On September 15, 2001, Mr. Sodhi was planting flowers outside of his gas station in Mesa when he was shot and killed by a man supposedly seeking retribution for the terrorist attacks four days earlier; his murder marked the first recorded deadly post-9/11 hate crime. In addition to commemorating Mr. Sodhi, next week’s event will honor all those who have been lost to or affected by hate violence and discrimination and celebrate the shared resilience in the continued fight against bias, bigotry, and backlash.
The evening’s program will feature interfaith leaders, elected and appointed public officials from the federal, state, and local levels, members of the Sikh community, and members of the Sodhi family. We have been deeply honored to work directly with the Sodhi family and the Global Sikh Alliance to arrange event logistics, curate speakers, promote this event to the press, and invite national civil rights and faith leaders, including representatives from other Sikh organizations. Additionally, want to thank Valarie Kaur and Revolutionary Love Project for their assistance on the event, especially for securing several national interfaith voices. We look forward to sharing livestream information next week so that viewers across the country can participate.
“The Sikh Coalition is deeply honored to assist in commemorating the poignant story of Balbir ji and the Sodhi family,” said Inderpreet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Community Development Manager. “For two decades, our community and so many other underrepresented American communities have had to persevere in the face of hate and discrimination. We honor those we’ve lost, but also celebrate that solidarity, as well as the resultant education and advocacy efforts to combat and prevent future hate crimes in America.”
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.