[Content warning: hate violence, gun violence, murder] 

Dear Friends,

I am writing to invite you to a virtual solidarity vigil on Thursday night, one week after the mass shooting in Indianapolis. In the wake of the verdict over George Floyd’s murder, and in a time of racial trauma and anguish for so many of us, we are gathering to grieve, rage, and practice revolutionary love. It will be a night of testimony, music, song, and prayer in the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala — ever-rising spirits, even in darkness.

www.SolidarityVigil.com

WHAT: An online solidarity vigil for the Sikh community with testimony, music, prayer and song. We will be joined by Sikh community members, national faith leaders, movement leaders, artists, and activists.WHEN: This Thursday, April 22, 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT

WHERE: Zoom, also livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook

HOSTS: The Revolutionary Love Project & Faith in Action, in partnership with many others, including Sikh organizations.

WHY: The Sikh community needs you. Last Thursday, a gunman opened fire at a FedEx facility where he had worked and that was primarily staffed by Sikhs. Four of the eight people killed Indianapolis were Sikh. Witnesses report that the gunman specifically hunted down Sikh employees. He is known to have visited white supremacist sites. Sikhs across America are in grief and trauma: The massacre opens a wound, going back to the Oak Creek massacre and 9/11, and long before. And yet the media is quiet, and the police are not investigating the role of bias. No headlines. No hashtags. We are going to change that together.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

1. RSVP to the vigil now.

2. Spread the word. Forward this email. Post on social. Sample posts below. Use #StandWithSikhs #StopAsianHate #EndRacialViolence

3. Write a prayer or message of love and solidarity. We will bind your letters in books and deliver them to the families of the victims as lasting testaments of our solidarity.

RSVP to join us Thursday, April 22, 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT

Why this matters — Valarie Kaur

A squeeze in the chest. Burning in the rib cage. Ache in the throat.

In this time of collective trauma, I breathe with you to honor the lives of all eight people killed in the massacre: Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Jaswinder Kaur, Amarjit Kaur Sekhon, Jaswinder Singh, Karli Smith, John Weisert.

Four of the eight are Sikh Americans. Witnesses on the ground report that the gunman specifically targeted Sikh employees during the rampage. One witness reports that the gunman “told a white woman running towards him to get out of the way, after having just shot a Sikh man in the face.” Others heard him scream “to let him in to kill them all.” Despite these reports, the police are still not yet investigating the role of bias in the shooting. For more details, read the Sikh Coalition’s letter to law enforcement in Indianapolis.

The Sikh community, my community, is grieving — not just in Indianapolis but all across the country. The massacre has opened the wound of longstanding anti-Sikh and anti-Asian hate in the United States. The shooting occurs just a month after the targeting of Asian American spas in Atlanta which left 8 people dead, including 6 Asian women. It brings back memories of the hate-motivated massacre at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin gurdwara in 2012, and ongoing racial violence since 9/11, and long before.

But we are not just victims — we have wisdom to offer America about longevity and resilience in labors for justice. In our vigil, we will hear Sikh stories, music, and prayer — and hold space for the many people of color experiencing ongoing hate violence and state violence. Together we will recommit to the practices of revolutionary love in the face of anti-Black racism and the racial violence that has taken the lives of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and many more.

I can imagine no better redemption for all we have lost than for America to take up this radical vision of beloved community as our north star.

“When people who have no obvious reason come together to grieve, they give rise to new relationships, even revolutions.” – See No Stranger


Spread the word on social media


Share on Facebook and Instagram

 

Join us for a multiracial interfaith vigil to grieve and stand in solidarity with the Sikh community one week after the mass shooting in #Indianapolis. The massacre is touching the open wound of decades-long racial trauma. In the wake of the verdict over George Floyd’s murder, we will gather to recommit to ending anti-Black racism and racial violence in all forms. We will be joined by faith leaders, artists, activists, and Sikh community members. This online event will be a night of testimony, music, prayer, and song. We will gather in grief, rage, and love — and the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala, ever-rising spirits even in darkness. Happening this Thursday, April 22nd at 8pm ET | 5pm PT. RSVP at SolidarityVigil.com. #StandWithSikhs #StopAsianHate #EndRacialViolence Art: @anandpurarts

Share on Twitter

 

Click to Tweet: One week after the #Indianapolis massacre, I’m attending a multiracial interfaith vigil to #StandWithSikhs. Solidarity is survival. Calling all BIPOC communities + accomplices to gather together in grief, rage, and love. SolidarityVigil.com #StopAsianHate Art: anandpurarts
Click to Tweet: In the wake of the verdict over #GeorgeFloyd’s murder, we gather to recommit to ending anti-Black racism + racial violence in all forms. Join us for a powerful solidarity vigil w/the Sikh community: SolidarityVigil.com #StandWithSikhs #StopAsianHate Art: anandpurarts
Click to Tweet: I stand in solidarity with the Sikh community in the wake of #Indianapolis & decades-long racial trauma. Join us for an online vigil in the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala, ever-rising spirits even in darkness: SolidarityVigil.com #StandWithSikhs #StopAsianHate Art: anandpurarts
Click to Tweet: In #Indianapolis, 4 of the 8 killed were Sikhs. Witnesses report that the gunman specifically aimed at Sikhs. Yet the police are not investigating the role of bias. We need your solidarity. Join us 4/22: SolidarityVigil.com #StandWithSikhs #StopAsianHate Art: anandpurarts


Artwork in the vigil meme is by @anandpurarts on Instagram.
Artwork in the memes with Valarie’s words are by @house.of.kaur on Instagram.