Announcing Amrit Kaur - Community Organizer

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa,Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Dear Jakara Volunteers, It is with great pleasure and humility that I have the opportunity to share with you the news of my new position as Southern California Community Organizer for the Jakara Movement. I have been actively involved in the Jakara Movement since I attended my first event four years ago, and I am very excited to take my commitment and dedication to this organization and its vision to the next level. One of my favorite quotes from Rumi (and words I live by) is “let the beauty we love be what we do.” When there is passion behind the work we do, it fuels us to work for the change we believe is possible. I have the aspiration to surround myself with those who are committed to facilitating positive change. Without a doubt, the Jakara Movement offers that experience and atmosphere. Read more

My first Jakara Juniors volunteer experience

Jakara Juniors was a very memorable experience for me and my fellow classmates. Being a part of this camp was an amazing opportunity that was offered to us. This camp did not only teach me about my religion, but also the importance of an individual to stay in touch with one's religion and people. Throughout this camp, I learned that many children are unaware about their religion and do not know much about it. I and many of my classmates had the opportunity to teach these children about our religion and about the Gurdwaras.To educate children, we took them to different parts of the Gurdwara such as the Darbaar Hall, the Langar Hall, and the Nishan Sahib. The children were taught the importance of these places and why they exist. Many of them were surprised to find out what each place represents. After this, we did activities with the students such as drawing the parts of the Gurdwara, translate a vaar, and ask us any questions they wished to ask. All the small activities engaged the children and it was a fun experience for everyone.At the end, everyday played a game of Jeopardy which had questions related to what the students had learned. Everybody enjoyed this part and all children were involved in the game. I saw a huge progress in the children answering the questions as I saw in the beginning of the camp. Not only the children, I, myself learned a lot through this camp. I would be honored to be a part of another camp like this. It was a knowledgeable and memorable experience for me.   Poonam Kaur is a senior at Livingston High School and an active member in getting Misl Livingston to be established.

The Last Killing Screening: Misl Phoenix

On Wednesday, April 23rd, Jakara Misl Phoenix held a movie screening for Ensaaf’s The Last Killing.  This screening followed various cases of fake police-encounters that were witnessed by Satwant Singh, a former Punjab Police officer. Satwant Singh depicted these encounters and murders by the police as well as his own torture. We were also able to see how Satwant Singh was fighting the cases for many of these victims but was ultimately denied by India’s judicial system. Read more

Reflections on the Jakara Movement's Caravan for the El Paso 37

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO STAY INFORMED - please fill out the petition and circulate! Fresno, CA (April 28, 2014): Although widely known, it Is an issue that is often ignored in the Sikh-American community.  It is the issue of immigration.  The subject is large and has many parts.  This article explores one of those parts and one group of young immigrants. It was a ColorLines (online magazine) article in December 2013 that first alerted Sikh-Americans to the plight of 32 Punjabi men that were being held in El Paso, Texas (USA).  These young men from Punjab had come through a long and difficult journey (from Punjab to Delhi to Istanbul to Guatemala to Mexico) and upon entering the United States, immediately surrendered themselves to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.  They immediately sought political asylum, due to the brutal tactics of the Indian Government.  It is important to emphasize that they were not caught by ICE officials. Rather they did not try to live illegally, but rather upon entering turned themselves into the proper authorities.Despite the US Supreme Court’s decision that urge Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to either reject or parole asylum-seekers within 6 months, some of these Punjabi men continued to be detained even after 12-15 months without any indication of being.  All had passed their interviews and had established ‘credible fear’ due to the brutal policies of the Indian Government.  They have all been detained for far longer than the limit.  Should America that says it welcomes its arms to those that seek freedom, now turn around and imprison these same people? The story only gets worse. Read more

