Divided We Fall

By Annabelle Estera, Asian Pacific American Network, Ohio State University One of the best parts of my job is the ability to bring in engaging, thought-provoking, and inspiring speakers. On November 14th, The Ohio State University welcomed filmmaker, civil rights advocate, and interfaith leader, Valarie Kaur to campus. There was a full day of activities planned, including a lunch, workshop, and dinner with staff and students, culminating with an evening screening of her 2006 documentary “Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath,” which tells the story of her travels around the country documenting

On Friday, I spent the day with Millennials at the University of Pennsylvania. One of them did a thorough write-up of the event for the school paper. Thank you Harry for your good work! And thank you to all the UPenn students for an energizing and inspiring discussion on the eve of the 2012 Election! Award-Winning Filmmaker Explains Storytelling as Advocacy By Harry Cooperman, published on The Daily Pennsylvanian Storytelling plus advocacy equals social change. According to Valarie Kaur, this is an equation that will reshape the world. On Friday, Kaur,

By Anju Kaur Published by SikhNN. A new kind of activism was born out of the Balbir Singh Sodhi tragedy ten years ago when he became the first person killed in the backlash against those perceived to be related to the 9/11 attackers. About 100 people gathered at his Mesa, Arizona, gas station to remember Balbir Singh who was gunned down on Sept. 15, 2011. He was shot because of his Sikh identity of unshorn hair and turban. His attacker, Frank Roque, went on a rampage, shooting him five times

The 1700% Project brilliantly captures the sense of cacophony and disorientation of post-9/11 violence for those who still live it -- all in five minutes. Amazing artwork, advocacy, and storytelling rolled into one.  Watch this video: 1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim from Anida Yoeu Ali on Vimeo. Note: the artist mentions several stories featured in Divided We Fall, including Balbir Singh Sodhi (49, killed by a man yelling "I am an American all the way") and Amrik Chawla (chased by 4 men in Manhattan yelling "turban").

Tonight, I write from Iona College, a small college founded by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle.  Dr. Teresa Delgado invited me as part of Iona's Week of the Peacemaker "Advocacy: Speaking out for Justice" -- a series of talks, films, and teach-ins that inform and inspire college students to advocate for justice. We just screened Divided We Fall for 50 college students, followed by an intimate discussion about the ways in which 9/11 still claims us. Students began by sharing memories of the terrorist attacks: one student almost lost

SHADOW GENERATION Valarie Kaur - Huffington Post Feature - 9/15/10 What's missing in the national firestorm over Park51? The voices of young people. Here's how young people can speak out against Islamophobia without creating new enemies, starting on today. September 15, 2010 -- Nine years ago today, the murder of a family friend changed the course of my life. His name was Balbir Singh Sodhi. Four days after 9/11, he was shot in the back in front of his gas station by a man who yelled when arrested, "I'm a

We're very pleased to land on the front page of today's New Haven Register.  The reporter Mary O'Leary captured the spirit of our campaign.  Worth the full read: Students' New Campaign Fights Islamophobia Mary O'Leary - September 13, 2010 NEW HAVEN — Valarie Kaur is an award-winning filmmaker who has fought racism for the past nine years, and still she found herself overwhelmed and paralyzed by the anti-Muslim sentiment flowing from controversy over the planned Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York. A student at the Yale Law School, Kaur said the

What would happen if we felt empathy for those who we believe hold hateful views?  Would we lose some integral part of our identity or find common humanity? On every 9/11 anniversary, I find myself showing my film or giving a talk, but this year, in the spirit of the Common Ground Campaign, I spent the day listening instead of speaking.  And what I found surprised me. During the memorial at Ground Zero, as families gathered to remember and grieve, one man who lost his wife told the New

Today, on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., people across the country are taking a moment to celebrate our shared victories in the civil rights struggle and perhaps renew their commitment to go further.  As for us, we are reflecting on our year and feel humbled and grateful for our journey with Divided We Fall -- our own modest contribution toward the dream of Dr. King and so many unsung women and men. For the last eight years, our little film has inspired a growing community