Eighteen Years Ago Today...

Eighteen years ago today, a Sikh father was murdered in front of his store in Mesa, Arizona by a man who called himself a patriot. Balbir Singh Sodhi became the first person killed in thousands of acts of hate in the aftermath of the horror of 9/11. His murder marked the beginning of a new era of white supremacist violence that continues today.

Every year, educators show our documentary film Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath to teach students about Balbir Sodhi’s story and hate crimes in America. One professor told us that this was the first year her students were born after 9/11. More than ever, her students want to understand the history behind the hate seizing our nation today — and learn how to respond.

So — teachers, professors, and parents! We invite you to have brave discussions with your students this fall. Here are free educational resources that center Sikh American voices in films, stories, and toolkits. We invite you to use these materials and spread the word. Forward this email to the educators and parents in your life.

Scroll down to find:

  • Divided We Fall, the Award-Winning Film and Educational Curricula
  • A Case Study: Rana Sodhi Forgiving his Brother’s Murderer (PRI)
  • A Short Story: “Go Back to Your Country”
  • #NoMoreBystanders Guide
  • A Sikh American Back-to-School Toolkit (Sikh Coalition)
  • Three Ways to Take Political Action Now (SAALT)

Today we remember Balbir Uncle and the thousands of people who have been beaten, stabbed, shot, and killed at the hands of white supremacist terrorism — from Oak Creek to Charleston to Pittsburgh to Christchurch to El Paso.

We also remember all those who have been detained, deported, tortured, or killed by state-sanctioned policies in the name of patriotism and national security in the last eighteen years. The white nativist forces we see today has its roots in centuries of American history, and most immediately in the aftermath of 9/11.

So let us look to how our communities have risen up, organized, and responded to injustice with fierce, demanding revolutionary love.

Say their names.

Learn their stories.

Declare yourself an ally.

Teach the next generation.

– Valarie, Amy, Melissa, Julianna, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Fellows

What if this is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? Remember the wisdom of the midwife. Labor requires pain and love. Here are ways to breathe and push together…

Our award-winning film Divided We Fall explores hate, bigotry, and belonging in America in the aftermath of 9/11. For the last decade, the film has been used on 300+ campuses to spark dialogue and reflection. It is now available online for free and comes with up-to-date teacher´s guides and dialogues questions to use in your classroom, house of worship, or even your living room. Check out resources here. You can also order a DVD of the film on Amazon here.


On the fifteen-year anniversary of Balbir Sodhi’s murder, his younger brother Rana and advocate Valarie Kaur did something that was previously unthinkable. They asked: who is the one person we have not yet tried to love? They decided to call his murderer. You can hear their conversation here, a collaboration with PRI. Listen, watch, and read this exchange with your students in order to explore themes of restorative justice, forgiveness, reckoning, and reconciliation.


Short Story: “Go back to the country you came from!”

Read this true account of a recent incident with your students to spark dialogue:

She said it effortlessly, as if it was just in the air. She had only to reach out and grab hold of it and aim it at my father and son….

My parents came home shaken.

“Didn’t anyone speak up?” I asked.

“No one said anything,” my mom said, more upset by the bystanders than the assailant. There was a small crowd of about fifteen people watching. A few offered sympathies after the fact, but no one did anything while it happened. Just like last time, when my father was walking on the beach with my son, wearing a baby carrier, and a man called him “suicide bomber.” And the time before that, when I confronted a man shouting “sand-nigger” in our neighborhood restaurant. Each time, there were bystanders who did nothing.


#NoMoreBystanders Guide

In the face of spreading hate violence and cruelty, we must move beyond silence to action. We’ve compiled a list of resources and orgs working to educate people about how respond when others are targeted. Please read and share widely.


Check out this first-ever back to school toolkit brought to you by our partners at the Sikh Coalition. It offers critical resources to make classrooms a more safe and inclusive space for Sikh students.


