This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (February 2021)
This biographical article is written like a résumé. (February 2021)
Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is an American educator, writer, and activist, who frequently offers comment and analysis on religion, racism, and justice. Singh is a columnist for Religion News Service, host of the "Spirited" podcast, and a visiting professor of religion at Union Theological Seminary. His children's book, Fauja Singh Keeps Going, tells "the true story of the oldest person ever to run a marathon," Fauja Singh.
Singh was a Luce/ACLS Fellow for Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs and a Visiting Scholar at New York University's Center for Religion and Media in 2017-2019. The Harvard Divinity School Alumni/Alumnae Council selected Singh as a 2018 Peter J. Gomes STB ’68 Memorial honoree, an award which "recognizes distinguished HDS alumni whose excellence in life, work, and service pays homage to the mission and values of Peter J. Gomes STB ’68 and Harvard Divinity School." He is also New York University's Sikh chaplain. He currently serves on Governor Andrew Cuomo's Interfaith Advisory Committee for the State of New York and was named as a faith leader to watch in 2018 by the Center for American Progress.
Singh was the 2017–2018 Henry R. Luce Initiative in Religion in International Affairs Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Religion and Media at New York University and an assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas from 2016-2018. In 2016, he received the Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award from Auburn Seminary, which "recognize[s] courageous individuals who dedicate their lives to advocating for justice and peace in our world." He is a Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition and a Truman National Security Fellow for the Truman National Security Project. He joined the Religion News Association Board of Directors in 2017, and became a featured columnist for Religion News Service in 2018.
He is the Dialogue Institute for the Southwest's 2017 Educator of the Year. His research historicizing the formation of the Sikh tradition around the earliest memories of its founder, Guru Nanak, was funded by the Rachel F. and Scott McDermott Fellowship for the American Institute of Indian Studies. In 2013, he received Columbia University's Presidential Award for Teaching by a Graduate Student.
Singh has addressed national audiences to promote awareness of Sikhism and its role in the contemporary United States. In 2014, he delivered a speech entitled "Guru Nanak at the White House" as part of President Barack Obama's celebration of Guru Nanak and Sikh Americans. In 2015, he delivered an address, "Seva Is More Than Service," as part of the Pentagon's second commemoration of Sikhs' service to American national security. In 2017, he spoke at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit as part of a discussion on "Reimagining Faith and Civic Life in the 21st Century."
Singh is the author of Sikhism: A Reporter's Guide, a resource intended to help religion journalists report on the Sikh tradition. He appeared on NBC News' ''Life Stories'', discussing his multiple identities as an American, a Sikh, a Texan, a South Asian, and a Spurs fan. (He has also faced racially and religiously-motivated hate speech as a Spurs fan.) He also contributed articles on Sikh life to the Daily Beast. Singh talked to ABC News about Sikhs' struggle for acceptance and recognition on the fifth anniversary of the Oak Creek Temple mass shooting. He appeared as part of comedian Hasan Minaj's Daily Show sketch on distinguishing between Sikhs and Muslims.
In July 2017, Singh was targeted by the online platform Campus Reform, which mistakenly reported that Singh had posed for a photo in which he gave double middle fingers to Trump Tower in New York City. (The photo in question was of another Sikh man wearing a turban.) Singh received threatening and hateful messages via social media in response to Campus Reform's article.
Work for equity and justice
Singh writes and speaks frequently on equity and justice at the intersections of religion, race, discrimination, and civil rights. He has written pieces on ending religious and racial intolerance in schools for Time Magazine, hate crime reporting for the New York Times, Muslim labor justice for the Washington Post, and media profiling of Muslims and Sikhs for the Huffington Post.
Singh drafted a boilerplate letter of support for Muslim Americans in response to the 45th president's executive orders limiting travel from Muslim-majority countries. Singh later spoke out against Islamphobic remarks made against him while he ran the 2016 New York City Marathon.
With Jasdeep Singh, a physician from New York City, Singh dedicated his participation in the 2017 New York City Marathon to Colin Kaepernick's efforts to oppose police violence and promote racial equality.
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- Singh, Simran Jeet; Singh, Prabhjot (2012-08-24). "Opinion | Hate Crime Reporting Shouldn't Ignore American Sikhs". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- Singh, Simran Jeet (2015-06-01). "A Muslim woman beat Abercrombie & Fitch. Why her Supreme Court victory is a win for all Americans". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- Singh, Simran Jeet (2012-07-11). "Islamophobia, Sikhophobia and Media Profiling". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- "Letter of Support for Muslim Communities – The Revealer". wp.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- "Sikh scholar Simran Jeet Singh speaks out against Islamophobic remarks he heard at NYC marathon". Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- Kuruvilla, Carol (2017-11-07). "Sikh Marathon Runners Honor Colin Kaepernick During Race". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-30.