This fall I have been on stages across the country with the Together Tour. Each evening courageous, trailblazing women gather to share their stories, to weave them into a beautiful tapestry. It has been a humbling and magical experience thus far. I am so thankful to Kaur Life for the beautiful feature, below, on the Together Tour and my most recent initiative, The Revolutionary Love Project. The tour is half way done, but there is still time to join us! Upcoming stops: BROOKLYN 10/17, ATLANTA 10/19, DENVER 10/24. Use code VAL10 for
On April 16th, I gave the keynote address at Praxis International's Advocacy Learning Center. They are an awesome organization that works to eliminate violence in the lives of women and children, in part, by training advocates in best practices for making change. I offered a discussion about how storytelling can serve as a real tool for social action, and gave step-by-step instructions and examples for lifting up communities' stories. If you follow the instructions on this page, you can watch the address and learn tips for storytelling.
How do we make people see the common thread in different struggles for justice and inspire them to enter a new frontier altogether? Only storytelling at its best: The Wired for Change campaign video links racial justice, climate justice, human rights, and the emerging campaign for digital democracy as part of one broad movement "bending the arc" toward justice. A marvelous model for visual advocacy: solid story structure, captivating animation, and an inspiring call to action.
My mornings begin with the sound of parrots. I shake off the dust of dreams, stumble onto the veranda, play my Kabir shabads, and focus on the rain forest as I move and breathe on my yoga mat. My parents cook up breakfast inside: Punjabi prontas, omelettes, orange juice and freshly cut pineapple. These are the holidays in my family's new home in Dominicalito, Costa Rica. I write the rest of the morning, or fail to write. The important thing is the sitting still. Sometimes my dad will
The 1700% Project brilliantly captures the sense of cacophony and disorientation of post-9/11 violence for those who still live it -- all in five minutes. Amazing artwork, advocacy, and storytelling rolled into one. Watch this video: 1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim from Anida Yoeu Ali on Vimeo. Note: the artist mentions several stories featured in Divided We Fall, including Balbir Singh Sodhi (49, killed by a man yelling "I am an American all the way") and Amrik Chawla (chased by 4 men in Manhattan yelling "turban").
Tonight, I write from Iona College, a small college founded by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle. Dr. Teresa Delgado invited me as part of Iona's Week of the Peacemaker "Advocacy: Speaking out for Justice" -- a series of talks, films, and teach-ins that inform and inspire college students to advocate for justice. We just screened Divided We Fall for 50 college students, followed by an intimate discussion about the ways in which 9/11 still claims us. Students began by sharing memories of the terrorist attacks: one student almost lost
Sometimes I think of myself as the girl with a thousand eyes, seeing the world through kaleidoscope vision, or fragments of multiple lenses -- legal, ethical, religious, somatic, political, personal. And so, in the effort to say more of "all that unsayable life," I will share broken pieces of dreams, impressions, and memories on this blog too. Here's number one. A shattered world, shot through with light, the edges burn, and I catch my reflection. On fresh cut grass, knuckles pressed in the ground, I tilt back my
We have been invited to Yale University to screen as part of the annual ECAASU Conference - the East Coast Asian American Student Union. It is a cold February night as two hundred students gather in a theater to watch the film and talk. This particular audience is all about the connections