I’m looking forward to attending the Saanjh East Coast Leadership Retreat during Memorial Day weekend. Saanjh has been held on the West Coast for the last 4 years and is finally coming East. It’s a great opportunity to meet and network with Sikhs from all over the country and to discover new venues to become involved with the community. This retreat focuses on challenging participants to develop a broader and more nuanced understanding of Sikhi while inspiring activism.
Saanjh isn’t just about reflecting for 72 hours. Saanjh is about ‘partnering, sharing and connecting’ with others to inspire change – change within yourself and the community. Last year, after two days of amazing workshops and discussions, Saanjh participants broke up into smaller groups to begin discussing their long-term seva projects. As I looked around the room and saw the groups churning out brilliant ideas, I asked myself the pessimistic question, “What’s going to happen after we leave?”
Well, the week after, Saanjh participants were fundraising in full force at the Sikh Coalition 5K for the 5Ks in the Bay Area. A few weeks later, volunteers were coming together to polish up communications materials for Baba Nanak Education Soceity. Several months later, they inspired Lahir to raise over $6000 in scholarship money that will awarded this year. Every week a group in the Bay Area gets together for Gurbaani Vichaar. These are just a few examples of the kind of inspiration and activism that evolved out of a weekend at Saanjh.
Saanjh is open to all above 18 years of age and will be held from May 25th – 28th in the serene setting of the Diamond Ridge Conference Center near New York. As always, Saanjh will be bringing great sessions like Guru History, Contemporary Issues and 2084. And no retreat is complete without talent night!
This year, I’ll be leading a session on Diaspora Activism – taking a deeper look at volunteering and building panthic institutions. This session will reflect on the Sikh Coalition’s experiences to illustrate the importance of volunteer & community engagement, empowering voices, and building long-lasting institutions.
If you haven’t registered yet, please do it now because registration closes next week. Go to http://www.saanjh.org/retreat/register and sign up today!