Caravan for the El Paso 37

FOLLOW US LIVE - 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,, and United We Dream. For more information on the “El Paso 37” see:   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   

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

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