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Valarie Kaur
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Valarie Kaur is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, advocate, and public speaker. A third-generation Sikh American, she uses strategic storytelling to advance social action campaigns on racial justice, immigration reform, religious pluralism, and gender equality . Her critically acclaimed documentary film Divided We Fall (2008) on hate crimes after Sept 11th has inspired national grassroots dialogue. Valarie has clerked on the Senate Judiciary Committee, traveled to Guantanamo to report on the military commissions, and advocated on behalf of Latino residents in a campaign against racial profiling in East Haven, CT. She has been invited to speak on her work in 150 U.S. cities and media outlets such as CNN, NPR, the New York Times, and the BBC. Valarie earned bachelors degrees in religion and international relations at Stanford University, masters in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, and a law degree at Yale Law School, where she teaches visual advocacy as founding director of the Yale Visual Law Project. In 2011, she joined Auburn Theological Seminary as the director of Groundswell, a broad-based initiative to spark and empower the multifaith movement for justice. You can read her blog at ValarieKaur.com.

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Entries by Valarie Kaur

Gurpurab 2013: Sikhism Founder Guru Nanak's Birth Anniversary Commemorated At The White House

(8) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 8:01 PM

The following remarks were delivered by Valarie Kaur at The White House on November 20, 2013.

Waheguru Ji Ka Kalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Thank you to President Obama and his staff for gathering us in the White House to celebrate Gurpurab, the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder...

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Why We Must Remember Oak Creek

(103) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 10:09 AM

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...

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Remembering the Oak Creek Tragedy in Film

(5) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 2:51 PM

Six months ago today, a small Midwestern town was rocked by a mass shooting at a house of worship. The massacre in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that claimed the lives of six people on August 5, 2012 is only one in a tragically long list of recent mass shootings.

Yet...

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Underneath The Turban: Why Sikhs Do Not Hide

(264) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Why do we wear turbans?"

Nearly every Sikh American who grows up in the U.S. asks their families this question and as two Sikh Americans who maintain our faith, we were no different when we were little. This week, as Americans join in vigils for the six murdered Sikhs...

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My Neighbor's Faith: Double-Edged Daggers

(7) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 8:27 AM

This essay is based on an excerpt from the author’s journal when she was sixteen years old.

Usually on Sunday mornings, my father's outside on a tractor, my mother's making aloo pronthas, my brother's watching cartoons, and I'm sleeping in. Sometimes, my mother crams the whole family into Baba Ji's...

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10 Sikh Women You Should Know and Why You Should Know Them

(23) Comments | Posted March 22, 2012 | 9:08 AM

If you ask a Sikh about their religion, the first thing you will hear is belief in the Oneness of God. The second is that Sikh men wear turbans to cover their long hair, an article of faith which tragically became a target after 9/11 (See, I just did it)....

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An Open to Letter to Steve Hafner, CEO of Kayak

(4) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 3:12 PM

Dear Steve Hafner:

Let me first say that Kayak.com is bookmarked on my computer. I think it's the best travel site out there. I've used Kayak for every single flight I have ever booked since 2005. And I travel a lot -- at least 50,000 miles a year. You provide...

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One Child Is Too Many

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 4:11 PM

By Valarie Kaur and Jessica Jenkins

It is a basic fact of the moral universe that children should not be sold for sexual
exploitation. However, in America, girls and boys are regularly manipulated, coerced, and forced into sex for money. Most are trafficked from within the United States, not...

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This Is What a Groundswell Looks Like

(15) Comments | Posted October 9, 2011 | 10:30 AM

In my travels across the country, I've been speaking about a rising generation ready to emerge from the shadows of the last decade and enter a new era of social change. Now we are seeing something emerge -- a grassroots campaign has caught fire, turning out thousands of people, young...

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From Ground Zero to Gays in Uganda: A Millennial Response to Modern Moral Crises

(6) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 2:31 PM

In the weeks following 9/11, a Sikh man named Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot down at a gas station by a man shouting "I'm a patriot!" In 2009, a 9-year-old girl named Brisenia Flores and her father were murdered in Arizona, allegedly at the hands of...

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Shadow Generation

(17) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 11:06 AM

September 15, 2010 -- Nine years ago today, the murder of a family friend changed the course of my life. His name was Balbir Singh Sodhi. Four days after 9/11, he was shot in the back in front of his gas station by a man who yelled when arrested, "I'm...

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