Harvard Divinity School Tag

I was honored to receive the Peter J. Gomes STB '68 Memorial Award this week from my alma mater, Harvard Divinity School. Here is the wonderful article that Harvard posted: When Valarie Kaur, MTS '07, visited the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, after a white supremacist shot six people there in August of 2012, she found none of the recriminations and finger-pointing that characterized the politics of gun violence in the United States. Instead, she joined the community in responding to the hate crime with love, solidarity, and

Published by The Legacy Project. Valarie Kaur is a national interfaith leader, documentary filmmaker, and lawyer who centers her work around the power of storytelling. She is the founder of Groundswell at Auburn Seminary, a non-profit initiative with 100,000 members that equips people of faith in social movements. Working with students and communities, she has made award-winning films and led campaigns on hate crimes, gun violence, racial profiling, immigration detention, and solitary confinement. Valarie is a prolific public speaker on college and university campuses and frequent political contributor on MSNBC to the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. Her opinion

On October 17, 18, and 19, the “Women in Religion in the 21st Century” conference was held at the Interchurch Center in Manhattan. It was a gathering of academics and religious practitioners from around the country in a rich three days of panels, workshops, and films exploring faith, feminism, and “faith-fueled activism.” On each day of the conference, I was asked to speak from a different Sikh perspective: first as a Sikh filmmaker, the next day as young scholar of Sikh scripture, and on the last day

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

It is Christmas Eve in the world. I am at home with my family after many months. I finally have a moment to reflect. Since September, I have lived a split life. On weekdays, I am in Boston keeping up appearances as a graduate student at Harvard Divinity, and on weekends, I am a filmmaker in Los Angeles, working in a tiny editing room on our documentary. We are in the final phase of Divided We Fall, shaping our two-hour rough cut into a polished completed film to

Today Dr. Diana Eck and the Harvard Pluralism Project hosted a screening of the rough cut of the documentary at Harvard University (pictured above). We first screened the rough cut to a Sikh audience at the Spinning Wheel Film Festival in Toronto. This screening would be different. At an invitation-only event, we gathered classmates, friends, professors, and staff at Harvard to watch the cut and offer feedback. When introducing the film, looking out into a sea of faces, I became nervous. Who in their right mind would show

Since finishing production at the end of August, the team has been slaving away in the editing room in Los Angeles. Director Sharat Raju is co-editing the film with Scott Rosenblatt. Sheepishly, I had to return to school in Boston (for my masters program at Harvard Divinity), but I've been flying back to LA almost every weekend to witness their amazing post-production speed to meet our first deadline: this weekend. The dynamic-duo worked around the clock for four weeks in order to turn 130 hours of footage

Here is a brief introduction to the SIKH RELIGION, as per the request of our First Camera Assistant Don Presley. This is the introduction I prepared in April 2005 for the Harvard Divinity School community, where I study ethics as a graduate student. With the help of local gurdwaras and the noon service steering committee, we organized the first Sikh service in the history of Harvard Divinity to celebrate Vaisakhi, a special Sikh holiday. The service began with this introduction, which I read to the gathering (pictured): "SIKHISM is

Once again, I am living out of my suitcase. This happens a lot. Ever since September 11, 2001, my suitcase has been my home. That single event, that single day, has determined every part of my life. What I study. What I do. Who I know myself to be. And where I am. On this particular night, I am in Los Angeles, writing from a production office—a film production office. The place is an organized mess. Two rooms packed with editing equipment, camera gear, computers, stacks of papers