Note: This post was written by Manpreet Teji, the Programs Associate for South Asian Americans Leading Together. Learn more about her here.
This post was created on 8/6 and updated in real time to help the online community to respond to the Oak Creek tragedy immediately. Starting 8/15, we will no longer be posting updates. If you’d like to stay plugged into our work, please sign up for email updates at this mailing list.
In the past 24 hours SAALT staff has been overwhelmed and moved by the online response to the terrible tragedy at Oak Creek. People all over the country from many different walks have life have written in with messages of support, love, and solidarity. Through tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and online organizing, each one of us has contributed to creating a community where the message is loud and clear: hate is unacceptable.
Here are ways you can continue to support the Sikh community during this difficult time.
This post will be updated continually, so please do book mark it. If you have any suggestions or new resources, please leave them in the comments.
1. Attend a vigil in your community
We’ve created a public Google maps of the vigils, http://bit.ly/OakCreekVigils, happening nationwide. Currently, over 18 states are listed. Know of more? Add it in the comments.
2. Send the Sikh Community in Oak Creek a note with your thoughts.
- Write a letter to the children of Oak Creek gurudwara: SAALT will collect and deliver your letters when we return to Oak Creek this year. We encourage you or your children to write these letters to provide support, share personal stories and remind the children of the Oak Creek gurudwara that they are not alone. Send us letters by mail or email by September 30th, 2012.
3. Contribute to a growing fund for the families affected by this tragedy
- Help Cover Funeral Costs
Amardeep Kaleka, the son of Satwant Singh, the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, created an online fundraiser “We Are Sikhs” to help cover funeral costs for victims. Singh died along with five other members in the shooting Sunday. None of the money will go to the Kaleka family, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Donations accepted here.
- Support Victims
An Indiegogo fund will benefit the temple shooting victims, their families and injured police offer Lt. Brian Murphy. Donors’ contributions will be held in an escrow account until August 30, at which time the fundraiser’s organizers will allocate the funds to those in need, Fox News reports. According to the Indiegogo site: “It will take some time before the precise needs of the Milwaukee Sangat are enumerated. We plan to work closely with the local Sikh community and doctors to determine the best way to distribute funds.” Donations accepted here.
- Contribute to a Memorial Fund
The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin has set up a victims fund, where people can send donations via mail to Victims Memorial Fund c/o Sikh Temple, 7512 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154.
4. Spread the word.
Do you want to share articles that might be useful? Retweet from @SAALTweets or @Sikh_Coalition or @SALDEF if you are on Twitter. We are sharing articles throughout the day that might be helpful for you and your community to read over social media. We are also on Facebook.
5. Share your thoughts.
Write a blog post or oped that expresses your feelings about what happened, and emphasizes the solidarity and connections between all Americans and Sikhs. Feel free to tweet or post your articles in the comments!
6. Pledge against hate.
United Sikhs has launched a new campaign on Facebook where you can take a stand against hate crimes. Visit their page for more details.
8. Get your religious community involved.
Ask your house of worship to participate in SALDEF’s National Moment of Reflection for the Victims of the Wisconsin Shooting on August 12.
Know more ways to support the Sikh community in Oak Creek? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Updated 8/6 5:14PM: New Jersey Vigil added to document.
Updated 8/6 6:07PM: Google Maps of nationwide vigils added
Updated 8/6 9:14PM: List of Vigils updated in PDF and on Google Maps. Now includes Sikh Student Association of University of Texas & The Sikh Community of Texas.
Updated 8/7 4:03AM: Added link to online fundraising campaign for families in Oak Creek.
Updated 8/7 3:03PM: Three new online fundraising options posted.
Updated 8/8 12:52PM: 2 new ways to support Oak Creek community. Map updated.
Updated 8/9/12 3:33PM: 2 more ways to support the community. Map updated.