Author: littlelaosontheprairie

APAHM and The Erasure of Laotian America

By Vimala D. Phongsavanh, Organizing Director of Congressional Progressive Caucus Center When a crisis as enormous as a global pandemic emerges, it hits underrepresented and underserved communities like the Laotian American communities the hardest. We currently see the gaps in our country’s broken systems that weren’t built to serve those of us who need it the most.  Since our arrival as refugees to the country in the late 1970s, Laotian American communities have seen firsthand how this country can break your heart, but resilience in the face of tragedy has been built in us, and we continue forward. The pathway to becoming a Laotian American started with America’s Secret War in Laos, which resulted in Laos being the most heavily bombed country per capita in the history of the world. Many of us were forced to flee for our lives and were welcomed to the U.S. by failing refugee resettlement programs, which marshalled many of us into low wage jobs with no health insurance, sick leave, or other benefits. The next generation of Laotian Americans …

Reflection Upon a White Lotus

In quiet reflection grows the white lotus Unfolding within and without on Nam Ou River Blossoming into perfection Surface stilled Motionless Ceasing to flow away in radiant expectation Shimmering Dazzling petals amongst the creative cosmos Earnestly waiting for the enlightenment of  a thoughtful divine breath Kaysone Syonesa, is a Lao American theatre artist and playwright with a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota. She has a theatre background as a performing artist/actor, director, set/costume designer and playwright. She has performed with various theatre companies in the Twin Cities with recent productions from Pangea World Theater, Teatro del Pueblo and Green T Productions. She has also directed and devised original theatre work called Sticky Rice Drama with artists and youth of color as a platform to uplift diverse and underrepresented voices in the Twin Cities. Kaysone has strengths in bringing communities together to create space and devise work to uncover and imaginatively tell stories that reflect the human experiences. In the past she was inspired to raise the artistic voices of women of …