Ground Zero Tag

On Sunday night, when I got off the train near Ground Zero to attend a 9/11 multifaith ceremony, I walked right into an anti-Muslim protest. Two hundred people cheered on speakers who warned of sharia law and the Muslim invasion.  Their signs read: "Mohammad was a terrorist." A moment later, their eyes were on us -- we looked like their enemies -- and my throat caught.  I cried, and walked away. But when I finally got to the ceremony, I saw why we did this together.  Four times as many

The story was originally printed on Newsday here. We have been collecting Ribbons of Hope from across the country and around the world to mark the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Our partners at Prepare New York are weaving these ribbons into a colorful tapestry that to me, represents a groundswell of people ready to overcome fear and divisiveness on this anniversary.  Send your Ribbon of Hope to Ground Zero today (easy and free).  Newsday just covered our efforts: The fluttering ribbons came from near and far, their messages and prayers

On Tuesday night, hundreds of people gathered together at Groundswell's kick-off teach-in in NYC and imagined how a movement based on compassion and community could emerge from the shadows this tenth anniversary of 9/11. I can still feel the electricity in the room -- and the excitement about what we could build. We envisioned a movement that's not about a single issue, political party or particular tradition -- but a shared moral vision of a world where each of us feels at home. Check out video clips of social innovator

As many of you know, for the last decade, I've had the opportunity to tour with Divided We Fall, leading dialogues on campuses and communities in 200 cities across the country. And I began to notice something -- a rising generation of people like me were tired of partisan politics and hungry for meaningful social action. Many of us found it in the campaign of President Obama. And while I'm proud to have worked on his campaign, it's clear now that we need more than a president

I spent much of my twenties living out of my suitcase, touring with Divided We Fall, crisscrossing the country listening to peoples' stories about their experience in the ongoing aftermath of 9/11.  I blogged about many of them, but there were too many for one person to capture.  I wished that one site where people could submit their own untold stories -- a kind of open-source epilogue to the film.  Today, it exists. A coalition of community organizations joined forces to create the Unheard Voices of 9/11 Project. 

Osama bin Laden's face is all over the television.  People are flooding the streets waving American flags.  The President speaks of our unity and resolve as a nation.  And 9/11 is on everyone's mind.  This has all happened before. Except this time, ten years after 9/11, we are not grieving death; we are celebrating death.  We have slain Osama bin Laden - the one who first slayed us.  And we are singing and laughing and high-fiving.  As if this is the end.  As if violence can end a

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

What would happen if we felt empathy for those who we believe hold hateful views?  Would we lose some integral part of our identity or find common humanity? On every 9/11 anniversary, I find myself showing my film or giving a talk, but this year, in the spirit of the Common Ground Campaign, I spent the day listening instead of speaking.  And what I found surprised me. During the memorial at Ground Zero, as families gathered to remember and grieve, one man who lost his wife told the New

Today we filmed the streets and skyline of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and finally we returned to Ground Zero. There we met AMRIK CHAWLA (pictured), a Brooklyn-raised Sikh American, who first told me his story in December 2001. Amrik was probably the very first victim of a hate crime after 9/11. It happened only minutes after the second plane hit the Towers. That Tuesday morning, Amrik was in a cab three blocks south of the Towers, on his way to work when traffic stopped. He saw the