Valarie's Opinion Essays Posts
ANNOUNCING A DAY OF REVOLUTIONARY LOVE…
This was originally posted by Auburn Seminary. Since the executive orders started coming down, we have barely had a chance to breathe. Thousands of you took to the streets, showed up at airports, held vigils, called Congress, and even supported civil disobedience. Our show of resistance helped win a restraining order on the ban on Muslims and refugees – it’s temporary relief but a true moral victory. All this in only 20 days. Will we burn out? If we let fear, fatigue, rage, or despair overcome us – yes, our resistance will fizzle. Worse, we will start to mirror the […]Read more
Sikh interfaith leader Valarie Kaur to address Northeastern community
This piece originally appeared in the India New England News. Valarie Kaur, Northeastern University’s 2017 Interfaith Leadership Fellow, delivered a talk on Friday, February 11, at 5 p.m. in the Curry Student Center Ballroom titled “Revolutionary Love in an Era of Enormous Rage.” Her speech will serve as the cornerstone of the second annual New England Interfaith Student Summit, which is hosted by Northeastern’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service in partnership with other universities and interfaith nonprofits across the region. The two-day event—which is designed to educate participants in the principles of interfaith cooperation, social justice, and religious literacy—will […]Read more
The Sword & Dilruba: Spiritual Activism in an Era of Rage
On January 5th, millions of people around the world celebrated the 350th birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth teacher of the Sikh faith. We honored him with pilgrimages, services, stories, and sweets. But this moment offers more than celebration. In our current moment of political and moral crisis, the Guru’s birthday offers an opportunity for reflection. His life shows us the path of spiritual activism — how to fight for justice through the ethic of love, even in an era of rage. Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) lived in a time when an empire waged war on religious minorities […]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
3000+ Prayers Pour Into Chapel Hill After Slaying of Muslim American Students
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 […]Read more
Will the FCC Ruin the Internet?
Published on CNN. Editor’s note: Barbara van Schewick, author of “Internet Architecture and Innovation,” is a professor at Stanford Law School and director of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Follow her on Twitter: @vanschewick. Valarie Kaur is Media & Strategy Fellow at the Center and contributed to this article. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. The results of the midterm election confirm Americans’ widespread discontent with Washington gridlock on a range of issues. In the last few months, millions of people contacted the White House, Congress and federal agencies to demand action on one of […]Read more
Is the Internet About to Get Sloooooow?
Published on CNN. Editor’s note: Barbara van Schewick is an expert on net neutrality, a professor at Stanford Law School and director of the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. She is the author of “Internet Architecture and Innovation.” Follow her on Twitter at @vanschewick. Valarie Kaur, a media and strategy fellow at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, contributed to this article. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. On Wednesday, millions of Americans visiting their favorite websites will encounter the same dreaded image: the spinning wheel of death. […]Read more
First-Ever Sikh Prayer at the Pentagon – My Remarks
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 […]Read more
How to Make Love, Not Bigotry
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 […]Read more
My Remarks at the White House Commemorating the Sikh Faith
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 […]Read more