The Jakara Movement Club (JMC) have been popping up on college campuses throughout California since Fall. We are still in the beginning phases, but the need to connect college students with our ongoing programming has made the need to extend our campus presence that much stronger. Join us at the building phase and have your voice heard as we build and help us define its scope. Rather than rivaling any campus group, the Jakara Movement seeks to increase college choice, college programming, and connect Sikh students with a wider community beyond campus life.
1) Over the past few months we have enrolled over 600 high school students as part of our Sikh Honors and Service Society (SHSS) clubs on their high school campuses. When they go to away to college, we want a place where their needs and their experiences are still valued. Keeping them connected to their high schools is one of the easiest ways and the JMC is the vehicle to do that!
2) While making connections and meeting people is important for a young college student, it should never become the be-all and end-all purpose of a club. If you find that most of your groups events are just places where you go to hang out, then you have successfully created a place that is inviting to some but excluding to most. Making friends and meeting people will keep some people coming to events, but everyone else will stop coming because of one of the following realities: most people already have friends so they won’t need to come, frequent social events can quickly lead to a clicky, exclusive and privileged environments and most importantly solely having social events just don't provide any substance or sustenance to attract and maintain a larger community of students. This to me is probably the most tragic part.
3) The thing that will keep people coming is a shared goal and vision for the future.
4) Since the Jakara Movement is the largest youth network in North America, we have the capacity to reach out to students not only on campus but also involve people from the local community. In other words we know the communities needs and with the help of JMC students can create programming that is necessary, useful and makes an impact.
5) Since we have paid staff and dedicated volunteers, when the students at each University or college are in their finals and midterms, we can still continue planning complex events.
6) If you’re a part of the Jakara Movement then that means that we shared vision of the future. When people come together to work on building a stronger community, is is no longer about you, it is about what you do to impact the community. You’ll have to check your privileges at the door and we’ll recognize your strengths and capacities.
7) Current Sikh collegiate organizations are highly dependent on the interests and leadership on campus for that particular year or quarter/semester. This makes consistency very difficult. Individual students will come and go. A shared vision and direction linked to the larger Jakara Movement network is here to stay.
8)The Jakara Movement Club will facilitate those discussions about real issues in our community that people don’t want to have such as mental health, sexual abuse, caste discrimination, privilege in our own community, and alcohol and drug abuse just to name a few. It is highly unlikely that we are studying contemporary issues of the Sikh community in our classrooms, so let's have this discussion ourselves since we together can share our lived experiences. Also, we will learn about the irony and paradox about raising awareness about Sikhs and campaigns that promote being Sikh American.
9) It is highly likely that you’ll become a mentor to a high school student. Being a mentor to a student in high school means that it is highly likely that you are changing the trajectory of that kids life.
10) Your connection with the Jakara Movement Club at your University won’t just end when you graduate, you’ll stay connected to your community through the Misl and most importantly you’ll be a part of the movement!