All posts filed under: Lao American

Podcast aims to heal Lao community through conversation

Rita Phetmixay wants you to make your mental health a priority. As a self-described politicized healing practitioner, educator, filmmaker and storyteller, Phetmixay aims to create a space for the Lao diaspora to heal through her new podcast, “Healing Out Lao’d.” With this project, Phetmixay said she wants to raise awareness of Lao American stories of intergenerational healing and resilience, provide a place to process grief and destigmatize the idea of asking for help. “I’m hoping that people can finally say, ‘Hey, I’m not weak for asking for support and I’m not weak for being soft or being in my feelings or being sensitive. I’m not weak for seeking therapy or whatever healing avenue works for me,’” Phetmixsay said. ‘”I am strong, I deserve to be healed and I deserve to have access to it.’” Phetmixay was inspired to create the podcast under the mentorship of actress, director and writer Kulap Vilaysack, who also founded Laos Angeles, a community of Lao people in media and entertainment. Phetmixay said she noticed a narrative of trauma surrounded the …

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 …