All posts tagged: LAO America

The Potomac is not the Mekong

The Potomac is not the Mekong. If I close my eyes, I don’t see eagles on the hunt Soaring over a river The color of muted grey clouds. I see fishermen below, Their bamboo rafts floating On a sunset’s golden reflection, The river shining and flowing Between me and Nong Khai. I smell not Wet pavement And overpriced steak But the aromatic pungent smell Of padaek glazed grilled duck Sold for 15,000 kip. If I cover my ears I don’t hear the deafening rush Of trafficked destined cars On Woodrow Wilson Bridge But the harmonic chanting Of Wat Sop’s saffron monks. I hear the sputtering motorbikes Of young lovers Riding through empty roads, Leaving echoes of laughter And clouds of dust In their wake At dusk. The Potomac is not the Mekong Just another chapter, Some river, In a once empty book. ~~ In A.Ou’s own voice:

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 …