Join our friends at SAALT in taking action:

  • Demand that your Member of Congress REJECT the creation of NEW domestic terrorism charges to fight white supremacy. This would only serve to further harm communities of color who have always been the targets of such policies.
  • Join the fight to repeal the Muslim Ban by supporting the No Muslim Ban Ever campaign and DEMAND Congress to pass the NO BAN Act. Stay tuned for more information on the September 24th Congressional hearing on the Muslim Ban.
  • URGE your Member of Congress to support the Khalid Jabara Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, a comprehensive bill that promotes more accurate hate crimes data collection and provide support for hate crime victims and their families. It is named in honor of two recent victims of hate crimes, whose deaths were omitted from the FBI hate crimes statistics.


The Revolutionary Love Project envisions a world where love is a public ethic and shared practice in our lives and politics. We generate stories, tools, and thought leadership to equip people to practice the ethic of love in the fight for social justice.


#NoMoreBystanders: Resources and Trainings

In the face of spreading hate violence and cruelty, we must move beyond silence to action. The Revolutionary Love Project has compiled a list of resources and organizations working to educate people about how respond when others are targeted. Please read and share widely.

“What’s worse than being targeted with harassment because of your race, sex, religion, color, gender, size, orientation, disability, age, or origin? Being targeted while surrounded by bystanders who see what is happening, but then do nothing.” – Hollaback

Hollaback

Hollaback is a global, people-powered movement to end harassment. They help people to be vigilant and aware of what harassment, bias incidents, and hate violence look like in order to be able to stand up and intervene at a time when people need it most.


American Friends Service Committee

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. In partnership with Standing Up for Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter, Jewish Voices for Peace and others, they have created a 4-minute video with 6 tips on how to respond when you see violence and aggression.

  1. Be more than a bystander,
  2. Document the incident
  3. Support the victim by sticking around
  4. Avoid the police
  5. Call out the everyday culture of white supremacy
  6. Organize and protest for justice.


Maeril

Maeril (@itsmaeril) is an artist working with Middle Eastern Feminist. Her graphic on responding to Islamophobia can be applied to a broad range of bystander situations.



Oak Creek, 7 years later

What if we each of us chose to act?

Today, seven years ago, a white supremacist opened fire in a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI. It was the worst anti-Sikh attack in U.S. history. Many of you joined my community as we grieved and organized and rose up in Chardi Kala, ever-rising spirits. We vowed to prevent another Oak Creek from ever happening again. But America as a whole did not make that vow with us. Our government did not marshall the resources to combat white nationalist violence as a serious threat. Nor did we have a national conversation about hate and white supremacy in our homes, schools, and halls of power. America forgot Oak Creek.

Seven years later — Today we are grieving the dead in El Paso, the largest anti-Latino attack in U.S. history, and Dayton, where the motive is not yet known. Just as we grieved after Charleston and Pittsburgh and Christchurch and Poway. White nationalists now belong to a violent transnational network, where one attack inspires another. We could never have imagined that Oak Creek would become the first of many white supremacist mass shootings on brown, black, and Jewish communities in the last decade.

We have seen many Oak Creeks. We will see more unless —

What if we each of us chose to act? What if faith leaders everywhere denounced white supremacy? What if educators taught tools for how to combat it in our institutions and in our consciousness? What if advertisers refused to sponsor programming that gave white nationalism a platform? What if banks refused to finance white nationalist orgs? What if tech companies removed their platforms? What if lawmakers kept semiautomatic assault-style weapons out of their hands? What if we organized to unseat every elected leader who espoused violent white nationalist rhetoric, starting with the current President? What if cities held truth and reconciliation commissions about the history of white supremacy, starting with the genocide of indigenous communities? What if each of us believed that we had an essential role in this fight? What if we helped each other show up?

Might we as a people prevent future Oak Creeks?

I renew my vow today. Please join me. Share the story of Oak Creek.

In honor of: Paramjit Kaur, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Suveg Singh Khattra, Ranjit Singh, Sita Singh, Prakash Singh, and Baba Punjab Singh who remains unable to move or speak since the shooting. And all those we have lost since. #RememberOakCreek #ElPasoStrong #ChardiKala

— Revolutionary Love Founder Valarie Kaur


Happy Vaisakhi!

