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 June 22, I had the privilege of spending the afternoon at the White House at the invitation of the President. A typical work day. I was invited as one of 150 community leaders across the country for a briefing and reception in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. The invitation came as a surprise -- and a long-held dream come true. To shake the President's hand and say
Last week, NPR reported a growing trend among local NAACP chapters. They're electing a new generation of leaders, many of whom are not African-American. In Waterbury, Connecticut, the chapter elected Victor Diaz, a 32-year-old Hispanic who is one of about a dozen new local leaders broadening the NAACP mission. They are changing the face of the NAACP as an organization not just for African-Americans but also for immigrants and LGBT people. This news was music to my ears. For too long, civil rights organizations have fought campaigns as
Today, on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., people across the country are taking a moment to celebrate our shared victories in the civil rights struggle and perhaps renew their commitment to go further. As for us, we are reflecting on our year and feel humbled and grateful for our journey with Divided We Fall -- our own modest contribution toward the dream of Dr. King and so many unsung women and men. For the last eight years, our little film has inspired a growing community
On the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, it was snowing in Michigan. Like most schools, the University of Michigan had given its students a day-off. Unlike most schools, it had created an ambitious month-long symposium in honor of Dr. King so rich and impressive, that even the snow couldn't keep more than 300 people from packing the auditorium to standing-room-only to watch Divided We Fall. My director and I take the stage to thank everyone, especially our hosts the University Libraries, for choosing to reflect
On all sides, endless white snow. The snow-draped trees stretch to the horizon as far as I can see outside my car window. I have never driven through New England in February, and now Sharat Raju and I make our way between snow falls to Dartmouth College for Divided We Fall’s New Hampshire premiere. The road is long and the winter is breathtaking. Somewhere nestled in the snow, we find the small town of Hanover. A population of 6,000 people, the town’s Main Street is one block long.