Friday, July 9, 2021
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FEATURED PLENARY 9:00-10:15a PT
F1. Southeast Asian American Communities and the Actions Against Deportations and Carceral Violence (access link)
cartoonist, artist, activist
filmmaker, activist, educator
Borey “Peejay” Ai (he/him/his)
Ke Lam (he/him/his)
Asian Prisoner Support Committee
CONCURRENT SESSIONS 10:45-12:15p PT
F2. Author Spotlight: Generation Rising: A New Politics of Southeast Asian American Activism (Register for full access)
Author: Loan Thi Dao (she/her/hers), Saint Mary’s College of California
Critic: Yvonne Y. Kwan (she/her/hers), San Jose State University
This Author Spotlight will be a dialogue between Generation Rising author Loan Thi Dao and Yvonne Kwan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies, San Jose State University. Dao will provide a brief introduction of the book and then dialogue with Dr. Kwan about the highlighted topics in Generation Rising (East Wind Books of Berkeley 2020). The session will conclude with questions and answers from the audience.
Generation Rising traces the development of Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), a grassroots, LGBTQ+ youth-led organization of Southeast Asian Americans whose families migrated to Providence, Rhode Island, in the aftermath of the American war inn Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia. This in-depth ethnography delves into topics that challenge a new generation of community organizers today: collective identity formation, intersectional leadership development, coalitional and political campaign strategies, and enacting a vision for a transformative movement. The book explores how Southeast Asian American organizers in this historic period have navigated the intergenerational demands from both their co-ethnic community elders and social movement elders to forge their own agenda, strategies, and culture. Their story captures the struggles and growth of movement-building for youth activists fighting to be free.
F3. Community Workshop – Disrupting Displacement: Organizer Reflections on Movement Building Against Deportations in the SEA Community (Register for full access)
Facilitator: Van Anh Tran (she/her/hers), Teachers College, Columbia University
Amidst the machinations of politicians and institutions nationally and internationally, grassroots community organizations have worked over the years to provide direct services, education, advocacy, and organizing capacity on behalf of Southeast Asian communities. As SEA deportations have increased, community organizers at the local level and in coalitions nationally have collaborated to coordinate responses and develop sustained campaigns against SEA deportation. This presentation shares context on the state of SEA deportations and policies under the current administration, brief reflections from community organizers in Boston about local organizing and recent wins during COVID, and a preview of an upcoming Northeast Region SEA Deportation defense curricular toolkit that shares what our coalition has learned and built out for those who are engaging and/or wanting to engage in this work.
F4. Paper Panel – Fast Food, Slow Violence: Global Southeast Asias And The Racial Afterlives Of Empire (Register for full access)
*Donut Empires: Refugee Place-Making and the 24/7 Time of Afterwar | Wesley Attewell (he/him/his), New York University; Danielle Wong (she/her/hers), University of British Columbia
*Moving Dislocations: Tim Hortons’ Transpacific Market Expansion as Familial Repair | John Paul Catungal (he/him/his), University of British Columbia
*Maria Orosa and the Decolonial Promise of Philippine Native Food Science, 1941-1945 | Christine Peralta (she/her/hers), Amherst College
Discussant: Y-Dang Troeung (she/her/hers), University of British Columbia
What does food illuminate about how empire works in and through the everyday lives of global Southeast Asian subjects and their place in colonial, national, regional and diasporic histories and imaginaries? Taking a transnational approach centered on the embodied practices of food preparation and consumption, this panel reflects on how the everyday work of nourishing/sustaining Southeast Asian life is necessarily entangled with broader histories and geographies of global mobility, racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and transpacific imperialism. Drawing on close readings of diverse sources – from archival documents and journalistic writings to promotional campaigns and cultural production – the different papers featured in this interdisciplinary panel all strive to think relationally across the different registers of food: material, emotional, industrial, embodied, and communitarian. They ask: how has food historically served as an anchor for community-building, relation-making and survival? What are the political stakes of food and food preparation in a time of global pandemic, resurgent white supremacy and fascism, and intensifying race war? Together, and in their respective ways, the panelists point to how food functions – often simultaneously – as a conduit of power and violence, a terrain of struggle and resistance, and a key site through which ‘global Southeast Asias’ as a geopolitical formation is negotiated and lived.
