Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What is Roots & Wings about ?

The U.S.A is proudly known to be the Melting Pot of the World.

But I am not entirely comfortable with the idea of achieving assimilation at the cost of diversity.

I’d rather see my country as a salad bowl where uniqueness is a good thing as long as it’s accompanied by co-existence.

‘Roots and Wings’ poses the question if one has to cut off their roots in order to spread their wings and soar high.

I interviewed the participants of a Sikh Youth Leadership retreat in my quest to highlight the challenges they face every day being both American and Sikhs, the spirit with which they overcome them and what they expect out of their fellow citizens.

With this documentary, I wish to highlight to the audience that beyond anonymity and mistaken perceptions, Sikh youth are truly American; dealing with their challenges bravely, they are uplifted and determined leaders of tomorrow with roots in perfect balance of spirituality and progressiveness.

The work aims for 'anyone who feels different on account of their visible identity or ideology' to realize that they can triumph being who they are if they are rooted in the a strong value system that embraces humanity. And that their roots in fact, strengthen them to soar high on their wings.

What do the Educators have to say about this ?

Today, the burden of fighting ignorance and prejudice falls often on those who face it.

Discrimination, harassment and even hate crimes are the happenings that are not uncommon to the Young Sikhs of the U.S.A. All caused by ignorance.

But who is going to fix this?

Most of the youth are trying to educate their peers. But how much educating can or should they do? The burden of educating can not fall only on them. At least, I hope not.

Perhaps the education system needs to do more to promote diversity and educate the teachers, students and their parents about little known minorities such as the Sikhs and the other ethnic groups that make up the fabric of the American society.

As I took my work to Educators, School going children and even Policy Makers to get some answers, I learnt that, everyone agrees that we could use more diversity education in our schools. I had a very positive response and one by one the movie is making a difference by opening the minds of the teens across our country.
I believe that Media is a great way to accomplish this goal, that is why I started this project.

And now, I need your help towards this mission. If you would talk to your teachers, I will gladly send them the movie and the lesson plan for a 'Diversity Workshop' for your school. For more information please visit the Educator's page on the website: http://www.onelight-films.com/
or write to:

Hope you will help me take the message of acceptance and peace to our schools.
-Angad Singh