Chardi Kala Tag

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

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

Published by The Legacy Project. Valarie Kaur is a national interfaith leader, documentary filmmaker, and lawyer who centers her work around the power of storytelling. She is the founder of Groundswell at Auburn Seminary, a non-profit initiative with 100,000 members that equips people of faith in social movements. Working with students and communities, she has made award-winning films and led campaigns on hate crimes, gun violence, racial profiling, immigration detention, and solitary confinement. Valarie is a prolific public speaker on college and university campuses and frequent political contributor on MSNBC to the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. Her opinion

Two years ago today, six people of faith were killed, and many others wounded, in a mass shooting at the Sikh house of worship in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. It was the largest act of violence on a faith community in the US since the bombing of a Birmingham church that took four little girls 51 years ago. The shooting was a national tragedy, but what happened afterward is the most powerful story of healing and rebuilding I’ve ever witnessed. My husband and I had the chance to capture the community's

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,

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

By Sean Lewis Published on WGN Chicago. In the rain, the community of Oak Creek Wisconsin came together, remembering the tragedy here one year ago. To this day, no one knows why gunman, white supremacist and army veteran wade Michael Page walked into the Sikh Temple on a Sunday morning and began to shoot.  He killed six people and injured many others before he shot and killed himself. “This is not just a Sikh tragedy, this is an American tragedy,” Filmmaker Valarie Kaur has spent the last year talking with the victims

I had the profound honor to help MC the candlelight vigil held in Oak Creek, Wisconsin tonight. One year after the mass shooting at the Sikh house of worship, more than one thousand people came together for a night of prayer, music, testimonies, and remembrance. The following are my opening and closing remarks: Welcome to the community of Oak Creek and those joining from their homes around the country and worldwide. I’m deeply honored to stand here with you tonight. One year ago, I arrived in Oak Creek

By Kim Lawton Published on Washington Post. “The legacy of Oak Creek is not one of bloodshed,” said Valarie Kaur, founding director of the interfaith group Groundswell, a project of Auburn Seminary in N.Y. “(It’s of) how a community rose to bring people together to heal and to organize for lasting social change,” she told the PBS television program “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.” Sikhs first came to the U.S. 100 years ago, and they now number about half a million people. Many say they continue to face discrimination and misunderstanding. Sikh men

Watch this outstanding PBS news report about the Sikh community's response to the mass shooting in Oak Creek, WI one year later. I had an opportunity to present my perspective on advocating for the Sikh community. Watch the full interview to learn more about the Sikh spirit of chardhi kala, everlasting optimism and ever-rising high spirits, even in the face of tragedy.