F5. Roundtable/Dialogue – Diasporic Futures Past: Southeast Asian/American Experiences as Prologues to Scholarly Research and Creative Projects (Register for full access)
Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza (any pronouns), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Lina Chhun (she/her/hers), University of Texas at Austin
Patricia Nguyen (they/them/theirs/she/her/hers), Northwestern University
Jewel Pereya (she/her/hers), Harvard University
Kong Pheng Pha (he/him/his), University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Linda M. Pheng (she/her/hers), University of Wisconsin-Madison
How do our own experiences as Southeast Asian/Americans inspire research interests and artistic themes in the production of knowledge? In “Diasporic Futures Past,” a collective of scholars/artists/activists come together to share their work and their journey pursuing graduate degrees. Panelists come from diverse areas of study that include history, performance studies, literature, media, education, and social science. The panelists are situated in both public and private universities and colleges across the continental U.S. Our aim is to share different pathways into graduate study and creative research that highlights the richness of Southeast Asian/American lifeways. Join us in discussing possible trajectories into masters and doctoral programs as we share strategies in translating personal, professional, and community issues into proposals toward admissions applications. Ample time will be spent to address audience questions about graduate education. Come prepared with questions or listen to the ways our personal lives are also the theories that inform knowledge in the world.
F6. Roundtable/Dialogue – Pandemic Education: COVID-19 Impact on Cambodian Community-Based Organizations (Register for full access)
Rex Yin (he/him/his), Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Kennis Yin-Mor (he/him/his), Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
Sophia Chhoeng (she/her/hers), The Cambodian Family
Ida Keovimean Borin (she/her/hers), Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
Tara Hong, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented challenges and obstacles across the United States. One sector of society that underwent an array of transitions was education and children & youth serving community-based organizations. As community assets that are supplemental resources to preschool through high school students, they are also at the crux of a health pandemic, the community, and the education system. Throughout the last year, community-based organizations took proactive and responsive initiatives to best support students, caregivers, and families in the midst of the evolving education landscape. It also elevated or exacerbated the pre-existing issues and barriers leading to multi-layered problems. In this panel-roundtable discussion, three Cambodian-led and serving organizations from three states (Pennsylvania, California, and Massachusetts) will reflect on the educational impact of COVID-19, issues that arose from immigrant and refugee communities, and share their hopes and aspirations for post-pandemic community-based education and enrichment. Across different regions, the panel hopes to identify intersections within the Cambodian diaspora and educational experiences, and also acknowledging how regional socio-cultural and socioeconomic contexts also reveal different circumstances that the Cambodian community faces.
F7. Community Workshop – Rise of the Lotuses: Poetics of Intergenerational Trauma, Wisdom, and Memory (session cancelled)
Facilitator: Sabrina Im, Independent
Intergenerational trauma is a deep-rooted issue in the Southeast Asian community, and unlearning generational trauma is hard work. In order to address trauma there is a need for safe art-centered healing spaces and empowerment programs to bridge these residual narratives between the multiple generations. While there is a lot of discussion around intergenerational trauma—which are critical conversations to have—there is not enough focus on intergenerational wisdom and experiences. Intergenerational wisdom is what each of us (as descendants of refugees) have all come to hold and learn through the bodies of our communities, friends, and our families. It is where our collective resilience comes from, and what nourishes our collective experiences.
As part of collective self care and wellbeing, this workshop will cultivate conversations with the self that move beyond intergenerational trauma and towards celebrating and bringing to light intergenerational wisdom. These conversations will celebrate not only preservation, but also creation and resilience. The workshop will be framed around exploring one’s relationship to the self, their families, and the natural world through poetry.
The workshop will begin with self-introductions, community agreements, and a land acknowledgement to indigenous tribes of the region. Over the course of the workshop, participants will be asked to respond to three creative writing prompts. The first prompt will be a stream of consciousness activity, the second prompt will be a manifestation activity, and the final prompt will be a collective sharing activity. At the end of the workshop, participants will be given a take-home prompt to encourage the continuation of self-reflection and healing.
