“Shallow solidarity is based on the logic of exchange—You show up for me, and I will show up for you. But deep solidarity is rooted in recognition—I show up for you, because I see you as part of me. Your liberation is bound up in my own.”
— Valarie Kaur, See No Stranger (page 82)

 

My Friends,

One week ago, we showed the nation what deep solidarity looks like.

In the wake of the massacre in Indianapolis, many of you joined us in a national virtual Solidarity Vigil to stand with the Sikh community. It was a healing container for our racial trauma, including the violence on Black people, from George Floyd’s murder to the police killing of Ma’Kiah Bryant. We had 5 days to organize, not knowing if people would come.

 

Watch highlights of the Solidarity Vigil.

Here’s what happened: 10,000+ people and 145 organizations joined us in a powerful multiracial, multifaith vigil of revolutionary love.  We stayed together for 2 1/2 hours to process our grief and rage. In community, we found joy. We witnessed 30+ speakers and performers weaving a tapestry of testimony, witness, music, poetry, prayer, and song — in the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala, ever-rising spirits even in darkness.

I feel the energy and power of the night reverberating on all sides. Notes are pouring in from across the country from people moved to tears and stirred to action. Families in Indianapolis are telling us that the vigil comforted them when they felt alone, and gave them strength for the days ahead. And many Sikhs write that they have never seen anything like this before: solidarity with Sikhs that centered anti-Black racism, began with Indigenous wisdom, and lifted up a vision of a future where all of us are free. It was revolutionary love in action.

Together we modeled what America could be — a multiracial, multifaith beloved community.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Sikh community in Indianapolis is hosting a memorial to honor the 8 lives lost. We will show them that they are not alone. During the program, they will watch THIS video from our Solidarity Vigil and feel your love and support. Then, we will present bound books of thousands of prayers and messages you all sent in to each family. Long after the media cameras leave, our voices will be lasting reminders of our love and support.

I’m proud of how we showed up together in this time of crisis. But remember: We don’t need to wait for crisis to build beloved community. We can begin where we are. We are putting the final touches on our Revolutionary Love Learning Hub — a tool for you and yours. I will announce soon. Stay tuned.

In Chardi Kala,
Valarie


Visit SolidarityVigil.com to:

1. WATCH our Solidarity Vigil video (7 min). Witness the most powerful moments of the vigil. Then, share!

2. POST your support with the hashtag #StandWithSikhs. Go to SolidarityVigil.com for sample posts and artwork.

3.  DONATE to the families of the victims in Indianapolis.


SATURDAY, May 1st, 1-4pm EDT: You are invited to join people of all backgrounds and Sikhs from across the midwest at this Remembrance Event for the lives lost and impacted by the shooting on April 15th. It takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium and is free to attend. During the event, a volunteer will present bound books containing the thousands of messages of love, solidarity, and prayers that we collected to each of the 8 families who lost a loved one. Mask and social distancing policies will be strictly enforced in line with Marion County COVID-19 guidelines. Temperatures will be checked upon arrival to the stadium. Please arrive at Noon. Seating is first-come, first-served. Click here for details.

Solidarity Vigil artwork by @anandpurarts on Instagram.