A message from Revolutionary Love Project founder, Valarie Kaur:

HAPPY VAISAKHI! This weekend, millions of Sikhs around the world are celebrating one of the most important historic and religious festivals in our faith. Here’s the story, as it was passed down to me...

Our first teacher and founder of the Sikh faith Guru Nanak called us to a life of love and service: “If you want to play the game of love with me, step forth with your head on your hand.” Two hundred years later, our tenth teacher Guru Gobind Singh Ji put us to the test.

In April 1699, Guru Gobind Singh called Sikhs to a clearing in a place in Northern India called Anandpur Sahib. It was a time of crisis. The Sikh community was struggling to survive onslaught at the hands of Mughal rulers. Our numbers were dwindling, and the future was dark.

There stood the Guru - a warrior dressed in a tall turban, sword in hand, often seen with a falcon on his shoulder. He rose before the thousands with fire in his eyes, and called out: “Who among you is ready to give your head for the love of God and one another?” The crowd was silent. The wind rustled, and the people did not move - until one brave soul, Daya, stepped forward.

The Guru took Daya inside a tent and a few moments later, emerged with his sword dripping with blood, and called: “Now, who else is ready to give their head for love?” Not a word was spoken. The wind rustled, and the people did not move. Until courage stirred within another, Dharam, and he stepped forward and entered the tent. The Guru emerged once again with the same call, again and again, until five had offered their lives. The Guru appeared once more, but this time, he opened the tent for all to see - and there they stood. They were all alive and well, but they were changed.

“These are my Panj Pyare,” said the Guru. “My five beloved ones. These are the ones who were willing to offer their body, breath, and blood for the sake of love.” The Guru gave them new names and anointed them, and was anointed by them in return. The death of their egos had birthed them anew.

On that day, we as a community were also birthed anew. We too shed our old separate names and were given new names - Singh and Kaur, lion and lioness - to honor our equality and courage. We received the gift of five articles of faith, including long uncut hair, which men and some women wrap in a turban, so that we may never hide from the call to serve again.

That is the story of Vaisakhi — our birth as the Khalsa, a spiritual sister and brotherhood, a collective body of beloved ones. We were taught to live as Sant-Sipahi, warrior-saints devoted to service and social justice. Not out of duty but out of love — a love so deep that we would give even our lives for it. Our long hair and turbans were worn precisely so that we could be seen — so that you could come to us in your time of need and we would give our lives to help you. At least this was the idea.

These days in America, hate crimes are at an all-time high, our turbans still cast us as terrorists, and it is a courageous act just for a Sikh to walk out the door. And yet many of us still manage to practice the call of our faith — to love others even when they hate us, to fight for others even when we are bleeding, to insist on Chardi Kala, ever-rising high spirits even in the darkness.

So today I wonder: What if everyone knew the story of Vaisakhi and why Sikhs wear turbans? What if we knew one another’s stories the way we know our own? Might we begin to see one another the way we see ourselves?

Let’s find out. Share this story.

#HappyVaisakhi #RevolutionaryLove

[Painting by ArtofPunjab - Sikh Art by Kanwar Singh]

 


Christchurch Massacre: Urgent Call for Solidarity

Dear Friends,

On Friday afternoon, white supremacists opened fire in multiple mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. So far, we know that at least 49 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in an act of "extremist right wing violent terrorism." Our hands tremble with the horror at this bloodshed in a sacred space. How do we show up right now in Revolutionary Love? Through our tears, we must act swiftly.

Send a message of love and solidarity to the Muslim families of Christchurch.

We will make sure that your words are delivered to the families and survivors.

To our Muslim sisters, brothers, and siblings: We know that this news is sending waves of grief in households across New Zealand, the United States, and around the world. We mourn with you. We share your outrage. We are breathing with you. We will not leave your side. We will not forget those who were slaughtered. In their name, we pledge to rise up against white supremacy -- in our institutions, on our streets, online, in our homes, and in our own hearts.

