This morning's shooting is a tragedy not only for Sikh Americans but for all Americans. The Sikh community gathered to pray on a Sunday morning just like millions of Americans in churches across the country. The terrible loss of life so recently after the shootings in Aurora violates our deepest values. The grief runs especially deep for Sikh Americans. We see our own gurdwara on the television screen; we imagine our own aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, caught in the gunfire. As a Sikh American whose family
By Amelia Earnest Published by Yale Daily News. A decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, Yale students are still discussing their effect on the way minorities are perceived in the United States. The South Asian Society at Yale, in collaboration with the Yale Chaplain’s Office and two other student groups, held a forum Monday night for reflection on racial profiling in the post-9/11 world as part of a series of University-wide events commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the attacks. The evening’s discussion addressed societal issues that have developed since 9/11, such
By Anju Kaur Published by SikhNN. A new kind of activism was born out of the Balbir Singh Sodhi tragedy ten years ago when he became the first person killed in the backlash against those perceived to be related to the 9/11 attackers. About 100 people gathered at his Mesa, Arizona, gas station to remember Balbir Singh who was gunned down on Sept. 15, 2011. He was shot because of his Sikh identity of unshorn hair and turban. His attacker, Frank Roque, went on a rampage, shooting him five times
I'm writing tonight from Mesa, Arizona, where a family friend was murdered ten years ago. His name was Balbir Singh Sodhi.He was a turbaned Sikh man who owned his own gas station and was well-loved for his generosity and broad smile.On Sept. 15, 2001, he visited Costco to buy flowers and emptied his pocket to make a donation to the 9/11 relief efforts in the check out line. A few hours later, he was shot and killed in front of his store by a man who called
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.
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
I've just received an invitation from President Obama to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing and reception in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage. The shock is not wearing off. I've asked Sharat to come with me, and both of us are brainstorming about how to make this visit useful. There's so much on our minds --preparing for the 9/11 anniversary, supporting multifaith movement building, mobilizing Millennials, standing up for Sikh and Muslim Americans, pushing for immigration reform and LGBT equality and closing Guantanamo
Check out this film teaser by friend and colleague Jonathan Smith -- a stunning spoken word piece on South African miners. Jonathan just got back from South Africa, where he spent weeks living with the families of miners with TB and HIV. He's living in the editing room now, putting together a film that will expose the public health crisis through a vivid portrayal of life after the mines. They Go to Die - Clint Smith's Spoken Word from Jonathan Smith on Vimeo.