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Catalyst Radio: learning more about the local Sikh community

Host Katie Gordon speaks with Rishi Makkar, a local business owner and follower of the Sikh religion, about misunderstanding and violence toward the Sikh community, and how we can overcome that fear and hatred by breaking bread with one another.

About Catalyst Radio

Catalyst Radio is the weekly public affairs radio program of Community Media Center, with co-hosts Michele Fife, Katie Gordon and Jessica Young. The program is a feature of WYCE and The Rapidian and includes interviews with organizations and people working on community issues, public affairs, social justice, and media literacy. You can catch it on air at noon every Friday on WYCE 88.1 FM or streaming on the Grand Rapids Community Media Center Website.


Past Catalyst Radio episodes are archived on The Rapidian.

Rishi Makkar in studio at WYCE

Rishi Makkar in studio at WYCE /Katie Gordon

Don't have time to listen now? Download the mp3 and listen at your leisure.

In December 2015, a Grand Rapids sales clerk who was Sikh was targeted in a racially and religiously motivated shooting attack and robbery. Because of this local incident of violence sparked by misunderstanding and stereotyping of someone perceived as "other," host Katie Gordon speaks with Rishi Makkar, a local business owner and follower of the Sikh religion. They discuss what happened in December, why it should be considered a hate crime, and how communities can respond to events like this by getting to know their neighbors. Makkar shares the values and beliefs of Sikhism, and shows how it is uniquely equipped to respond to events like this by promoting equality, understanding, religious freedom, and inclusive communities.

Learn more about The Sikh Society of West Michigan-Sikh Gurdwara

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