To all who feel helpless right now: Hate on this scale feels like looking into the abyss. But we are not powerless. In the wake of recent mass shootings in Pittsburgh, Charleston, and Oak Creek, we worked with Auburn Seminary to collect tens of thousands of letters and prayers of support, which were then bound and delivered in person to the survivors and families. In Oak Creek, the books are still preserved in the gurdwara's library. Long after the media trucks leave, these physical embodiments of solidarity show the community we will not leave their side. Our movements are only as strong as our solidarity is deep.

In sending messages specifically to the Muslim families of Christchurch, we are rising up in one voice to express our grief and moral outrage. We recognize that white nationalism is a global epidemic. This massacre was the result of white nationalist ideologies that we all have the power to eradicate. As we grieve, so too we pledge to take action to dismantle white supremacy in our institutions and cultures.

The massacre took place at a time mosques are filled with people who gather for Friday prayers. It was fueled by the same hate that led to mass shootings against other communities of color in their houses of worship in the United States -- Sikhs in the gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, African Americans in Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, and Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Right now, Muslim and Sikh Americans are preparing for heightened security at our houses of worship across the U.S. this weekend. We need your support more than ever:

1. Send a message of love and solidarity to the Muslim families of Christchurch.
2. Call or text a friend who is Muslim or Sikh. Let them know they are not alone.
3. Visit a mosque or gurdwara near you and leave a sign or flowers to show your love and solidarity.
4. Donate to the victims and families of this massacre.
5. Show up to a solidarity event in your community - friends at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice have put together an event list, searchable by zip code: Click here to find an event

If people in your life are hurting right now and need this message, please forward this email to them. This is a time to take one another's hand. We hold yours.

- Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Fellows

Write a message or prayer of love and support to the families and survivors of the shooting. 

In the wake of the mass shootings in Pittsburgh, Charleston, and Oak Creek, we worked with Auburn Seminary to collect tens of thousands of letters and prayers of support, which were then bound and delivered in person to the survivors and families. In Oak Creek, the books are still preserved in the gurdwara's library. Long after the media trucks leave, these physical embodiments of solidarity show the community we will not leave their side. Click above to write your message. And donate to the LaunchGood fund set up to support victims and families.


#DayofEmpathy: Inside America's Prisons

On March 5, the Revolutionary Love Project joined with #cut50 in support of the National #DayofEmpathy.

The #DayofEmpathy is an opportunity to shine a light on people impacted by incarceration in the United States. Americans impacted by the criminal justice system met with federal, state, and local lawmakers to share their experiences. Family members who have lost loved ones to violent crime, formerly incarcerated people, children of incarcerated parents, individuals who have overcome addiction, and many others joined together across demographics and party lines.

Valarie Kaur's award-winning film, “The Worst of the Worst,” takes us inside a supermax prison, where inmates are held in solitary confinement for months, even years at a time. Hear their stories—then take action.

“Northern is meant to break your spirit, and tear you down. It’s not about rehabilitation at all, it’s about straight up punishment. They want you to think of yourself as an animal, as not being human.” –Keishar, former Northern inmate

“I didn’t want to live. I was lost. I felt like I couldn’t do anything anymore. I wanted to give up. So, I started harming myself. I cut myself with things nearby. Break a battery, make a blade. Bite myself.” –Misael, former Northern inmate

“That first day I was free, it was happiness and confusion. I had to learn how to be a person again. I still have a problem walking, pronouncing my words. I got to learn how to talk all over again. I got to become a person again because I was an animal for 3 ½ years.”—Darnell, former Northern inmate

“Outside of work, I look at things differently, approach things differently. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Certain noises, you know like people running—when you’re in prison, people running means they’re responding to an emergency. So when you see people running, you get that jump—that I’m going to react and respond.” –Pete, Correctional Officer

“They had a rule they actually never implemented where you could only work at Northern for 3 years because of the mental stress it causes. I thought that was a good idea, but I stuck it out and stayed. The reason I stayed was because all my other buddies stayed, and I’m staying with them.” –Mark, Correctional Officer

Ways you can turn your empathy into action:

• Learn more and join #cut50 at an event near you: DayOfEmpathy.org
• Write a letter of love and solidarity to a person recently released from incarceration or a person recovering from opioid addiction: www.ReclaimLove.us

Watch highlights from an MSNBC discussion about the film:


Success! Here’s what happens when we #ReclaimLove...

