For those people with the desire to
share experiences as a person of color,
this Web site offers the opportunity to hold
conversations with people of similar interests.
ForThePeopleOfColor.com's mission is to promote diversity and cultural
competency; to bring to the fore issues of color; and especially to provide
an online forum for people of color and others, who tend to be marginalized.
"The mission of this Web site is to promote diversity and cultural
competency as taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, thereby bringing to
the fore issues of color and caste for the purpose of uplifting people
who have a history of being marginalized, using social media and other
means as platforms to inform various communities of the life experiences
and concerns of marginalized people with regard to the necessity for social
change, social justice, inclusion, compassion, tolerance, cultural literacy,
and growth in our human relations going forward in order to better facilitate
the current worldwide shift in global consciousness from tribalism, instability,
and extremism, to harmony, cooperation and enduring peace. And furthermore,
we welcome and support other organizations that promote the transformation of
consciousness as taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji throughout his life and travels."
I have a history of teaching
(see3HO Legacy Teachers gallery) at numerous facilities and locations as a Kundalini Yoga and meditation teacher, counselor
and chaplain, which include the Federal Prison in Littleton, CO; the
Colorado State Prison at the Buena Vista facility; the Youth Detention
Center, Brighton, CO; the Orange County Jail, Orlando, FL; the Florida
State Prison, Bushnell, FL; the YWCA, Orlando, FL; Sikh Chaplain at
the New Mexico Military Institute,
Roswell, NM; and several years as the Drill Instructor for the Select
Rifle Drill Team at the 3HO Women's Training Camp, formerly Khalsa
Women's Training Camp (KWTC),
Espanola, NM, now International Women's Camp, IWC.
See an inspiring account of one woman's Drill Team experience at the Khalsa
Women's Training Camp.
I have been blessed with the life experience of colored eyes as well as white eyes. While most
folks see the issue of race through either white eyes
or colored eyes, I see the issue of race through both.
This matters greatly because my life experience affords me
a more cosmopolitan perspective on issues of diversity.
My teacher, Yogi Bhajan, asked me to tell my story, so I will begin by saying I was blessed with a life experience, which taught me the meaning of these words. I was born of a mixed parentage, at home, in the late '30s. My younger sister and I were raised in a small 3-room house, which had no bathtub or shower, and no hot water heater. We were the only family I knew that had no hot running water. See 'Half Breed' Video.
My mother boiled water in a tea kettle and poured it into a galvanized tub in which she bathed us until we were old enough to bathe ourselves. We bathed once a week because it was a real challenge for the four of us to bathe more frequently. She boiled water in a tea kettle and used a wash board to wash our clothes until she acquired a wringer-type washer along with two rinse tubs in the late '40s. Our parents heated the house with a coal-burning stove until the late '40s when we acquired an oil-burning stove. We also used an ice box to keep food cold until the late '40s, early '50s.
I slept in the front room of our tiny but tidy 3-room house, my mother and sister slept in the middle room and my father slept in the kitchen. We acquired a black and white TV in the mid-'50s. We always walked to school. Our mother worked full-time at a meat packing plant to which she always walked.
My dad was a barber and served as an air raid warden for our neighborhood during World War II. I remember hearing the air raid sirens and seeing big search lights roaming the night sky during air raid drills. We had to turn off all the lights. I remember just about everything being rationed, sugar; salt; milk; bread; gasoline; etc. And we had to use tokens in order to make purchases. Life was good albeit challenging, just as it is to this day, by God's grace.
We lived next door to a store front where an elderly immigrant Syrian couple lived and operated an oriental rug store, and across the street from a carton factory. On the back side of the carton company was the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad that ran coal burning, steam powered, locomotives, which stopped frequently at a watering station just down the railroad tracks.