Caravan for the El Paso 37

FOLLOW US LIVE - www.elpaso37.org SIGN THE CARAVAN PETITION OF SOLIDARITY - SIGN UP WITH OUR PARTNER - 18 Million Rising On Friday, April 25, 2014, 12 young Californian Sikh-Americans will be setting out on a caravan from Fresno , CA to El Paso, TX, taking action in solidarity with almost 40 Punjabi migrants on hunger strike in an El Paso federal immigration detention center. They will be stopping in 2 Southern California locations.  The 12 collegiate students will be accompanied by Professor Rahuldeep Singh of Cal Lutheran University and holding seven public events to raise awareness at Sikh Gurdwaras (places of worship) along the way– beginning in Fresno and continuing to Bakersfield, Pacoima, Artesia, Riverside, Phoenix, and Tempe before meeting the detainees at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainment center in El Paso, Texas.  The "El Paso 37" is the moniker spreading on social media for the 37 Punjabi detainees from India who are being held at the El Paso Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center. The detainees, who are seeking political asylum, have been held since June 2013. Though many have gone through credible fear interviews establishing their reasons for seeking asylum and all have had their identities confirmed and security-checked, still they are being detained, instead of the customary policy of parole and release. “Immigration is one of the most important issues facing our nation. We need to have a policy for asylum-seekers that is inline with the principles we stand for,” stated Marines Infantry Veteran, Jasdeep Singh, one of the caravan participants. The 12 travelers are resolved to help publicize the issue and represent a new wave of political engagement by Sikh-American youth that are eager to grapple with some of the critical issues of the day. Rahuldeep Singh, Assistant Professor of Religion at Cal Lutheran University, who is accompanying the group shared, “Sikh-American youth are becoming engaged and bringing to light new voices on immigration and other issues of social justice, which marks a turning point in Sikh-American history. We are witnessing a monumental shift in the politicization of a new generation of Asian-Americans.”  The van for the El Paso 37 is being supported by a vast coalition of groups, including 18 Million Rising, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (LA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Asian Law Caucus), Dream Defenders, GetEQUAL, Korean Resource Center, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, Presente.org, and United We Dream. For more information on the “El Paso 37” see: www.elpaso37.org   SCHEDULE: Friday, April 25th 7:00-8:00am: The Caravan will meet at Singh Sabha (4827 N. Parkway Drive; Fresno, CA 93722) and depart at 8am to begin the journey to El Paso. We encourage community members and supports to come see the caravan off.  10:00-11:00am: Community gathering at Gurdwara Guru Angad Darbar in Bakersfield (8100 Stine Road, Bakersfield, CA 93313). 1:00-2:00pm: Community gathering at Khalsa Care Foundation (9989 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Pacoima, CA ‎). 3:00-4:00pm: Rally and press conference at the South Asian Network office (18173 Pioneer Boulevard, Artesia, CA 90701).  9:00-10:00pm: Community gathering at Nishkam Seva Gurdwara Sahib in Phoenix (4950 W Tonopah Dr., Glendale, AZ).  Saturday, April 26th Morning (time TBA): The Caravan will be arriving at the El Paso Detention Facility (8915 Montana Ave, El Paso, TX 79925). About the Jakara Movement: Founded in 2000, the Jakara Movement is the largest Sikh-youth organization.  With chapters throughout the United States, the Jakara Movement seeks to develop connected communities through awareness, empowerment, and civic engagement.  For more information, visit www.jakara.org   

Misl MN Kids Divan

On Sunday Jakara had our kids divan with the theme of Vaisakhi. We had great attendance from both the youth and the sangat. All shabads, poems, speeches was in relation to our theme. After divan the Jakara board did a presentation to the sangat on Jakara as well as Misl MN's future events. Two of which take place next Sunday! Gurdwara Spring Cleaning and the kickoff to our monthly workshops. We are excited to get rolling! Read more

What drives you?

As I continue to meet and engage with more people I get asked quite a few questions. Why do you do it? What keeps you excited? What drives you? Excited, exuberant, and hastily I begin to answer. For those who have seen me talk about what we, the Jakara Movement, do you’ll know that as I write this I have that same smile on my face as I do when I talk to someone. Recently, I had the opportunity to once again be at one of my favorite programs-Jakara Juniors (for the record, I have many favorites-Bhujangan: Kaur Leadership Retreat, Kaur Voices, Bhujangi Youth Academy, and so many more). It was here, once again, I was reminded what continues to drive me. It was here that a young 12-year old said “I didn’t know about Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra. I didn’t know someone could be abducted 19 years ago. I’m glad I learned this. I’m going to go home and learn more.” It is young minds like this that drive me and keep me going. It is not only that this young individual learned something, but her mind had the thirst to learn more. She thought about what she learned. This is one more individual than before who knows a little more about our history, our roots, and who we are. It is individuals like her that allow me to feel like we are making progress. It’s about creating a space in which these children feel comfortable. We as a community need to recognize and create ways in which children, teenagers, young adults, and even adults feel comfortable. We must make an active effort to make sure our youth have positive sangat to engage with.  The journey is never-ending. Each of us can always learn more, help someone out, and create change. The journey is not an easy one. It takes time, perseverance, and even courage. The journey is a worthwhile one. We grow, empower, and build. This is what allows me to keep going. Will you keep going?   

National Volunteer Week 2014

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh, This week marks National Volunteer Week!  Since its inception, the Jakara Movement has been driven by volunteers.  Today,with staff on board - we are still largely a volunteer-run organization.   We could not be where we are today without the volunteers that are the very core of the movement.  We value each and every one of you and want to take this opportunity to appreciate you and all of your amazing work. We’ve seen the organization grow over the past 14 years because of people like YOU! Whether you’ve come to help at Jakara Juniors, a seva event, or spent countless hours behind the scenes in making the Lalkaar conference a success, we want you to know it doesn’t go unnoticed. You take time away from full-time jobs, your academic career, your family and friends to give back to your community.   It is inspiring to see such passion, commitment, and humility in our volunteers. We want to celebrate our volunteers’ dedication to helping others, taking action in their respective communities, and encouraging others to join the movement.  Your example inspires us and shows us the act of seva (selfless service) that our Gurus demonstrated is still alive today.  We are honored to work with you. Together, we can be at the center of social change; together we can turn ideas into reality; together, we are the movement.   In chardi kala,Iqbal, Robby, and PalvinderJakara Movement Staff  

Jakara Junior Camp 2013

Misl Minnesota successfully launched their biggest event in the summer of 2013, Jakara Junior Camp. The camp was a great social event for the children (ages 5-15). The children were able to form friendships and connect on various levels: cultures, ideas, and relative age groups Stay in touch, be a part of the future Jakara Junior Camp! Read more

Sewa at Feed My Starving Children

We want to thank you all for coming to our FMSC sewa and it was a huge success. I understand we all could have been doing a million things but we choose to take our time out to support this cause. We hope to continue doing sewa's like this and getting more people from our sangat involved.  *Collectively we packed 22,680 meals which will feed 62 kids for a year.  Read more


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