Although there’s no ‘correct’ target for hate, misdirected Islamophobic violence against Sikh Americans has continued for two decades. In this episode, The Takeaway spoke with activist and author Valarie Kaur about what the post 9/11 era has meant for Sikh Americans.

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From a failed “war on terror” with dubious origins to the legal black hole of Guantanamo — take a look back at the practices and policies of the past 20 years and their present day implications in this FRONTLINE documentary that includes an in-depth interview of Valarie Kaur, American After 9/11.

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Podcast Interviews

Watch Valarie on the Tamron Hall Show

Valarie Kaur stops by to talk about her memoir, “See No Stranger,” and spreading “Revolutionary Love” In the Post-Trump Era.

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Read the Washington Post feature on Valarie and her fellow organizers

“‘It’s sort of like getting the Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis, the Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschels, the Dorothy Days, the Fannie Lou Hamers of our time together and creating a sense of community,’ said the Rev. Katharine Henderson, the president of Auburn Seminary in New York.”

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HuffPo Religion: Sikh Activist’s Campaign

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Family Circle: Influential Moms of 2017

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Broadly on Vice: You Know Who Rules?

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Van Jones and Valarie Kaur on

Watch Valarie and Van discuss Revolutionary Love and how Americans can start loving each other — even the people we disagree with the most.

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Additional Press

Power Moment 2017: Valarie Kaur
June 29, 2017 – Power Moment for propagating the message of #RevolutionaryLove to combat social ills and stand united.

Brown in Trump’s America
June 17, 2017 – Indian Americans are discovering themselves in the cross hairs of growing xenophobia. Valarie is highlighted alongside other Indian-American activists.

People are looking for a ‘Religious Left.’
April 26, 2017 – 
Explores the network of Auburn Seminary Senior Fellows, including Valarie, and their work since late 2016.

How one mother forgave a killer… and what she can teach us.
April 13, 2017 – 
On forgiveness in the aftermath of Balbir Singh Sodhi’s murder in 2001. Valarie speaks with TODAY Parents on forgiveness and healing.

Interview: Sikh-American activist Valarie Kaur is fighting hate with revolutionary love
March 12, 2017 – An interview with Valarie on the Revolutionary Love Project, her family’s immigration story, and being Sikh-American.

On Valentine’s Day, Global Calls for a “Moral Resistance Rooted In Love”
February 14, 2017 –
 The Revolutionary Love Project and co-organizers are re-claiming Valentine’s Day.  


His brother was murdered for wearing a turban after 9/11. Last week, he spoke to the killer.
September 23, 2016 – Rana Sodhi and Valarie Kaur talk with Frank Roque, who killed Balbir Singh Sodhi, on September 15, 2001. An article by Valarie on the first steps towards forgiveness accompanies the video.

15 years after 9/11, Sikhs still victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes
September 15, 2016 – Explores Sikh American stories post-9/11. Valarie is quoted talking about the path of hate and violence towards Sikhs, referencing her family history and the story of Balbir Singh Sodhi.

In Our Own Words: Reflections on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11

September 9, 2016 – Several Americans are asked to share their 9/11 experience. Valarie tells of her journey to document the aftermath of 9/11 in what became her first film, “Divided We Fall.”

PRI’s The World
September 8, 2016 – Valarie shares the story of how 9/11 changed her life and inspired her first film Divided We Fall (after opening, see minute 38).

For Hillary Clinton and Democrats, a Public Shift Toward ‘God-Talk’

August 27, 2016 – Valarie is quoted discussing the concept of Chardi Kala, from the Sikh faith tradition and the emergence love in public discourse.

Kaur and Archuleta: A Sikh, a Mormon, and a dozen Interfaith University Graduates …
May 27, 2016 – The article discusses the impact of Valarie’s address at Chapman University’s 2016 Baccalaureate service.

What the US Could Learn From Justin Trudeau About Saying ‘Sorry’
May 20, 2016 – Valarie contributes to a discussion of immigration and profiling of immigrants in American history.

Love Conquers All
February 3, 2016 –
A letter Valarie co-authored with other faith leaders to their Muslim brother and sisters in faith.

How Fresno California became a hotspot of anti-sikh violence

January 20, 2016 – Valarie speaks about xenophobia in Fresno and the history of hate crimes in in the United States as the country experiences terrorist attacks

A Pope for People of All Faiths
September 28, 2015
– A collection of quotes about Pope Francis from various faith leaders. Valarie calls Pope Francis a ‘ beloved Sevadar.’

The Women Who Won Net Neutrality
September 22, 2015
– The female champions of net neutrality, including Valarie Kaur, are highlighted.

Interfaith Leaders Find Common Ground Promoting Internet Freedom
August 13, 2015 – Valarie discusses the faithful internet movement and the connection net neutrality has to social justice movements

‘First We Pray, Then We Organize’: The Unlikely Coalition for Net Neutrality
July 29, 2015 – Valarie writes about the diverse alliances of organizations and persons garnering support for net neutrality and the faithful internet campaigns.

