Valarie's Sikhs Posts
A Sikh Prayer for America on November 9th, 2016
A SIKH PRAYER FOR AMERICA ON NOV 9, 2016 Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh In our tears and agony, we hold our children close and confront the truth: The future is dark. But my faith dares me to ask: What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor? What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and […]Read more
Special Invite: Will you join us to Get Out the Vote?
We have 12 days left to Election Day — an election that will determine the course of our future and character of our nation. Are you planning to vote but want to do something more? Traveling the country this fall, I witnessed up close how this election season has vilified, shamed, and intimidated communities of color — especially Muslim Americans. With every new threat of voter intimidation at the polls, Muslim families worry that they may not be able to exercise the sacred and fundamental right to vote. But we can change that — together. Can you donate 3 hours […]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
15 Years Later – Rana Sodhi and I Speak with the Man Who Murdered Balbir Sodhi
On September 15, at sunset in Arizona, a crowd gathered at the corner of a Chevron gas station called the Mesa Star. Like every year since 2002, Rana Sodhi hosted a memorial here for his brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi. Balbir was shot while planting flowers in front of his store on September 15, 2001 — four days after the 9/11 attacks. On this night every year, the station is transformed into sacred space, where we listen to prayers, hold candles and place red roses on the cool marble where Balbir died. I took my seat on the ground next to his widow, […]Read more
100 Dialogues for Revolutionary Love This Election Season
This election season, campuses and communities across the country will host 100 FILM SCREENINGS and DIALOGUES on Revolutionary Love. They will screen our film Divided We Fall, the first documentary film to chronicle the struggles of Sikh and Muslim Americans in the aftermath of 9/11 and their resilience in the aftermath of violence. This is the first call to action of the Revolutionary Love Project, my new initiative at University of Southern California ORL. Click on any public event below to join a dialogue near you. Or sign up here to host your own film viewing and dialogue on #RevolutionaryLove. DIVIDED WE […]Read more
Live from #GroundZero and Second Ground Zero
Live From #GroundZero. Watch here. I was with Kerri Kelly on 9/11 to honor her step-father Lt Joe Leavey, a fireman who rushed up flights of stairs to save people and was killed 15 years ago today. She wants an end to hate & bigotry in Joe’s name. Together we are reclaiming 9/11 in the name of #revolutionarylove. On 9/15 she joined me in Phoenix to honor my family friend and uncle Balbir Singh Sodhi, Sikh American and the first of dozens killed in hate crimes in the aftermath of 9/11. Sign to join us: http://act.ctznwell.org/vote_for_love Live from the “Second Ground […]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