Simran Jeet Singh

Teaching Anti-Racism the Sikh Way.

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is an educator, writer, activist, and scholar who speaks regularly on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity. Simran is currently based at Union Seminary, and he’s the first Sikh wire-service columnist in US history. He is the author of Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Run a Marathon, which is the first-ever children’s book from a major publisher (Penguin Random House) to center a Sikh story. Simran is also writing an adult non-fiction book for Riverhead (Penguin Random House) on Sikh wisdom to help navigate today’s contentious world.

While he is an accomplished professor with graduate degrees from Harvard and Columbia, Simran uses personal stories, dad-jokes, and a love for pop culture to connect with people where they are. That’s because he understands that marginalized groups will not lecture their way into dignity and that empathy is really built when we connect with one another as human beings. Simran connects with a diversity of audiences by bantering on Twitter (where he has 80,000+ followers), doing on-air commentary on programs like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and hosting Spirited, a new podcast on faith and spirituality. Audiences are disarmed by Simran’s humor and inspired by his hopeful vision for a more loving, peaceful world. 

In June 2020, he launched a new YouTube series via Religion News Service “Becoming Less Racist: Lighting the Path to Anti-Racism.”Guests have included Rev Jacqui Lewis, Austin Channing Brown, and  Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Current Appointments: 

  • Visiting Professor, Union Seminary
  • Columnist, Religion News Service
  • Host, ‘Spirited’
  • Senior Fellow, Sikh Coalition
  • Chaplain, New York University & Columbia University
  • Governor’s Interfaith Advisory Committee 
  • Elizabeth Warren’s Interfaith Advisory Council

Popular Virtual Topics

Cultivating Empathy

Simran sincerely believes that empathy is a balm for our times. In this session, he uses personal story and interactive exercises to show how building empathy can transform us for the better, and he offers practical tips on what we can do to bring our values to bear.

Anti-Racism as Self-Development

Simran weaves together personal experiences with racism, his work in the racial justice space, and his analytical understanding as a scholar to speak about the power of engaging anti-racism as a way to improve our own lives and communities.

Interactive Sessions on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Simran has adapted and consolidated best practices over the years from dozens of trainings to various audiences — corporate, university, non-profit, educators. His sessions offer frameworks for understanding key concepts, how we relate to them personally, and how we can apply this new knowledge to improve our communities and cultures. 

Popular Live Topics

Fighting Hate With Love: What It Really Takes to Love Our Neighbors

We all say that we choose love over hate. But when push comes to shove, we realize that it’s easier said than done. Our love is not authentic because it’s not rooted deeply enough. As a turbaned and bearded Sikh man, Simran has been subjected to racism his whole life. He has also been working on the frontlines of hate violence for more than a decade. And yet, he has managed to avoid falling into the toxic trap of hate and anger. In this session, he will draw from his personal experiences and hate incidents he has witnessed firsthand to share the wisdom he has gained on what it really takes to choose love over hate.

Turbans, Beards, and Brown Skin: What It’s Like to be a Targeted Minority in Modern America

An important part aspect of diversity and inclusion is to honor other people’s experiences. But how can we fully connect with people who we don’t even know? In this session, Simran gives everyone a chance to walk in his shoes, taking people on a unique journey based on his own personal experiences – from his encounters with racism while growing up in South Texas to becoming an activist who advocates for equality and justice. 

Cultivating Empathy: How Practicing Compassion Can Calm Our Outrage

There’s a lot to be angry about these days. And as our world becomes increasingly polarized, we all find ourselves being pulled at the seams. Having come out of such outrage and having found calmness, Simran believes he has an answer that can lessen our frustrations and increase our quality of life. That antidote is empathy. Simran will share stories of how empathy has helped save him from darkness and daily practices that everyone can incorporate to build their own reservoirs of compassion. 

Representation Matters: What Being Seen Means to The Marginalized

Can you imagine what it feels like to be so invisible that people don’t even know who you are? Now imagine how empowering it would be, after decades of being invisiblized, to finally see yourself publicly represented. So much of Simran’s work has centered around increasing visibility of Sikhs, not just to build community power, but also as a matter of survival. Simran will share accounts of his trailblazing efforts and historic firsts in diverse fields – such as children’s literature, podcasting, and chaplaincy – as a way of illustrating the power of representation, and why it matters so much to so many. 


Religion News

Becoming Less Racist: Lighting the Path to Anti-Racism

The Bull Horn

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is the author of Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Run a Marathon, which is the first-ever children’s book from a major U.S. publisher (Penguin Random House) to center a Sikh story.

Anti-Racism as a Mindful Practice

Workshop Information for Dr. Singh’s powerful anti-racism and empathy building class.