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The Sikh Coalition News
September 9, 2021
  • Join Us Virtually on 9/15 to Commemorate Balbir Singh Sodhi

    September 9, 2021 (Mesa, AZ) -- Next week, the Sikh Coalition invites you to join us virtually via livestream for an evening commemorating the life and legacy of Mr. Balbir Singh Sodhi. Honoring Balbir Singh Sodhi Through Shared Resilience in the Face of Hate will be hosted by the Sodhi family, the Global Sikh Alliance, and the Sikh Coalition on September 15, 2021, at 7 PM MST (10 PM EST or 7 PM PST) in Mesa, AZ.

    “Every year since we lost my brother days after 9/11, my family has gathered at the gas station where he was killed to remember and honor him,” said Rana Singh Sodhi, one of Mr. Sodhi’s brothers. “We are excited to welcome a wider group of people on this important anniversary, so that we can pay tribute to all those who have been hurt by hate and also share the love and support that my family has felt for 20 years with the nationwide sangat.”

    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.

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