Serve2Unite is a Milwaukee-based organization created by Pardeep Kaleka after his father and five others were killed in a shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012.
Under the direction of Arts @ Large, an umbrella arts-education non-profit organization, Serve2Unite helps young people address the pressing issues of violence in their communities through service learning, artistic projects, and guided dialogue.
The $50,000 Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize was established in 2006 by Ishar Bindra and family and named for the founder of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak believed that all humans are equal, regardless of color, ethnicity, nationality or gender. Bestowed every two years, the first prize was awarded in 2008 to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Pardeep Kaleka is an inner-city school teacher and former police officer who coordinates the Serve2Unite program. In just three years, Serve2Unite has expanded its programming from two Milwaukee schools to 20, with more than 600 active participants in its student leadership chapters.
“Now more than ever, I can think of no work that is more important,” said Stuart Rabinowitz,
President of Hofstra University. “[Serve2Unite’s] unwavering commitment is a testament to the principles Guru Nanak represents.”
“We at Serve2Unite are extremely honored and humbled by the award,” Kaleka said.