Dear Friends,

Our campaign to #ReclaimLove was a success! So many of you sent in letters of love and solidarity to some of the people who most need support right now. Together we reached millions of people on social media — and your letters are still pouring in from all over the country.

Let's keep up the momentum and generate even more letters to show our love and solidarity for those impacted by the criminal justice system, climate change, the opioid epidemic and family separation at the US/Mexico border. We will continue collecting letters through March 15.

Here are three ways you can continue to send love:

1. If you haven’t sent a letter yet, you can go here to learn how.

2. If you’ve already sent your letters, please share one of these posts with #ReclaimLove and tag 5 friends who you know would be up for writing letters:

3. Or post a picture of the letter you wrote with #ReclaimLove and tag 5 of your friends.

We want to see our tables overrun with letters, homemade Valentines, and notes — so keep them coming! If you want to read the impact of letters such as these, check out this NYT story.

- Valarie, Amy, Valarie, Elizabeth, Julianna, Melissa and the Fellows of the Revolutionary Love Project


Scroll down to watch our Declaration and witness some of what we've done together...

Watch and share the video Declaration of Revolutionary Love featuring Rev. William Barber, Ani DiFranco, Debra Messing, America Ferrera, Sister Simone Campbell, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Parker Palmer, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Brian McLaren, Carmen Perez-Jordan, Michael-Ray Mathews, Sally Kohn, Tim Blessed, Deepa Iyer and more.

Watch the Video


We declare our love for all who are in harm’s way — refugees, immigrants, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, queer and trans people, Black people, Latinx people, the indigenous, the disabled, women and girls, working-class people and poor people. We vow to see one another as brothers, sisters, and siblings.  Our humanity binds us together, and we vow to fight for a world where all of us can flourish.

We declare love even for our opponents. We oppose all policies that threaten the rights and dignity of any person. We vow to fight not with violence or vitriol, but by challenging the cultures and institutions that promote hate. In this way, we will challenge our opponents through the ethic of love.

We declare love for ourselves. We will protect our capacity for joy. We will rise and dance. We will honor our ancestors whose bodies, breath, and blood call us to a life of courage. In their name, we choose to see this darkness not as the darkness of the tomb – but of the womb. We will breathe and push through the pain of this era to birth a new future.


We're collecting letters until March 15th. You still have time to send your note of Revolutionary Love to people who need to receive it.

Our activism is only as strong as our solidarity is deep—and our words infused with #revolutionarylove can spark the kind of authentic connection that binds us together. So we're sending love letters to people impacted by four of the most devastating issues facing our country: the criminal justice system, the opioid crisis, climate change and extreme weather events and family separation at the U.S./Mexico border. Read about the project and our partners at ReclaimLove.Us, and get everything you need to send your letters here.

Write a Letter


In this special episode, hear the vision and inspiration behind Revolutionary Love in Valarie Kaur's conversation with Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, the Deputy Director of Faith in Action and a leading voice in our movement.

Listen to the Podcast


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Join America Ferrera, Rev. William Barber, Debra Messing and more as we rise up in Revolutionary Love

Dear Friends,

Happy Valentine's Day! We just released THIS one minute video featuring some of the voices in our movement reading our Declaration of Revolutionary Love —

Click here to WATCH the video on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We invite you to SHARE this video on social media today. You can also share why you are inspired by this declaration and how you put Revolutionary Love into practice. We are showing up on Twitter for a "Heartstorm" at 9am PT / Noon ET and throughout the day. Sample posts below! Use the hashtag #reclaimlove so that we can amplify you!

