I had the profound honor to help MC the candlelight vigil held in Oak Creek, Wisconsin tonight. One year after the mass shooting at the Sikh house of worship, more than one thousand people came together for a night of prayer, music, testimonies, and remembrance. The following are my opening and closing remarks: Welcome to the community of Oak Creek and those joining from their homes around the country and worldwide. I’m deeply honored to stand here with you tonight. One year ago, I arrived in Oak Creek
Published on Huffington Post. One year ago this morning, a lone gunman walked into a house of worship and stalked the prayer hall, communal kitchen and living rooms. Wherever he saw people, he lifted his gun without expression and fired. He killed six people and critically wounded others, including a police officer. The August 5, 2012 mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin received national attention for a few days, but then faded into the background as one in a list of mass shootings last year. One year later, people
By Kim Lawton Published on Washington Post. “The legacy of Oak Creek is not one of bloodshed,” said Valarie Kaur, founding director of the interfaith group Groundswell, a project of Auburn Seminary in N.Y. “(It’s of) how a community rose to bring people together to heal and to organize for lasting social change,” she told the PBS television program “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.” Sikhs first came to the U.S. 100 years ago, and they now number about half a million people. Many say they continue to face discrimination and misunderstanding. Sikh men
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.
Breaking news! On Wednesday afternoon, an FBI advisory policy board voted to track hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu, and Arab Americans. We did this together! On August 5th, 2012, six Sikh Americans were murdered in a gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) in one of the greatest hate-based mass shootings in recent U.S. history. Within 48 hours, thousands of Groundswell members sent prayers and messages of solidarity from all over the country. I delivered them in Wisconsin the first Sunday after the mass shooting. And in the following months, you signed and shared the petition telling
As I write this, my eyes are swollen from crying. It's not that I'm not accustomed to the news. Taxi drivers shot. Kids bullied. Gurdwaras set on fire. And the routine "hey Osama" on the street. For ten years, I've documented hate against Sikh Americans, as well as Muslim, Arab, and other South Asian Americans. I was twenty when I began this work a few days after 9/11. Now I'm thirty. I didn't know I would be doing it for ten years. But that's not why I broke
One month ago, on Christmas morning, Gurpartap Singh was murdered in his cab in Richmond, California. He was a turbaned Sikh cab driver, the fifth to be shot in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2002. The police called the murder an attempted robbery; local Sikhs saw it as part of a pattern of violence against their community since 9/11. I found out about Gurpartap’s murder the day after Christmas. We were eating chocolate chip pancakes around the kitchen table when the call came. I stumbled upstairs, took