Roots & Wings

A Letter to Educators Committed to Diversity

In this global environment the need for students to understand and appreciate diversity is a new challenge that educators face. Thus, it is my pleasure to introduce Roots & Wings, a 30 minute award-winning documentary on the struggles and spirit of young Sikhs in America to your school. The film questions the notion of forced assimilation into the American “melting pot.” It explores the idea of whether one has to cut off one’s roots in order to soar high on one’s wings. Angad Singh, the teenage director reveals how Sikh youth face challenges on account of their unique identity that is widely misunderstood in the U.S.A.


This film speaks to anybody who faces challenges on account of being “different,” whether visibly or ideologically. The film persuades students to expand their horizons and think beyond stereotypes.


The Lesson Plan: Ms. Shelby Steinhauer, a French teacher in Atlanta, GA built a 3-hour curriculum around the documentary. Spread over three to five days, she achieved tremendous success in engaging her students in a constructive dialogue around “What does being an American mean in today’s multicultural society?”


Feedback from the students revealed that 99% of them felt that their school system does not do enough to promote multicultural diversity. Letters from students following the curriculum revealed that a tremendous shift in their thinking had taken place. The students seemed more open and compassionate to others from different cultures and to individuals of different mindsets.


Ms. Steinhauer’s lesson plan is included. This plan can be customized and can be applied: in the context of bullying, cultural exchange, foreign language study, world history, social sciences, world religions or other areas of relevance.


I request the educators to please share their experience of this film with the world community. Photographs of the screening, letters to the filmmaker, individual and collective responses will inspire other schools to take a step in this direction.


For the lesson plan or any questions please contact us.




Inni Kaur

Sikh Education & Cultural Foundation