When you post, you will join a broad coalition of activists, artists, and faith leaders who are exercising their voices in this movement, including those featured in this video — America Ferrera, Rev. William Barber, Ani DiFranco, Sister Simone Campbell, Carmen Perez, Debra Messing, Parker Palmer, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Brian McLaren, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Rev. Michael-Ray Matthews, Sally Kohn, Tem Blessed, Deepa Iyer, and more.

The video directs folks to www.reclaimlove.us — and shows people how to put love into action. We've already generated hundreds of cards and letters to some of the people in the country who most need our solidarity. If you haven't sent a card yet, click here.

Together we are reclaiming love as a force for social justice! Tag us at @revloveproject @valariekaur so that we can thank you! And may you feel surrounded by love today, in all the forms that it comes.

- Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, Melissa, Julianna and the Fellows of the Revolutionary Love Project

 

Spread the Word!

Let's flood social media today! Use a sample post below, or write your own with the hashtag #reclaimlove. We are showing up on Twitter for a "Heartstorm" at 9am PT / Noon ET and throughout the day. Find more sample posts and images in this toolkit.

I'm so proud to join @valariekaur @AmericaFerrera @RevDrBarber & a powerful coalition of activists, artists, faith leaders rising up to #ReclaimLove as a force for justice on #ValentinesDay. Sign the declaration to join us! www.reclaimlove.us @WeAreLoveArmy @RevLoveProject

Click to Tweet

Our movement  is only as strong as our solidarity is deep. Sign the declaration & recommit to #revolutionarylove as a force for social justice. Then send a #Valentine to some of those who most need our love & solidarity right now. Info here: ReclaimLove.us #ReclaimLove 

Click to Tweet

“Love is the choice to enter into labor—for others, our opponents & ourselves. In the face of the fires of injustice, I've seen labors of love deliver us. In this era of enormous rage, #revolutionarylove is the call of our times.” @valariekaur #ReclaimLove ReclaimLove.us

Click to Tweet
 

Sample Posts for Facebook and Instagram:

Happy #ValentinesDay! I am so excited to join THIS broad coalition of artists, activists, and faith leaders who are making a declaration of Revolutionary Love. We are making a vow to ground our lives and our social justice work in the ethic of love. Here's how to join us: www.reclaimlove.us. #ReclaimLove #LoveArmy #ValentinesDay

“In the face of the fires of injustice, I have seen labors of love deliver us. Revolutionary Love is the choice to enter into labor — for others who do not look like us, for our opponents who hurt us, and for ourselves. In this era of enormous rage, when the fires are burning all around us, I believe that #revolutionarylove is the call of our times.” - Valarie Kaur www.ReclaimLove.us #ReclaimLove #LoveArmy #ValentinesDay

Today we #ReclaimLove as a force for justice! Thousands of us are sending cards of love and solidarity to children separated at the border, recently released prisoners, climate refugees and people recovering from opioid addiction. Our heartfelt words hold the power to spark real human connection — to see one another as family, honor our collective pain, and call forth our enduring strength. Want to send a revolutionary #Valentine too? Go to: www.reclaimlove.us. #ValentinesDay #RevolutionaryLove #LoveArmy

Click to share the campaign on Facebook
 

 

Above are some of the cards we are sending out today! Sending a card is a simple act, but it can mean so much to someone who is suffering. A little bit of love, in the form of a note, can spark the human connections that save us. That’s why we’re writing cards to put love into action, and we hope you will too. We have already begun to send a flood of love notes to some of the people who most need to feel our support and solidarity right now -- people impacted by mass incarceration, the opioid crisis, climate disasters, and family separation at the U.S. border with Mexico. We will collect and sort the notes and deliver them into the hands of someone who needs your solidarity. We invite you to gather with your friends, family, students, and children to write cards together. We deliver any card sent between now and March 14th.

Get all the info you need to write your card
 

 

If you are looking for a meaningful Valentine's gift for your sweetheart or friend today, please consider giving them a #Beloved200 membership — your beloved will receive special invitations and sneak previews into our work AND a beautiful postcard with original art. Make a $15 monthly donation in their name here.

