Tucson only has a few dozen members of the Sikh religion, but an active participant says the small community shares in the pain and suffering that the recent Wisconsin shooting brought to millions of Sikhs around the world.
Nirvair Kaur Khalsa says the mass shooting and killing of six congregants at a temple near Milwaukee on August 5th has raised concerns for the religious minority.
"We were all just really, really shocked. It was hard to understand what was going on, it was hard to get information at that time, there wasn't a whole lot of information coming," Khalsa says.
Sikhism was founded in India in 1500 and teaches that there is one God. Khalsa says all people are believed to be equals, regardless of different traits such as gender or wealth.
The faith forbids that members cut their hair and men typically stand out by their turbans. Many people confuse them with Muslims, although they are unrelated religions.
According to the Sikh Coalition, hundreds of hate attacks on Sikhs have been reported since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
A man in Mesa, Arizona was shot and killed a few days after 9/11. In the Wisconsin attack, officials say the 40-year-old gunman was a white supremacist.
But Khalsa hopes to raise awareness and improve communication between all members of the community. Local Sikhs don't have their own temple (gurdwara), but they are holding a memorial service that's open to the public on Sunday, August 12th at 10:30 a.m.
It's happening at Khalsa Montessori School, which was founded by Nirvair Kaur Khalsa in the 1970s and is located at 3701 East River Road in Tucson.
Khalsa hopes one of her messages resonates loud and clear.
"If the people of goodwill would unite with each other and work together," she says, "we could do good things in the world."