The Oak Creek Sikh community and Amardeep Kaleka, the youngest son of slain temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka, have launched two national initiatives around peace, diversity, and anti-hate: Heritage Day (November 21st) and the Be Proud Campaign.
The Oak Creek Sikh community and their non-profit Serve 2 Uniteare asking teachers and parents to join them for Heritage Day on November 21. Parents and teachers will ask each student to go home and find out about their specific heritage. The students can return with a story, song, clothing, food, or any piece of their unique culture and share it with the rest of the class. "There are infinite possibilities as to the methodology. All of them are correct," says Amardeep Kaleka.
The initiative is already gaining ground in over a hundred classrooms, including as far away as Australia and France. The second campaign, Be Proud, will air its PSA 133 times in North America across six networks over 10 days. Gurbaksh Chahal, a software entrepreneur from San Francisco, designed the campaign to help spread a message of diversity and movement-building.
Amardeep Kaleka is also a creative producer of the thirty second spot, which was loosely based off his original "We Are Sikhs" video:
Please support these two campaigns by checking out the websites, sharing the videos with loved ones, and encouraging youth, parents, and educators in your life to take part in Heritage Day. Let's keep these conversations going, so that Oak Creek never happens again.
Yesterday, the FBI announced the conclusion of its investigation on the Oak Creek shooting. The Sikh Coalition also released a statement today thanking the FBI for conducting their investigation. The Sikh Coalition agreed with Attorney General Eric Holder's August 10, 2012 statement that the attack was a "hate crime", and has been campaigning for almost two years to have the FBI track hate crimes against Sikhs. If you would like to support and stay updated on these efforts, you can learn more here.