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
The Sikh female is a figure doubly marginalized – first as a minority within a larger western landscape; second as a woman, a discrimination she faces both within and outside the Sikh community. To dedicate an event to the voices of Kaurs is a small homage to an ongoing conversation about Sikh woman that is starting to take seed and that we hope to expand. On February 1, Misl Bay Area held its second annual Kaur Voices. Over 80 young women and men from all over California gathered in Berkeley’s International House to listen to spoken word and narratives, and explore artwork produced by Sikh women. After establishing the Kaur Voices space, we could not be happier with the engagement of our audience and the willingness of our performers to share personal stories. We had over 15 Kaurs and a couple Singhs who shared intimate details of their lives or their perspectives on subjects that are often categorized as taboo or inappropriate to be discussed. One Kaur discussed her personal struggle with mental illness, highlighting how imperative it is that we address mental illness as a community rather than isolate those who might be affected. A Singh discussed his mother’s journey in the face of an abusive husband. And another Kaur shared an anonymously submitted story written about two Kaurs in love with each other. Thank you to all who came out! We are also very excited to be expanding Kaur Voices events to Los Angeles, Minnesota and Maryland this coming spring! Please check back for more details.
Misl MN is super excited to share what we have in store for 2014! We want to focus this year on Sewa, Sangat, youth and women empowerment. We will be doing this by hosting our first ever Kaur Voices this coming April. We hope to inspire our Kaur sisters to share their talents and spread awareness of equality within our broader Minnesota community. We also plan to throw our 3rd Jakara Juniors camp in June. We feel like we are finally at a point where we can execute, get volunteers and actually have value added conversations with the youth. It’s only going to get better from here! Lastly, we will be facilitating workshops for high schools kids every month. Here we will discuss issues the youth are facing and provide mentors where kids can have a resource to answer questions involving; college, resumes, homework, and much more! This is a glimpse of what we want to accomplish, please join us on our journey!
We hope you are having a wonderful New Year. Misl Fresno Council is planning events for the next six months. We are extremely excited about our programs from Social events to Seva events; whether you've attended in the past or if this will be your first time, please join us; we're friendly! :) February: Friday - February 7th (Regional Meeting/Bowling/Billiards) 6-8pm; Movie (10pm) Thanks to all that came out! Tuesday - February 11th (Poverello House) 4:30pm-6pm. Thanks to all that came out! Check out the pics! Tuesday - February 25th (ENSAAF's The Last Killing Movie Screening) 6pm @ Fresno State Amazing turnout! Thanks to all that came out! Here's a pic! Read more
The children of Misl San Antonio wanted a creative and interactive way to celebrate Sikh History. So on Saturday January 4, 2014, Misl San Antonio put on this first Sahibzadey Remembrance Day. The sangat got together to remember the teachings and legacy of the Char Sahibzadey. There were over 30 participants aged 3 to 16 and they all came with their own stories of inspiration taken from the lives of Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Sons. The morning started with the entire sangat singing "Mata Gujri Kol do Heere" followed by a vivid storytelling of the events and battles that led up to this turbulent moment in history. Tales of Bhai Bachiter Singh, the battle of Chamkaur and bravery of Bhai Sangat Singh ji provided both campers and sevadars the opportunity to reflect on the honor, commitment, and discipline of the Sikhs. To dig deeper into the discipline of the Khalsa, campers pretended to sit on the banks of the Sirsa river and do Nam Simran while knowing that the fate of the faith would be decided in the next few months. After talking about the Vadey Sahibzadey, we turned our attention to the Chotey Sahibzadey. Although they were too young to fight on the battlefield. They showed courage in other ways. The young ages of Guru Gobind Singh's two younger sons aged 7 and 9 really struck the campers because many of them were at the same age. Read more
This past week Jakara Movement took on the initiative to 'know our neighbors' around the Selma Gurdwara. We had the opportunity to chat face to face with the locals around the Gurdwara as we went door to door on Tuesday evening to provide a brief description on Sikhi, Gurdwaras, and that we would be back in a few days with a hand-baked pizza for them. For some of these locals this was actually their first exposure to anything Sikhi related and it was a great experience in which we were able to teach and learn from each other.Read the entire post here Read more
In 2014 from Tuesday January 7th through Friday January 10th there was an event held at the Selma Gurdwara. What was it? At the Selma Gurdwara we made pizza, went to houses around the Gurdwara and served smiles, flyers and pizzas. After what had happened at the Cherry St. Gurdwara in 2013, we decided to be pro-active and grassroots in our community. We delivered pizzas to give thanks to our fellow neighbors and actually welcome them. On Wednesday January 7th we split up into teams and handed out flyers and got to see the neighborhoods we were going to deliver the pizzas to. It was the first time I got to visit communities that were very different than the one I lived in. Differences in language, class, and ethnicity were overcome through smiles and hugs. On Thursday the 9th we prepared, baked, and delivered 120 pizzas to the neighborhoods around the Gurdwara. On Friday the 10th we just had an open house so if the neighbors had any questions they wanted to ask they could along with learning more about our religion. The event was about showing, not just telling, that we Punjabi Sikhs are really just nice and loving people. Read more
When I woke up early in the morning on New Year’s Day I was so happy I would get to see my fellow brothers and sisters from Jakara but I was even happier knowing that I would be reaching out to the less fortunate. As a member from another charity group called SEVA, Jakara only gave me a more rich opportunities to feed the homeless. As I started to help make a big batch of spaghetti I realized how much we were able to bond and come together to make a difference. As we loaded our cars and headed to a spot behind Loaves and Fishes I saw how many people were left out on the streets to struggle on their own. Read the entire post here Read more
During these winter days, we hope you spend time with your family cherishing both them, as well as learning about events from our history. On December 26th, we remember the two chotay sahibzadas - Sahibzadas Zorawar and Fateh Singh. Standing with their grandmother, Mata Gujri, on the Thanda Burj in that cold winter night, they promised their lives for truth. In their spirit, let us commit ours to compassion, generosity, and conviction.We hope you will join us as we celebrate them, during the winter days. Read more
PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ContactSukhman Dhamisdhami@ensaaf.org1.800.668.1516 x 101 Sikh American Organizations Stand with Gurbakash Singh on 36th Day of His Hunger Strike; Demand Rule of Law in India December 19, 2013 -- We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about the plight of Gurbakash Singh, a Sikh activist in Punjab, who is on hunger strike to protest against the treatment of Sikh prisoners detained under counterinsurgency laws in India, who many believe have completed their sentences and are being held beyond their terms. Read more