All posts tagged: Interviews

In the midst of a tight race, OH Senate candidate Tina Maharath shares her thoughts on the journey so far

This past Tuesday was a time full of emotions for many – it was the night of the 2018 midterm elections in the U.S. And we know many Little Laos’ers eagerly cast their ballots. Toward the end of the night, there were a few high-profile races facing possible vote recount, something that often only occurs when the results of an election are extremely close. We saw this with Georgia’s gubernatorial race and Florida’s senatorial and gubernatorial races. In my home state of Ohio, Lao American candidate for Ohio Senate District 3 Tina Maharath is also finding that her legislative race could be headed toward recount. Maharath is the Democratic candidate for the race, and she had a somewhat untraditional route to her candidacy that she discusses below. The numbers for Maharath’s Ohio Senate race currently stand at 64,176 votes for her, and 64,505 for her Republican opponent Anne Gonzales as of November 8th. Maharath is down just 329 votes, and there are still provisional ballots to be counted. We know many Little Laos’ers have been …

Saymoukda Vongsay unpacks family, migration and identity in debut children’s book

When writer Saymoukda Vongsay first wrote “When Everything Was Everything,” a poem depicting the Lao refugee experience, she didn’t expect it to transform into what it is today. In her first children’s book of the same name, Vongsay reveals glimpses into her childhood as a young Lao girl navigating America with her displaced family. Touching on universal and present topics like refugee experiences, class, and family,  the story connects with children and adults of all ages. Although the book was just released this past month, its inception spans even farther. Vongsay said she wrote “When Everything Was Everything” around seven years ago at a writers workshop for women of color as a last-ditch “hurrah” before quitting her writing career. One prompt asked the group to think of a time in their lives that involved a lot of movement or migration and Vongsay said she thought back to her early years. “I just created this list of all the times I felt my family moved or migrated,” she said. “I was also looking up movement in other …