For those of you who don't know, the co-founder and co-director of the Discrimination & National Security Initiative (DNSI) is Valarie Kaur [pictured]. Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Valarie traveled across the country, interviewing victims of hate crimes, discrimination, and other forms of mistreatment.
Valarie thus collected first-hand accounts of these difficulties and interviewed members of victims' families as well, including the family of Balbir Singh Sodhi, the Sikh from Mesa, Arizona who was murdered just days after 9/11. Valarie's findings were used for her honor's thesis at Stanford University and have now been developed into a very powerful book.
Currently, Valarie is retracing her steps, interviewing victims of hate crimes after 9/11 and Japanese-Americans who were subject to the evacuation and relocation during World War II. She is keeping a regular journal of her experiences while she moves from city to city, person to person, story to story.
Her journal, entitled "Into the Whirlwind." Valarie's description of this blog is: "I am traveling across America, making a film about religion, fear, and violence since 9/11. I am a third-generation Sikh American. I study religion and ethics at Harvard. I wish to face the violence and fight it. I don't want to fight alone. And so I write. These are my notes."
"Into the Whirlwind" parallels the very essence of DNSI: respectfully considering the experiences of discrimination during times of military action or national crisis, educating the public on members of these targeted minority communities, and doing so in an academic fashion. In this respect, Valarie reflects on her meetings with individuals and her blog also includes very informative material, such as a helpful introduction to the Sikh religion.
I strongly urge everyone to bookmark and regularly read her blog.
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