Click to join the Beloved 200


It's Valentine's week — let's #ReclaimLove

Dear Friends,

We are staging a cultural intervention this Valentine’s Day! As we weather a constant barrage of cruel policies and hate crimes, it becomes easy for us to mirror the vitriol we are fighting. So together with a broad coalition of artists, activists, educators, and faith leaders, we are making a declaration of Revolutionary Love this Valentine’s Day. We are rising up to #ReclaimLove as a public ethic and force for justice.

Will you join us?

First, sign the Declaration of Revolutionary Love. The greatest nonviolent social movements in history were rooted in the ethic of love – love for others, our opponents, and ourselves. They showed us that love is more than a feeling. Love is sweet labor – fierce, bloody, imperfect and life-giving. A choice we make again and again. By signing, you are renewing your vow to anchor your life and activism in the practice of love.

Now, put that love into action. Use our toolkit to write a Valentine or love note to some of the people in our country who most need our solidarity right now

Send a card to:

  • A child and family who were separated at the US/Mexico border
  • A recently released prisoner returning to their lives as citizens
  • A climate refugee made homeless by fire or hurricane
  • A person recovering from opioid addiction in West Virginia

We will deliver your card through advocacy organizations working directly with these communities. The idea is to spark authentic connection and solidarity through relationship-building.

We wanted to make this easy, so you can find information and the signup to get everything you need to send your card at ReclaimLove.us. Sign up to get the toolkit to create and mail your card using our templates and prompts. You can send your own note or use an online service that will create and mail a card for you. We partnered with the online service MyPostcard so that our first postcard writers can create and mail their first card free! (Additional cards are just $1.99).

Are you a teacher, faith leader, or organizer? Gather people together and host a Valentine writing party using our free toolkit – in classrooms, houses of worship, or living rooms. We will deliver any Valentines and letters sent between now and March 14th. Use the hashtag #ReclaimLove to post a picture of you or your gathering on social media.

We are proud to lead this campaign with our partner #LoveArmy. For the last two years on Valentine's Day, we joined #LoveArmy and more than 60 organizations to mobilize thousands of people across the country to gather in person and online to reclaim love as a force for social justice. Last year, the campaign reached more than 14 million people and held 200 live events across the country. We believe our movement is only as strong as our solidarity is deep. So this year, we are going deeper with this letter-writing campaign. We are excited for you to join us.

Stay tuned for more updates during this week of Revolutionary Love. Thank you for laboring together to birth the world we long to see!

- Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Team

Above are some of the letters and postcards already sent to families who were separated at the US/Mexico border. Our partners at Bay Area Border Relief tell us that such letters play an important role for families healing from the trauma of separation. So they will help us get thousands of Valentines and notes of love and solidarity into the hands of children who need them. Are you ready to write one? Click here to get a toolkit with address details, downloadable postcard images, and more.

Get the Toolkit Now

Watch Valarie Kaur, America Ferrera and Rabbi Sharon Brous discuss what it looks like when women warrior lead and the role of love and sisterhood in our movements, especially in the context of #MeToo and #TimesUp. May this conversation at last year's Revolutionary Love Conference offer a deep breath. And to sign up for the 2019 Middle Collegiate Church Revolutionary Love Conference, click here.

Watch the Session


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Breathe, Push and MARCH...

“The parts of the [civil rights] movement we recognize so well now were not born from a single decision, but a complicated and messy evolution of ideas and spirits, coming together after a long, hard struggle to triumph in moments when the odds seemed the longest.”

– Andrew Aydin, co-author with Congressman John Lewis of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series MARCH

Dear Friends,

The first Women’s March in 2017 was led by four co-chairs. This month, the Women’s March convened a Steering Committee of 32 diverse women leaders to help guide policy goals and moral vision. Our founder Valarie Kaur has accepted the invitation to serve as a voice for revolutionary love within this fierce movement of women.

In joining with the steering committee of the Women’s March, the Revolutionary Love Project commits to advocate for all vulnerable communities. We commit to march against antisemitism and all forms of racism, bigotry and hatred. We choose to march because we believe in the power of a movement of women, and know if we do the hard, messy work of coming together, our #WomensWave will rise high enough to break down any wall in our way.

