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

Announcing Iqbal Singh - Youth Center Director

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki FatehGuru De Pyareyo, My name is Iqbal Singh and I am humbled with the opportunity to serve Jakara,and more so the Sikh community as the Youth Center Director. I have been blessed to be a part of the Jakara Movement since 2007, and am truly indebted to the Jakara family for all of the love, support, and guidance it has provided me.  From a shy high school volunteer to a more confident collegiate coordinator to finally a director of the youth center, my own evolution has been tied to the opportunities and generosity the Jakara Movement has provided me in developing myself as a Sikh and as a man. Read more

Punjabis Like Me - Proud and Alcohol Free: On Underage Drinking and Alternate Choices

There are few other substances that destroy our families on the same level as alcohol.  Early memories from childhood of nearly every party was of uncles encouraging underage drinking, often inappropriately behaving, if not violently fighting, and humiliated wives and children watching it all.  My childhood friends have grown to adult men, many with kids, but nearly every weekend involves heavy drinking with terms like moderation and limits far from their vocabularies.   Nearly every Punjabi music video and song encourages abuse and destruction tied to themes of machismo, the stories we have heard and the real effects that play out in our families, extended families, and friends are tragic.  I have lost count of the number of friends/family members that have received DUIs.  While it is encouraging that topics such as bullying are gaining new prominence, we hope that when the victims and victimizers are often ourselves that we can teach our kids new alternatives exist.  Read more

Misl NY/NJ Jakara Juniors 2013

In any faith, the most basic principals mold the foundation of the community that stems from it.  As the older generation, it is our duty to provide a platform of growth for our younger generation. Being in the NY/NJ area, we do our best in providing the youth with weekly kirtan programs, monthly camps, monthly langars, annual gurudwara clean-ups, etc. However, besides gurmat, history, kirtan, and seva, rarely do we ever ask ourselves and even the youth the following: Why do we come to Gurudwara?What’s the importance of Langar?Whats the meaning behind a Hukamnama?What does it mean to matha-taek?Why are we putting money in the Golak?Whats the Nishan SahibWhy do we sit on the floor in the Darbar Hall?What is the meaning of being a Sikh? It’s the answers to questions like these that will make or break our youth. If they don’t know why they come to Gurudwara, forget about talking to them about gurmat, history, kirtan, and seva. If one doesn’t know the basic scientific method, then it is very difficult to do an experiment. Just like that, if a young gursikh doesn’t know why they come to Gurudwara every Sunday, then it would be very difficult for them to understand gurmat. Read more

Hiring Southern California Community Organizer

Join the Movement as the Southern California Community Organizer The Jakara Movement with the Guru’s Nadir (Grace), seva of our volunteers, and the baksh (benediction) of the Sangat is pleased to announce our fourth employment position.  We are seeking a Southern California Community Organizer to help develop the gambit of Jakara Movement programs and chapters (misls). Position Title: Community Organizer Organizational Relationship: Reporting to the Executive Director General Summary: The Jakara Movement Community Organizer will recruit, develop, retain and train a chapter’s volunteers, help them organize communities, and implement community campaigns and actions. Read more

Justice for Parminder Singh Shergill - SIGN PETITION!

UPDATE December 31, 2014   On December 31, 2014, the Lodi Police Department released the joint-commission memorandum on the killing of Parminder Shergill.  They justified the shooting and the officers' fateful decisions on that day.  The Jakara Movement has questions about the memorandum, especially in light of growing citizenry questions about the ability of the District Attorney's office to hold officers accountable.  We will be conferring with the family and other community members about future steps.  For the memorandum report see here and for the family reaction to it, see the following article.       UPDATE May 8, 2014 SIGN PETITION - http://www.jakara.org/petition_shergill On May 7, 2014 Jakara Movement members stood in solidarity with Shergill Family members at the Lodi City Council meeting.  We will be working to add the Shergill case into the Lodi City Council's Agenda items and continue to push for justice and to make sure such events do not happen in the future. Read more from Media Reports on Meeting at Lodi City Council: "Jakara Movement Hopes to Further Discuss Parminder Shergill Shooting in Lodi" from Lodi News.   "Family of Veteran Killed by Police Demands Answers from City Council" from Fox40. And the excellent continuing coverage by the Sacramento Bee's Cynthia Hubert - "Lodi Council Questioned About Fatal Shooting of Mentally Ill Vet by Cops. UPDATE April 20, 2014 The Jakara Movement organized a Town Hall discussion open to the public on Saturday (April 19, 2014) at 5pm at Lodi Gurdwara (12098 N. West Lane; Lodi, CA 95240).  Nearly 150 members of the community attended and we thank them.  Mark Merin, the civil rights attorney, answered questions by the community. UPDATE April 10, 2014 On April 3, 2014 - A federal civil-rights lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of Parminder Singh Shergill.  We hope that answers from the Lodi Police will become more forthcoming. See continuing coverage, including the Sacramento Bee editorial staff asking key questions and raising critical points about Lodi Police conduct. See the Lodi News-Sentinel's attempt to reconstruct the events. --------- On January 25, 2014 Parminder Singh Shergill was shot dead by the Lodi police.  Born in Jagatpur (near Chamkaur Sahib), Punjab, Parminder came to the United States at the age of 3 with his family.  Graduating in 1989 from Lodi High School, he decided to join the Army.  He served as an infantryman, during the first Gulf War (having fought during the Gulf War in 1990-1) and was honorably discharged in 1995.  From the reports of his family, the strains of service were deep and Parminder seems to have been long suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon his return.  Despite the demons from his experience, he was a loving son and brother.  His neighbors in his upscale Lodi home remembered Parminder as a kind man that always waived and smiled to all on his morning walks. Read more

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