F8. Paper Panel – Navigating Education: From Assets and Bridges to Barriers and Challenges (Register for full access)
*Laotian & Khmer American Barriers and Bridges to Higher Education | Jenny Banh (she/her/hers), CSU Fresno
*Success after college: What Hmong students attribute to their post-college success | Soua Xiong (he/him/his), Lisa Vang (she/her/hers), Pa Vang (she/her/hers), Mai See Vang (she/her/hers), Xiong Vang (he/him/his), CSU Fresno
*Understanding Culture & Identity in Vietnamese Culture Nights | Katie Bui (she/her/hers), UC Santa Barbara
FEATURED PLENARY 12:30-2:00p PT
F9. Policy Priorities: Southeast Asian American Communities (access link)
Division of Equity and Social Justice | Vietnamese American Service Center
Office of Attorney General Rob Bonta, California Department of Justice
Racial Justice & Equity, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
CONCURRENT SESSIONS 2:15-3:45p PT
F10. Community Workshop – Healing SEA Monsters Through Zines (Register for full access)
Vian Nguyen (she/her/hers), Independent
Julia Huỳnh (she/her/hers), Independent
Chrisna Khuon (any pronouns), Independent
We understand the ways in which we don’t or can’t give ourselves space or time to heal, where instead, we have to bury those feelings and “move on.” Because of this, we recognize the importance of healing practices within our community, which are necessary in our fight to build a sustainable upward mobility. Our workshop will give participants an opportunity to find healing in their past by imagining a future in which members of this diaspora can develop simple healing practices through art. The first section of the workshop will include brief introductions from the presenters. Individually, they are each dedicated to creative and artistic pursuits in different mediums and together, they provide unique perspectives and experiences in navigating the Southeast Asian diaspora.
Workshop facilitators will offer attendees prompts to explore in their zines either through drawing, poetry, prose and other creative mediums. These prompts include 1) What did healing look like for you as a child? 2) What does healing look like to you now? 3) What does healing look like for your community? The themes that we explore will be decided collaboratively with attendees and workshop facilitators such as healing within your career journey, community, family, and identity. For this workshop, attendees will be able to use materials available at home such as printer paper, line paper and a pen. Participants will be able to step into a creative and healing flow as they unravel their own thoughts, journeys and blocks that may help them understand themselves and their community’s needs better. After the event, each participant will be given a zine pamphlet with instructions on how to make a zine, ways in which they can use the zine format to disseminate information and promote healing within themselves and their communities as well as the prompts and themes discussed within the workshop.
F11. Paper Panel – Embodying Identities: Reclamations, Revelations, and Renegotiations (Register for full access)
*“RESIDENT ALIEN”: U.S. Migration Beyond the Moment of Entry | Porntip Israsena Twishime (they/them/their/she/her/hers), University of Massachusetts Amherst
*Pulling the Curtain off the Southeast Asian American Experience | Kathy Vilaysith (she/her/hers), University of San Diego
*The Death and Life of Dr. Haing Ngor: The Killing Fields and the Narrative Development of the Cambodian Genocide | Emily Mitamura (she/her/hers), University of Minnesota
*Reclaiming My Lao and Southeast Asian Identity | Tommy Souravong (he/him/his), University of Wisconsin-Madison
F12. Paper Panel – Shaping the Discourse: Race and Trauma (Register for full access)
*Blackness in Translation: Writing About Race and Trauma Across Borders | Khoi Nguyen (he/him/his/they/them/their), University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
*Letters to the Future Generations: Memories of the Vietnam War from Vietnamese Americans | Alexander Tuan Anh Nguyen (he/him/his), University of San Francisco
*Biopsychosocial Effects of Chemical Warfare during the Vietnam and Korean War on Children | Kenneth Thai (he/him/his), Grace Ryu (she/her/hers), Simaron Dhillon (she/her/hers), Yvonne Shen (she/her/hers), University of Southern California
F13. Paper Panel – Building Decolonial Hmong Epistemologies (Register for full access)
*Calling our Souls: Three Insights to Trace a Hmong Epistemology for Making Academia Home | Rican Vue (she/her/hers), University of California, Riverside; Kaozong N. Mouavangsou (she/her/hers), University of California, Davis
* The Creative-Intellectual Work of Generative Poiesis in Hmong Epistemologies | May Yang (they/them/their) University of California, Merced and Hmong American Writer’s Circle
*Decolonizing Hmong Studies | Bao Lo (she/her/hers), California State University, Sacramento
Epistemic racism and sexism pervades the field of Hmong Studies. Not surprisingly, since its development, traditional disciplines such as History, Anthropology, and Area Studies, specifically Asia or Southeast Asia Studies, largely dominate the field of Hmong Studies. As Grosfoguel (2007) explains, the structure of knowledge (canon of thought in all the disciplines of the Social Sciences and Humanities in the Westernized university) is fundamentally reflective of Western epistemology. The modern colonial structures of knowledge as the foundational epistemology of traditional disciplines privilege and validate Western male epistemology, while producing epistemic violence against Hmong epistemologies, ontologies, and cosmologies (Symonds 2004; Tapp et. al 2004; Hillmer 2010). Constructing Hmong epistemology as inferior to Western knowledge forms the inherent epistemic racism and sexism that serve modernity and coloniality (Mignolo 2011, Grosfoguel 2007). Epistemic privileging occurs simultaneously with epistemic inferiority. This panel calls for a decolonization of epistemic violence against Hmong epistemologies and focuses on building decolonial Hmong epistemologies that delink from Western epistemology and questions the colonial foundation of knowledge (Mignolo 2011). Through a reclaiming and centering of Hmong epistemologies, we offer ways to resist colonialism of the academy and to restore health and dignity to our people.
