Archive for May, 2007

Kirpal Singh Nijjhar, a long-standing pioneer of the east coast Sikh Youth Camp scene, notifies us of a youth camp from June 30 - July 7, 2006. It’s called MiriPiri camp–and you can find more information on it at their website: Sikh camps are a great way to engage and “recharge your Sikhi battery.” I had the opportunity to be part of the organizing team of the Seattle Sikh Retreat this past weekend, and it was totally amazing. Coincidentally, we picked a similar theme — Miri Piri: Life where two swords meet.

  • Filed under: Youth Camps
  • Sikhs recruited for the FBI

    SALDEF and the Sikh Foundation of Virginia partnered with the FBI to encourage Sikhs to join the bureau. Cool Stuff. The full press release follows.

    SALDEF, FBI and Sikh Foundation of Virginia Co-sponsor Recruiting Event in Virginia

    SALDEF working with FBI to increase service recruitment and retention within Sikh American Community

    Washington D.C. – May 25, 2007: This past Sunday, May 20, 2007, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), the nation’s oldest Sikh American civil rights and advocacy organization, co-sponsored an event with the Sikh Foundation of Virginia (SFV) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to increase recruitment of Sikh Americans into the Bureau.

    For the past several months, SALDEF has been advocating on behalf of the community for concerted efforts to increase the recruitment of Sikh Americans into the FBI. In meetings with National FBI Headquarters, FBI Washington Field Office, and the FBI’s Personnel Recruiting Unit (PRU), Bureau representatives have told SALDEF that Sikh American youth and young professionals, including those who possess Punjabi language skills, are highly desirable to the FBI.

    Speaking at the event were:

    • Joseph Persichini – Assistant Director, FBI Washington Field Office
    • Gwendolyn Hubbard – Division Chief, FBI Personnel Resources Unit
    • Sunjeet Singh – Sikh FBI Analyst
    • Rajbir Singh Datta – Associate Director, SALDEF
    • Harjit Singh Chawla – Board Chairman, Sikh Foundation of Virginia

    The purpose of this pilot event was to engage with the community and gauge the effectiveness of a possible national initiative between SALDEF and the PRU to increase recruitment and retention of Sikh Americans into the FBI as special agents and professional support staff.

    “SALDEF is working closely with the FBI and other federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security to encourage active recruitment efforts withing the Sikh American community,” stated SALDEF Managing Director Kavneet Singh. “We urge Sikhs from across the country to collaborate with SALDEF to organize similar events in their local communities to explore opportunities with federal agencies.”

    Additionally, SALDEF is working with the Washington Field Office of the FBI, and a number of Arab and Muslim organizations, on a Future Agents in Training (FTI) program to recruit a total of fifteen high school students from the DC Metro Area, aged 16 - 18, to participate in a week long event in Quantico, VA at the FBI Training Academy. This pilot program, if successful, has the potential to expand nationally and provide Sikh American youth with the unique opportunity to learn more about the FBI and its career options with an on-hands approach.

    If you would like to organize a similar event in your local community, please contact SALDEF at 202-393-2700 ext 27 or by email.


  • Filed under: News
  • Valarie’s Interview

    See below.

  • Filed under: Movies, News
  • Valarie’s on CNN Tonight

    Valarie Kaur, who took some time off Stanford right after 9/11 to document the aftermath and its repercussions for America, will be interviewed by Paula Zahn tonight. She and her partner in crime Sharat Raju will be talking about their film, Divided We Fall, an awesome flick that I hope makes a big national debut. Congrats Valarie! We love you! More after the jump.


    Here’s an awesome opportunity for all you forward-thinking and open-minded Sikhs out there. Attend an interfaith conference at the expense of the World Sikh Council! I would absolutely love to do this. Right now, I’m tied up by some entrepreneurial opportunities that conflict with the dates of this program, but it’s really incredible and hopefully, one day, my career will be stable enough that I can go to these conferences as a Sikh representative. In college, I absolutely loved interfaith dialogue because I believe that it’s part of the Sikh faith. “Interfaith Dialogue is Itself Spiritual Practice,” said an extremely wise person (whose name I forget) at an interfaith conference I attended in Washington DC in 2001. That is a beautiful quote, and I think it holds true for Sikhi. Guru Nanak was the master of interfaith dialogue–he talked and debated everybody under the sun, and developed an awesome faith as a result of those discussions. I challenge all Sikhs to get out there and engaged in interfaith dialogue–go in with an open mind, and go in expecting to learn something from your fellow man, and you will be rewarded. Details on the World Sikh Council program after the jump.