I'm writing with joyful news! Tonight, the beloved and award-winning television show THIS IS US will include a Sikh American character! It will be a beautiful television moment — but it is also a key step in our movement to change the nation's moral imagination. The stereotype of the "Muslim terrorist" has dominated America's imagination since 9/11 (and before). Every television show, film, and news cycle that portrays us as "them" fuels the unjust policies and acts of hate against our communities. So how do we change that? We
Tonight is the night! My husband and filmmaking partner Sharat Raju directed an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - and it airs tonight 9 PM Eastern/Pacific on NBC! The episode is superb: a powerful, provocative, and morally complex story that takes on the issue of domestic violence inspired by the Ray Rice case. An example of the power of storytelling for deep dialogue and social change via television. It will also keep you on the edge of your seat. OK, I might be a bit biased, but even the SVU
Check out the new PBS documentary Makers: Women in Business. I make a brief appearance on the question of “leaning in” at minute 43:33-44:55. Though only for a few seconds, I am glad the film documents some of the complexities of the debate surrounding women's leadership and Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. You can read my full critique published in an essay for MSNBC “Lean in? For Millennials, the question is what are we leaning toward.” Or watch my appearance on the Melissa Harris-Perry show here.
During the "Weekend of Resistance" in Ferguson, Missouri, I appeared on "The Melissa Harris-Perry Show" to discuss why the Weekend and #FergusonOctober calls upon us to confront not just police accountability but race in America. You can watch our panel's segment here: http://www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry/watch/anti-police-violence-movement-draws-youth-340967491740
As we reflect on 2013, I would like to share a video of my Baccalaureate address to Stanford University's Class of 2013. I had the honor of becoming the youngest person to deliver the address, and the first from the Sikh tradition. But I offer the call to "enter the whirlwind" for people of all faiths, and all ages. Read the prepared text of my speech below: President Hennessy, Dean McLennan, professors and staff, family and friends, and the Class of 2013, it is a profound gift for me
Here's my interview with State of Belief discussing the one-year anniversary of Oak Creek. In the past twelve months, we have seen the Sikh community rebuild and unite in optimism and love to combat hate violence and domestic terrorism. Watch the video to learn more. Part I: Part II:
Here is my interview reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the Oak Creek tragedy on PBS's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. In the last year, I've witnessed the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala, everlasting hope and optimism, even in suffering. This is the untold story of tragedy. Want to honor Oak Creek? Watch the Film. Join the Movement: http://www.groundswell-movement.org/the-one-year-anniversary-of-oak-creek
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.
Here's my take on Angelina Jolie's story to pursue preventive care for breast cancer. On MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show, I talk about how women's health movements can use stories like Jolie's to break down economic and cultural barriers to care facing lower-income women and women of color, not just for breast cancer but for other less visible diseases such as myeloma and endometriosis. "Angelina Jolie's Story and the Politics of Breast Cancer" - Valarie Kaur on MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Parry Show" May 19, 2013 from Sharat Raju on Vimeo.