: Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we organize.
This article was originally published in The Washington Post. Gunshots in a sanctuary of peace. Cries of terror where people sing God’s name. Blood in the prayer hall. A community shaken by hate but coming together to sing, pray and forgive even before they’ve laid the dead to rest. This is what happened three years ago in Oak Creek, Wis., when a white supremacist opened fire in a Sikh house of worship on a Sunday morning and killed six people. It was one of the deadliest attacks on a faith community in the United States since the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that […]Read more