All posts filed under: Community

Dear Community: Our Statement Against Supremacy in America

Dear Colleagues and Community: The Southeast Asian Development Project (SEAD) is disheartened and angered by the senseless acts of violence, hatred and bigotry that took the life of Heather Heyer, injured many activists, and uprooted Charlottesville and other communities across the nation. What is more troubling is our failure to address our complacency in being silent on issues like Southeast Asian deportations; the killings of unarmed Black people by police, and rampant hate crimes as a result of our country’s Islamophobia. History has proven to us that communities of color, refugees and those traditionally marginalized and oppressed by White supremacy will continue to be harmed and disenfranchised unless we speak up and take action as organizations and leaders that work directly with our affected communities. When damaging mentalities and manifestos of White supremacy are internalized in our society, our generation pays for it. As an organization founded by and for Southeast Asian diaspora empowerment, we know what discrimination and violence has done to dehumanize each other and hinder our collective progress. We find the rise of …

RECAP: 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference in Little Cambodia

For many, Lowell might not be the first city that comes to mind when it comes to the Southeast Asian diaspora that began over 40 years ago with the end of the Vietnam War. But this industrial town is home to the second largest Khmer community in the United States as well as many Lao, Hmong, and Vietnamese. And it’s here that hundreds gathered recently for the 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference at the University of Massachussetts Lowell. This was my first visit ever to Lowell in my 26 years as a poet, and it was eye-opening to see what a thriving Khmertown can look like, with well-kept shops, restaurants and community organizations such as the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association rebuilding their lives and preserving their traditions as best they can. This isn’t to say there aren’t challenges. The community has very clear stakes in immigration reform and education reform, as seen in many of the topics that drew the most attention during the conference. Stretching over three days, the conference has been working …