Divided We Fall

It is the morning of September 15th, eight years since the hate murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi. I sit with a candle in memory of Uncle Ji -- and in honor of untold numbers of people whose names will never be read at Ground Zero, but whose lives were lost or damaged in the ongoing aftermath of terrorist attacks, whether in the name of hate or vengeance or security. Please join me in this day of memorial. Light a candle. Take a moment of silence. Invite friends or

Today, I stood at the front of a classroom and watched fifty squirming fourth and fifth graders enter single-file for their special presentation in North Kenwood/Oakwood Elementary School. As the teacher managed to seat them in perfect rows on the floor, my co-producer Sharat Raju leaned over and whispered, “These kids are young!” He was right. They could not have been more than nine or ten years old. My mouth opened to give my usual introduction – after all, this was our third year on tour with our

Sharat and I stood in the bitter cold in a sea of people last week to witness our 44th President sworn into office. I could barely see the Capitol, but closing my eyes, I heard people around me whisper under their breaths "Thank you, Lord," "Yes, Lord" and "Yes we did" through the prayers and the inaugural address, and I knew I was standing in the heart of a singular spiritual moment in our nation's history where we as a people -- burdened with the sins of

Starting today, 80 cities across America will hold screenings of Divided We Fall and hold deep community dialogues about race, religion, and renewal during the seven-year anniversary of September 11, 2001. To find a screening nearest you: http://dwf-film.com/tour After two years on tour with Divided We Fall, my director Sharat Raju and I sat with our circle of friends and volunteers this summer to talk about what how to release the film. In 100 screenings and events around the world, we had discovered that the film had remarkable

Today, I was invited to present at Tubman Middle School in the inner-city of Augusta, Georgia. The students live in a depressed part of Augusta where textile workers used to live before the mills shut down. They have grown up with gang violence in their neighborhoods and go through routine weapons inspections at schools. These kids know violence. I have taken the film to middle-class kids at public and private schools but never inner-city kids with these kinds of experiences. I did not know what to expect. I had

In the last week of January, my co-producer Sharat Raju and I traveled with our film Divided We Fall around the state of Michigan -- from a screening at Wayne State University in Detroit, to a workshop at the South Asian American Network conference at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, to a day at an all-girls Catholic high school, the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield. Our audiences were diverse, but a central theme seemed to rise throughout our visit: young people learning to

On the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, it was snowing in Michigan. Like most schools, the University of Michigan had given its students a day-off. Unlike most schools, it had created an ambitious month-long symposium in honor of Dr. King so rich and impressive, that even the snow couldn't keep more than 300 people from packing the auditorium to standing-room-only to watch Divided We Fall. My director and I take the stage to thank everyone, especially our hosts the University Libraries, for choosing to reflect

It has been nearly a year since I wrote here last, and yet 2007 was my most public year yet. I traveled the country on a national film and speaking tour, living out of my suitcase, moving from city to city, encountering stories and people and ideas like never before. If writing is my primary way of understanding my experiences, why did I not write? I was asked over and over again, and now in this new year, when I'm returning to myself and the world, I

A wrist and arm injury has kept me from writing for a better part of the year. This has made me very sad. Especially because I have so much to say. I have traveled with Divided We Fall to fifty different cities around North America since we premiered last September. It has been an astounding journey. I have encountered remarkable stories, experienced rich and brave dialogue, and have gained deep insight into what we all share in common - a longing to be seen for how we

We have been invited to Yale University to screen as part of the annual ECAASU Conference - the East Coast Asian American Student Union. It is a cold February night as two hundred students gather in a theater to watch the film and talk. This particular audience is all about the connections