Author: Bryan Thao Worra

Good Communities Come From Data Disaggregation

Even though we’ve come a long way, as Southeast Asian American refugee communities getting ready for our 45th year in the US, there are still many hurdles for us. Recently, the Chinese have been actively mobilizing to undermine the strides we’ve made by making national efforts to eliminate the collection of statistics and data so necessary to understand which policies have been effective in narrowing the educational achievement gap, and which have not. It should be obvious just saying it aloud: Good communities come from good data. In an era when everyone is concerned about the abuse of our social safety nets and education systems, as well as fake news, we should all be committed to gathering the most accurate information about our success and challenges. We should be more than willing to invest in the collection of data that ensures we’re seeing the real picture of how some communities succeed and others do not. Lao Minnesotans are among the many who have a direct stake in this issue. The phrase most commonly associated with …

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Lao Films and Films about Laos

This week kicks off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, so you can expect lots of Celebrasian puns in various news articles. Not to be confused with Celebraisin, which would be one of those dancing claymation raisins from the 80s. This year marks the 40th anniversary since the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was recognized by Congress and the White House in 1978. For those of you who were curious, the month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. And of course, everyone knows the significance of May to Lao because of the incredible lessons we all get about our journey to America in history class, right? Recently, community members have been asking Little Laos on the Prairie for movie recommendations involving Laos, especially in the aftermath of that Angelina Jolie movie about our …