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The Sikh Coalition News
August 1, 2022
  • [THIS WEEK] The 10-Year Oak Creek Anniversary

    August 1, 2022 (Oak Creek, WI) -- This Friday, August 5, marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2012 attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. We continue to honor the seven Sikh community members who ultimately lost their lives and those who were critically injured in the shooting. These individuals, their families, and the sangat remain forever in our prayers as we reach this important anniversary this weekend.

    Here are some ways that you can get involved--in Wisconsin and across the country--in the commemoration.


    Heal. Unite. Act. From August 4 to 6, the Oak Creek Sikh community will be hosting a series of in-person events to commemorate the anniversary, including the 10th Annual Oak Creek Sikh Memorial Anniversary Candlelight Remembrance Vigil on Friday, August 5, at 6:00 PM CT.

    The speaking program includes interfaith leaders, elected officials, and representatives of the families who lost loved ones in the attack. This event is open to the public. In addition to the vigil, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin will be holding other commemorative events from Thursday, August 4, to Sunday, August 7, which include a protecting places of worship forum, a community interfaith event with workshops, and a final tribute. For more details about all of these events, click here.

    Please note that all commemorative in-person services around the Oak Creek 10-year anniversary are being led by the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, with additional programming, marketing, and community engagement support from the Sikh Coalition, Sikh American Legal Defense Fund (SALDEF) and the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. This direct support is for the explicit purpose of centering the Oak Creek Sikh community.


    The Sikh Coalition has partnered with the Revolutionary Love Project on RememberOakCreek.org, a learning hub designed to help Americans from all communities understand what happened 10 years ago and how we can take action together to prevent further tragedies. The learning hub includes new video content, downloadable graphics, direct ways to contact your lawmakers, educational materials, and a wealth of other resources aimed at commemorating the anniversary. Join us in posting the video this Friday in order to raise awareness about Oak Creek among our non-Sikh neighbors.


    As we reflect on 10 years since Oak Creek--and additional acts of targeted mass violence in Charleston, Isla Vista, Pittsburgh, El Paso, Poway, Atlanta, Buffalo, and elsewhere across our country--we choose to take action. Not enough has been done to stem the rising tides of violent hate in the United States, but Congress can move forward with three critical pieces of legislation today. In collaboration with the Revolutionary Love Project and SALDEF, join us and take two minutes to send a message in support of these bills to your representative in the House and your two Senators. This push follows our virtual congressional briefing, held on July 26, featuring speakers from communities harmed by hate violence--the Sikh community of Oak Creek, WI; the Black community in Charleston, SC; and the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, PA--along with elected officials including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), and Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY). Watch the full briefing here.


    More than 20 sangats from coast to coast will be leading Day of Seva projects and Night of Vigil events in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the Oak Creek gurdwara shooting. So far, cities that have confirmed activities during the August 5 to 7 weekend including Detroit, MI; Charlotte, NC; Fairfax, VA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Bellingham, WA; Lawrenceville, NJ; Salt Lake City, UT; Indianapolis, IN; Dayton, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Asbury Park, NJ; Orangevale, CA; Salem, OR; Enola, PA; Federal Way, WA; San Antonio, TX; Albuquerque, NM; East Greenbush, NY; Olathe, KS; Lexington, KY; and New York City, NY. To find a Day of Seva project near you, click here.


    Finally, the Sikh Coalition continues to work with reporters to facilitate respectful and responsible coverage of the Oak Creek anniversary. We are currently coordinating with local reporters in Wisconsin to ensure publicity around the upcoming weekend’s events (see reporting in the local FOX and CBS stations, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) as well as national coverage in outlets like NPR. Additionally, we have worked with colleagues and sangat members in numerous states to place op-eds about the importance of congressional action around the Oak Creek anniversary; pieces have already been published in Wisconsin, Tennessee, Minnesota, Florida, and Colorado.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

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