The Open Internet Order Becomes Law: Why Faith Leaders are Celebrating
June 12, 2015 – Valarie’s words on the importance of maintaining internet freedom in the age of evolving religious movements and their use of online platforms for social action and spiritual presence

Why 12 Top Religious Leaders Are Proud To Support Net Neutrality
June 12, 2015
– Valarie, as a co-founder of faithful internet, is quoted on the importance of net neutrality to all faith traditions

5 Reasons the Future of Faith Depends on the Open Internet
June 12, 2015 – Valarie co-authored this article with Cheryl Leanza on the importance of having net-neutrality and free internet

A Sikh Sermon at the Pentagon: “Seva: The Call of Our Times”
May 4, 2015 – Valarie’s address to the Pentagon on the second commemoration of the Sikh faith.

Net Neutrality for Nonprofits: An interview with Valarie Kaur
March 14, 2015 – Valarie shares her views on net neutrality with Rev. Welton Gaddy on State of Belief Radio, supported by the Interfaith Alliance.

Thanksgiving 2014: How Different Religions Celebrate Thanksgiving Day
November 26, 2014 – Valarie is quoted about how members of the Sikh faith have adopted American cultural norms, i.e. Thanksgiving.

Will the FCC Ruin the Internet?
November 7, 2014 – Valarie contributed to this look at the affect of the Federal Communications Commission’s potential decisions on net neutrality.

Guru Nanak’s Birthday 2014: 3 Things You Need to Know About the Holiday
November 6, 2014 – Valarie is quoted discussing the importance of Guru Nanak’s birthday as a reminder of Oneness.

A Chardi Kala Walk with Oak Creek Two Years After Hate Shootings
August 8, 2014 – A visitor to the Oak Creek memorial discusses her experience, highlights Valarie’s work with the Oak Creek community.

10 Religious Leaders Take a Stab at the True Meaning of Wisdom

July 11, 2014 – Numerous faith leaders discuss wisdom. Valarie shares the vision of wisdom in the Sikh tradition.

The First-Ever Sikh Prayer at the Pentagon
April 29, 2014 –
Valarie’s remarks at the first commemorative event of the Sikh faith at the Pentagon.

Celebrating Eight Sikh Americans We Admire
April 29, 2014 – Valarie’s work with Groundswell and Divided We Fall is featured.

@PortraitofSikhs Portraits of Sikhs

November 29, 2013 – The Portraits of Sikhs Facebook Page featured Valarie.

Gurpurab 2013: Sikhism Founder Guru Nanak’s Birth Anniversary Commemorated At The White House

November 22, 2013 – Valarie’s words at the White House’s celebration of Guru Nanak’s birthday.

Valarie Kaur Extended Interview
July 26, 2013 – 100 years after her gradnfather traveled to the United States, Valarie shares her family’s story and discusses Sikhs in post 9/11 America

Stanford’s Baccalaureate Speaker Tells Class of 2013 to Enter the Whirlwind of Life with Their Whole Heart
June 15, 2013 –
Valarie presented the Baccalaureate address to Stanford’s class of 2013.

Sikhs Hopeful on Anniversary of Shooting
August 5, 2013 – The legacy of Oak Creek is not one of bloodshed, it’s of how a community rose to bring people together to heal and to organize for lasting social change.

1 Year Since Deadly Sikh Temple Attack in Wisconsin
August 5, 2013 – Valarie is interviewed about her work in Oak Creek and how the Sikh community has come together to fight hate with love.

The Sikh Temple Shootings: A Year Later, and Barely Remembered
August 5, 2013 – Valarie comments on the media coverage of Oak Creek and the resilience of the Sikh community.

Overcoming the Fear after Boston: Valarie Kaur Extended Interview Video and Transcript
May 9, 2013 – Valarie is interviewed about the rising trend of hate violence and why it is important to lead with stories in the recovery from the Boston Marathon and Oak Creek.

Journey from Oak Creek to Newtown
December 15, 2012 – Today, we mourn; tomorrow we organize.

Sikh Outreach at the RNC
August 30, 2012 – What does it mean to have a Sikh-led prayer at the Republican National Convention?

‘We Were Americans; We Wanted to Claim Our Place as Americans’
August 17, 2012 – In light of the tragedy in Oak Creek, how can we continue to find hope and possibility while rebuilding, and how can we prevent future violence against Sikhs and all those perceived as “other”?

We Are All Sikh Now
August 12, 2012 – How is the struggle for human dignity universal, and what can we do to build a world without terror?

CNN Newsroom with Alina Cho
August 7, 2012 – Who are Sikh Americans and what does the shooting in Oak Creek mean to all Americans?

Combatting Hate in the Wake of the Sikh Shooting
August 7, 2012 – How can we use storytelling to combat hate and work toward a world without violence?

Fox 11 News in Los Angeles
August 7, 2012 – How has the Sikh community been affected by 9/11 and how can we as Americans support those targeted by racial violence?

