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Valarie Kaur

Entries by Valarie Kaur

'First We Pray, Then We Organize' The Unlikely Coalition for Net Neutrality (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 1:19 PM

On Tuesday, July 28th, a diverse group of faith leaders and advocates posted the same video on the Twitter and Facebook feeds of more than one million people. Backers of the video came from a wide range of civil rights causes -- racial justice, LGBTQ equality, economic justice, religious pluralism and more. What's the unlikely hashtag that unites them?


The new video from Faithful Internet shows how the open Internet has become the lifeblood of today's social movements -- #BlackLivesMatter, #99Percent, #LoveWins and more. It celebrates the 2015 Open Internet Order for codifying #netneutrality -- the principle that has kept the Internet free from undue corporate control.

The Open Internet Order protects the Internet as the prophetic platform of the 21st century -- a place where we communicate, create and organize freely. Specifically, it bans carriers like Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing down websites, or charging sites extra fees to reach people faster. That means Americans have an equal chance of being heard online.

As a Sikh American, I have come to understand acutely that marginalized communities like my own cannot fight for equality and dignity without reaching audiences online. I'm not alone.

The Faithful Internet campaign features some of America's top faith leaders calling us to protect the open Internet as a matter of social justice, including Rev. William Barber II, Sister Simone Campbell, Rev. Jaqui Lewis and Rev. Otis Moss III.

The call to action is urgent. As we speak, big carriers like Comcast and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to override rules that protect net neutrality. This month, Congress is considering an appropriations bill that would undo the Open Internet Order. And this week, carriers are filing briefs in a lawsuit to kill the Order entirely.

Fortunately, the movement for Internet freedom is growing fast. Today's video alone was released by 300 leaders and organizations such as, Courage Campaign, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Groundswell,, Open Media and The Sikh Coalition.

A delegation will deliver the video and a list of supporters to the Congressional Black Caucus tomorrow, urging lawmakers who care about social justice to vote their conscience.

Because Internet freedom is what makes other movements possible.

If you want a world where #BlackLivesMatter, if you proclaim #Not1More or #LoveWins, if you want dignity for #Sikhs and #Muslims and the #99Percent, then #NetNeutrality is your cause too.

Watch the video. Spread the word. Sign the...

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The Open Internet Order Becomes Law: Why Faith Leaders are Celebrating

(13) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 8:06 AM

valarie kaur

Today, after more than a year of national debate, the Open Internet Order goes into effect. The Order keeps the Internet an open and democratic space free from undue corporate control. Business leaders, start-up innovators, and economists widely praise the Order as win for the...

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Class of 2015: Flare Up, Let Your Life Sing

(8) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 5:25 PM


On May 9, 2015, Valarie Kaur delivered the 100th commencement address at the College of Saint Benedict, a Catholic liberal arts college for women. Kaur is the first commencement speaker of the Sikh faith in the College's history. She addressed the...

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A Sikh Sermon at the Pentagon: "Seva: The Call of Our Times"

(7) Comments | Posted May 3, 2015 | 11:39 PM


The following are the prepared remarks of Valarie Kaur at the Pentagon's second-ever commemoration of the Sikh faith on May 1, 2015. Kaur spoke alongside Simran Jeet Singh and Inni Kaur on "Seva" - selfless service in the Sikh religion. Hosted...

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3000+ Prayers Pour Into Chapel Hill After Slaying of Muslim American Students

(1) Comments | Posted February 21, 2015 | 11:23 PM


The families of three Muslim college students killed last week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina received more than 3,000 messages and prayers of love and support from people across America. The prayers were collected by Groundswell Movement at Auburn Seminary and...

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The First-Ever Sikh Prayer at the Pentagon

(2) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 12:46 PM

The following remarks were delivered by Valarie Kaur at the Pentagon's first-ever event to commemorate the Sikh faith on April 25, 2014. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain, the program was organized by Major Kalsi, Captain Rattan, Corporal Lamba, and the Sikh Coalition, an organization leading the campaign for turbaned Sikhs...

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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.


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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 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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