Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Harnessing Love as a Force for Pivotal Change with Valarie Kaur

Air Dates: June 7-13, 2021

Love is the stuff of poetry, and heartache, and hope, and songs.  Valarie Kaur says love can be revolutionary and is needed as a public ethic to confront hate, and nationalism, and the violence born from ignorance.

Valarie Kaur is a renowned civil rights leader, lawyer, best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, educator, innovator, and celebrated prophetic voice.  She leads the Revolutionary Love Project with a mission to reclaim love as a force for justice.  In the wake of the 2016 election, Kaur’s “Watch Night Service” address went viral with 40 million views worldwide.  Her question, “is this the darkness of the tomb or the darkness of the womb?” reframed the political moment and became a mantra for people fighting for change.  Her debut book, “See No Stranger: A Memoir & Manifesto of Revolutionary Love,” was released in 2020 and expands on her popular TED Talk.  In the last twenty years, Kaur has won policy change on multiple fronts–hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, solitary confinement, internet freedom, and more.  She founded Groundswell Movement, Faithful Internet, and the Yale Visual Law Project to inspire and equip advocates at the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and justice.  Kaur is a regular commentator on MSNBC and contributor to CNN, NPR, PBS, the Hill, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post.  A daughter of Sikh farmers in California’s heartland, she earned degrees at Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Law School.

On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Kaur discusses harnessing the power of love to create powerful change in response to the daunting social issues of recent years.  She says, “we know that sound government is necessary, but it’s not sufficient to transition this country into a multiracial democracy. We need a shift in culture and consciousness.  We need a revolution of the heart.  A new way of seeing and being that leaves no one behind.  A kind of love without limit—what I call revolutionary love.”  Kaur’s Revolutionary Love Project aims to better equip individuals with practical tools to reclaim love as a force for justice.

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 3:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.


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