Response to Sikh Temple Shooting

August 10, 2012 – How has the Sikh community come together to rebuild in the wake of the tragedy at Oak Creek?

From Aurora to Oak Creek: Surviving Together
August 7, 2012 – How can survivors of tragedy come together to cope and prevent future violence?

The Moral Values of America’s Youth
Valarie responds to New York Times author David Brooks about young Americans’ moral visions.

Discrimination lingers in post-9/11 era
Valarie joined a panel discussion at Yale University to discuss the way minorities are perceived in a post-9/11 United States.

Activism and Outreach from 9/11 Hate Killing
10 years after the tragic killing of Balbir Singh, the Sikh News Network interviewed Valarie about her reaction to the event and her award-winning film Divided We Fall.

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Current interviewed Valarie for a piece on the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Valarie Kaur: A Young Leader to Watch ran a profile of Valarie.

At Auburn Seminary’s 2011 Lives of Commitment Breakfast, Valarie gave this short talk.

Leading from A Whirlwind: Faith and Courage in A Swiftly Changing World
At the annual conference hosted by Women of Spirit and Faith, Valarie spoke about acting with courage and faith.

See here for archives in Print, Audio, and Video.


Revolutionary love is a well-spring of care, an awakening to the inherent dignity and beauty of others and the earth, a quieting of the ego, a way of moving through the world in relationship, asking: ‘What is your story? What is at stake? What is my part in your flourishing?’ Loving others, even our opponents, in this way has the power to sustain political, social and moral transformation. This is how love changes the world.”

“Love calls us to look upon the faces of those different from us as brothers and sisters. Love calls us to weep when their bodies are outcast, broken or destroyed. Love calls us to speak even when our voice trembles, stand even when hate spins out of control, and stay even when the blood is fresh on the ground. Love makes us brave. The world needs your love: the only social, political and moral force that can dismantle injustice to remake the world around us – and within us.”

“To pursue a life of revolutionary love is to walk boldly into the hot winds of the world with a saint’s eyes and a warrior’s heart – and pour our body, breath, and blood into others.”

On Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is freedom from hate.”

“We can no longer divide the world into victims and aggressors; we must remake the institutions and cultures that diminish and divide us.”

“Your greatest test is whether you can still see the humanity of the people who disagree with you and people who hurt you. For when you are hurt, you will want to hate. But when you hate the ones who hurt you, you become the darkness that haunts your dreams. Love shines a light; love returns us to the path; love makes us brave.”

On Courage

“’Tati vao na lagi, par brahm sharnai.’ The hot winds cannot touch you when you walk the path of love and justice. Even if you are beaten down. Even under a rain of fire. Even if you are bleeding – in the birthing room or on the battlefield – the hot winds cannot touch you. Because you are with the holy, and of the holy. You are with God, and of God. You are with love, and of love. And that kind of love saves us all.”

“There are no bystanders. In this time of astonishing moral crisis, silence is complicity. Because in the palm of our hand we have the ability to respond – to speak, to post, to organize, to act, online and on the ground, and in the voting booth. Speak, even if your voice trembles.”

“Courage is only possible in community. When you find yourself afraid  and you don’t know if you can survive it: Close your eyes and breathe and remember the one who loves you. Love will make you brave.”

“We pray to remember God (simran) but we serve to realize God (seva). That’s why we are called to serve matters not with anger or despair but with joy and boundless optimism – the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala.”

On Stories

“We are trapped by stereotypes – Black as criminal, Latino as illegal, Muslim and Sikh as terrorist, indigenous as savage, trans as deviant, and women as property. Once a person is reduced to a stereotype, it becomes easier to rape them, imprison them, and kill them. But stories can destroy stereotypes. Our stories can set us free.”

“Stories can save us. Stories enable us to see others as worthy of love, and therefore worth fighting for. Everyone has a story. Which story have you yet to tell? Whose story have you yet to hear?”

On Calling

“The passion to change the world flickers in you like a flame, and if you let that light go out, you will be robbing the world of your greatest gift. Your task today is not to know what the future holds; your task is to vow to protect that flame.”

“You are meant for more than a life of comfort. You are meant for a life of meaning. Staying within the walls that others build for you may make you feel safe, but its emptiness will breed despair. In the meantime, the fires of life will never stop calling for you.”

“Your calling is when your passion meets the world’s needs. But you don’t hear your calling behind thick walls. You need to go to the places where the world needs you – the places of pain and neglect. But do not go to save the people you find there. Go to be saved by them. For in those places, you will find your greatest teachers on life and love and courage.”

On Wellness

“The way we make change is just as important as the change we make.”

“Read. Think. Dream. Speak. Do not let others colonize your moral imagination.”

“Seek harmony, not balance. Do not cut your life into pieces and measure their worth on a scale. Instead gauge your success by how well you have loved. Let your life sing. Join your song to the Great Symphony that has played long before your birth and will go on sounding after your death.”