Scroll down to read an excerpt from Valarie’s essay in Together We Rise, a compilation of essays by activists who participated in the 2017 Women’s March, the largest single-day global protest in history. Then learn how to join a march near you on Saturday, January 19th, and find out about a community care mediation tool we’ve developed in partnership with the tech team at Binaural Dream — BREATHE & PUSH.

We believe that love can center our movement and anchor our activism. Thank you for standing — and for MARCHING — together with us! You can click here for Revolutionary Love signs to take with you to march!

See you in the streets,
The Revolutionary Love Team


THE FOLLOWING IS EXCERPTED FROM VALARIE KAUR’S ESSAY IN THE NYT BESTSELLER TOGETHER WE RISE: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE PROTEST HEARD AROUND THE WORLD:

On Election Night, the future never felt darker. Each hate crime, incitement to violence, and deadly proposal during the election season had hurt me from the inside. As a new mother to a little brown boy, I had to confront the painful truth: our generation of activism had not made the nation safer for my son.

The last time I remember being in so much pain was on the birthing table. The gripping despair I felt on election night brought back the pain of my labor so sharply I could not ignore the parallel. I began to ask a question that became the only shape my mouth could make: What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? 

I got my answer on the day of the Women’s March, carrying my son in my arms into the streets of downtown Los Angeles. In an instant, we became part of one roaring river of music and longing, grief and outrage, defiance and joy. Women across the U.S. and around the world marched that day, holding up signs that answered my question: This is the darkness of the womb. We were birthing something new. Millions were choosing life over death in one collective breath.

Then it began: the onslaught of executive orders, Muslim bans, border walls, pipelines, budget cuts, and hate crimes harming the most vulnerable among us, including my Sikh community. We have barely had a chance to breathe between the crises. But my own family´s century-long history here reminds me that white supremacy, nationalism, and racism are as old as the U.S. Policy wins alone will not solve the conditions that gave rise to this presidency. We need a new public ethic to birth a new future, a public ethic of Revolutionary Love.

As a lawyer, I have cringed at the word love. American culture too often mistakes ¨love¨ for the experience of falling in love — that delirious rush of oxytocin that happens to us if we are lucky. If this is our only definition, then of course love is too fickle, sentimental, and ephemeral to be a political force. But after I became a mother, I saw love with new eyes, redefined.

Love as mothering is a form of sweet labor that transforms and births anew. Love is not any one emotion but employs many emotions in that labor: Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects it.

Historically, the labor of love has been confined to the domestic sphere. Yet mothering is not biologically determined but a capacity within each of us. Spiritual geniuses from Buddha to Jesus, Mohammed to Guru Nanak, called us to practice love beyond family and tribe. Social justice leaders from Gandhi to King to Day grounded their movements in love to free the oppressed without hating the oppressor. Such love disrupts the status quo, confronts injustice, and shifts collective consciousness.

The Women´s March was a declaration of love. This Revolutionary Love—love for others, opponents, and ourselves—is the call of our times.

 

On January 19, 2019, we’re going to flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities across the globe. The #WomensWave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us. Click here to download and print Revolutionary Love signs to take with you to the march.

Find and Join a March Near You
 

We believe that the only way we can sustain our labors for justice through the challenges of 2019 is by caring for our bodies and minds. So we’ve worked with the tech innovators at Binaural Dream to bring you a new tool for the new year, “BREATHE & PUSH” — a meditation pack designed to support deep breathing as we work for justice. The pack consists of 4 musical compositions: Breathe, Push, Transition, and Labor with Love. It works as a powerful daily meditation practice.

We invite you to start meditating with us! Listen to “Breathe & Push” for free between now and MLK Day, Monday, January 21st. Just download the app and click on “Breathe and Push” at the top to get started. Or click to listen to a 30-second sound bath on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Download the iOS App Now

* The Binaural Dream app is currently only available for iOS. Android coming soon!


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