Sikh Youth Create Short Films to Spread Awareness, Acceptance | Not in Our Town

Sikh Youth Create Short Films to Spread Awareness, Acceptance

By Caitlin Grams 

Not In Our School and the UNITED SIKHS presented the winning films for the NIOS and United Sikhs Anti-Bullying Video Contest at the Gurdwara Sahib in Fremont, CA in June. The contest asked Sikh students from across the state to create short videos to share their anti-bullying message and teach peers of all backgrounds about the Sikh culture and religion. The goal of the contest was to promote intercultural understanding and to help create welcoming environments that are free of bullying.

The event began with a few words from Patrice O’Neill, the founder and executive producer of Not In Our Town (NIOT). Patrice talked about NIOT’s work with the Sikh community and previewed a scene from an upcoming documentary about the tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.  Short previews of the winning films were projected on a large screen in the main room of the gurdwara. The room was filled with attentive eyes and ears, and laughter erupted when children from the Gurdwara saw themselves or their friends projected on the screen. The event ended with acknowledgment of the winners who were individually called up and rewarded with Target gift cards and a Kindle Fire.
Each of the winning films show not only some of the negative impacts of bullying and hate that have been felt by Sikh youth, but also serve as a way to share their culture, traditions and history. The short pieces serve as a great tool for spreading awareness and acceptance of Sikhism. The films and corresponding lesson plan can be found here on the NIOS website.
It is our hope that classroom teachers will use these resources at schools across the United States. NIOS would like to thank the UNITED SIKHS and the Gurdwara Sahib Fremont for making this event a success.


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