Growing up Sikh in the Midwest
Sep 23, 2020 7:30 AM
JJ Kapur
Growing up Sikh in the Midwest

"JJ Kapur is a junior at Stanford University majoring in Theater and Performance Studies and Minoring in Psychology. Currently he is back home and taking classes over Zoom in Des Moines, Iowa—where he was born and raised. When asked, “Is this heaven?” JJ’s reply is always: “No, this is Iowa.” 
In high school, JJ became the first turbaned Sikh to champion an event at the National Speech and Debate Tournament. His desire to share his community’s story led him to found the Iowa Sikh TURBAN-ATORS, a youth-led community service group focused on “turban-ating” the negative stigma surrounding Sikhism. JJ’s work advocating for the Sikh community has earned him the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award, ACLU Youth Advocacy Award, and West Des Moines Emerging Citizen of 2018."
In college, JJ loves exploring the intersection of theater and psychology, especially how the theater can be used as a platform for healing. JJ’s desire to bridge both fields of study led him to found “Sikhs in the Spotlight”: a youth-led organization that uses theatrical vignettes to shine the spotlight on issues affecting the mental health of Sikh Americans. When JJ’s not writing Zoom theater skits, you can find him sipping a cup of chai with his family, watching reruns of Seinfeld and M*A*S*H, or learning a Beatles song on his guitar."

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