Chardi Kala Tag

By Kathleen J. Sullivan Published by Stanford News. When facing the dangers of a courageous life, have faith, alumna Valarie Kaur told the graduates at Baccalaureate, a multi-faith celebration of thanksgiving and inspiration. "Faith in God or faith in goodness, faith that love can conquer death and darkness and despair, faith in yourself, faith in each other." Speaking to the Class of 2013, alumna Valarie Kaur said graduates don't need to be superhuman, super-smart, super fuzzy or super techie to stand up for what they believe in, but need only to

By Valarie Kaur and Sharat Raju Published on Huffington Post. Six months ago today, a small Midwestern town was rocked by a mass shooting at a house of worship. The massacre in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that claimed the lives of six people on August 5, 2012 is only one in a tragically long list of recent mass shootings. Yet in this political moment - when sustained public pressure could lead to real gun control reform - the Oak Creek tragedy and response offers a vital lesson: the efficacy of resilience. We

Published on The Washington Post. In the aftermath of the mass shooting in a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis., a sea of reporters have asked many Sikh leaders and activists to quantify how many Sikhs had been targeted in hate crimes and murders since Sept. 11, 2001. Although I have helped chronicle hate crimes against the Sikh American community for more than a decade, I could not tell them. Even as the White House, U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation express their commitment to protecting

Published on Common Ground News Service. Oak Creek, Wisconsin - On Friday, I participated in a memorial for the victims of the 4 August shooting in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I am a third-generation Sikh American, and as the ceremony drew to a close, I tweeted, “May this not be the last moment the nation watches and mourns with us. May this be the start of lasting solidarity.” Now is the time that we, as Americans already embroiled in an increasingly bitter election year, must curb

Published on The Huffington Post. By Valarie Kaur and Simran Jeet Singh Why do we wear turbans?" Nearly every Sikh American who grows up in the U.S. asks their families this question and as two Sikh Americans who maintain our faith, we were no different when we were little. This week, as Americans join in vigils for the six murdered Sikhs in another violent act of hate, many are now asking us this same question. "Our ancestors were beheaded so that we could practice our faith without fear," our grandparents told

Published on The Washington Post. By Vineet Chander, Valarie Kaur and Najeeba Syed-Miller One week after the Sikh shootings in Oak Creek, Americans have learned more about the Sikh community, many for the first time. A brief introduction to Sikhism has caused people to wonder about the relationship between Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam. Each religion is a distinct tradition with unique sets of beliefs, practices and values, and at the same time, all three have coexisted for many hundreds of years in the South Asian region of the world. India

Today, hundreds of people gathered on the steps of the California State capitol building for "American Sikh Day." In the crowd and on the stage, a handful of politicians donned Sikh turbans and others held up signs that read "We are all Sikh." California Senator Darrell Steinberg called today, April 13*, a day of solidarity with Sikhs in response to the shooting of two elderly Sikh gentlemen in Elk Grove, CA last month.  Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwal, 78, were taking their daily afternoon walk