All posts filed under: Iu-Mien and Khmu

What is California Senate Bill 895?

What is California Senate Bill 895 (CA SB-895)? California Senate Bill 895 (CA SB-895) is a legislative bill originally introduced by Senator Janet Nguyen (34th Senate District) on January 12, 2018 that would require the state’s Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to develop a model curriculum relative to the Vietnamese American refugee experience. On May 25, 2018, the bill was amended to include the Cambodian genocide. On August 21, 2018, the bill was amended again to include Hmong history and cultural studies. Wait, what happened to Lao/Laotian experiences? The bill does not include any specific language advocating for the development of a curriculum relevant to Lao/Laotian experiences, including those of Lao, Iu-Mien, Khmu, Tai Dam, Tai Lue, and other ethnic minorities from Laos (besides the Hmong). If the bill was introduced back in January, how did we just hear about this now? On Thursday, August 23, 2018, the LA Times released an article about the bill. The article was shared on social media and elicited a wave of anger and discontent in the Lao/Laotian community for …

She/They

Written by: Janit Von Saechao In pristine-white Portland, I am seen as progressive for being a person with brown skin yet privy to this piece of my identity. What they don’t know is that when I say, “My name is Janit Saechao and my pronouns are she/they.” I mean She, as in We We, the ones assigned women while given no words for otherwise. We, as in all the non-men who have wondered which is the better way to survive– to silence ourselves for centuries of tradition or to speak our truths and risk our lives. They, as in Us They, as in those who came before me. They, as in all my ancestors who listened to Their own hearts and trusted Their own beings. They are my chain smoking Khmu aunties in Laos who puff tobacco through hand rolled cigarettes, laughing on the sides of dusty Luang Prabang roads at the colonizers with cameras who won’t leave Them alone. They are my single Mien femmes in America making more money than all the men …