9/11 Tag

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

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

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

I blink. There are one thousand people in the audience, but the stage lights blind me, and all I can make out is the roar of applause coming from a dark moving sea of people. This is our largest audience yet, and they are giving us a standing ovation. I send a smile of gratitude over to our host Angela Rola, Director of the Asian American Cultural Center at the University of Connecticut. Sharat and I take a deep breath and then the Q&A begins. “My grandparents are

After premiering in Phoenix and New York, we made our BOSTON PREMIERE at Tufts University on October 25, hosted by the Asian American Center. It was a full audience once again, but this time, it was made up mostly of college students, many of whom experienced 9/11 as freshmen in high school. Linell Yugawa, our gracious host and director of the Asian American Center, introduced us. We introduced Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath. And it began. This time, Sharat and I sat in the back to

Today, California's first Spinning Wheel Film Festival was held in Orange County, California. On the eve of the festival, the Sikh Center of Orange County held a gala banquet and organizer Bicky Singh invited us to offer a SNEAK PREVIEW of Divided We Fall. Our director/editor/producer extraordinaire Sharat Raju cut together a brand-new seven-minute trailer, weaving together voices and faces from the film with music from the film’s original score created by composer Sagar Jethani. (The sneak preview will be featured on the film's official website at

To commemorate the four-year anniversary of the murder of Balbir Sodhi, Arizona's East Valley Tribune ran a front page article about his story and our film Divided We Fall. Sikhs Still Living in the Shadow of Sept. 11. Nick Martin On a Saturday in 2001, less than two weeks after the S ept. 11 terrorist attacks, thousands gathered at Phoenix Civic Plaza to honor a man most had never met. (Gaurav Singh, a relative of Balbir Singh Sodhi, kneels by a memorial outside the Mesa Star Convenience store where Sodhi was

Four years ago today, BALBIR SINGH SODHI was murdered in front of his gas station in Mesa, Arizona. His murderer Frank Roque yelled upon arrest, “I am a patriot.” Sodhi (pictured) was the first person of as many as nineteen people killed in the thousands of hate crimes that followed 9/11. This summer, I have traveled across the country to meet with families in targeted communities to find out how much has changed. Although numbers have fallen, there are continued reports of vandalism, beatings, and shootings. Perhaps most

August, 26-2005- Today was our very last day of interviews. It was only appropriate that our final two interviewees held opposing positions on how to defend American democracy in the post-9/11 era: one believes that we need to target undocumented immigrants and use racial profiling in security searches, and the other believes that such state policies are a form of public violence that encourage private hate violence. Both were intriguing. We first interviewed CLIFFORD MAY (pictured below), President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He is