F14. Roundtable/Dialogue – On the Frontline: Southeast Asian Care-Workers, Crisis, and Arts in SF, Stockton, and Oakland (Register for full access)
Moderator: Trung Nguyen (he/him/his), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Mory Chhom (she/her/hers), CERI
UyenMy Nguyen (they/them/their/she/her/hers), AMFT – EMAC, 209 APIC
Thear Chum (he/him/his), EMAC, 209 APIC, Khmer Space
Tino Lagahid III (he/him/his), Independent
This talk-story driven roundtable will discuss how Southeast Asian former/current practitioners have observed, navigated, and addressed the impacts of the unfolding health crisis on Black and brown working-class, migrant, and refugee communities in San Francisco, Stockton, and Oakland.
As racial justice thinkers have observed, the pandemic has highlighted the long-standing collaboration of the state, empire, and capitalism to deny marginalized communities the conditions of care necessary to thrive. Rather, the pandemic has made clear that our systems of care, as it is structurally arranged under predatory capitalism and ideologically reproduced in neoliberal terms in the United States, reserves health for some while denying it for others. This is especially true for Southeast Asian communities, the majority of whom are exposed to the violence of racist, anti-poor, and anti-poverty infrastructures.
With a focus on the greater Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley region, this roundtable will ask how current and former Southeast Asian practitioners have re-imagined and enacted alternative visions of care as justice work in their communities and families. Having worked directly in educational spaces, neighborhood-driven initiatives, arts organizations, and direct service organizations, panelists will share stories about how the pandemic has impacted the communities they work with, how their lived experience as Southeast Asians have shaped their understandings of the health crisis, how arts and culture empowers their work, and how they imagine more just understandings of care.
F15. Paper Panel – Transnational and Transtemporal Mobilizing (session cancelled)
F16. Roundtable/Dialogue – Rooted in Resilience: #PardonMaria and #Stand4Danny (Register for full access)
Lan Nguyen (she/her/hers), Independent
Teo Octavia Saragi (they/them/their), Independent
#PardonMaria (Lan Nguyen) tells the story of Maria Kanaka Luna, a formerly incarcerated Native Hawaiian and Filipino woman. After changing her life and gaining her freedom from a 23-year prison sentence, Maria faces a new challenge as she learns she may be deported to the Philippines.
#Stand4Danny (Teo Octavia Saragi) centers Danny Thongsy, an Oakland-based community member who is a passionate advocate for the Southeast Asian refugee and immigrant community. His work lies at the intersection of anti-deportation and criminal justice reform. Through this film, Danny will share unique stories of his upbringing while connecting his past struggles to his present commitments to the Oakland community.
F17. Community Workshop – Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines from the Island of Mindanao (Register for full access)
Jacqueline Rivera (she/her/hers), Anakbayan Silicon Valley
Veronica Duquez (she/her/hers), Anakbayan Silicon Valley
Guinevere Duquez (they/them/their), Anakbayan Silicon Valley
Anakbayan Silicon Valley will host a workshop on the topic of indigenous peoples in the Philippines from the island of Mindanao. Mindanao is a present-day stronghold of indigenous resistance. The indigenous peoples have a long history of resistance from Spanish colonization to U.S. Imperialism in the present-day. Anakbayan Silicon Valley is a comprehensive grassroots organization of the filipino youth and students fighting for national democracy in the Philippines. We are comprehensive in that Anakbayan fights for working-class youth, workers, peasants, fishermen, students, professionals, migrants, urban poor youth, church people, national minorities, and Moro youth. We recognize the Philippines to be semi-colonial and semi-feudal in character. Our fight is “national” in that we want the Philippines to be free from foreign influence, and “democratic” because we want the land and resources to be distributed fairly amongst the filipino people. Mindanao is home to large deposits of copper, gold, silver, nickel, and chromite. It’s a target for foreign mining corporations. The Philippines, like other semi-colonies, has weak environmental regulations that allow the enormously destructive practice of open-pit mining. This causes massive environmental destruction as mountaintops are literally removed and crushed in order to extract the ore within, leaving behind contaminated tailings which leach deadly chemicals into the surrounding watershed. Indigenous communities such as the Lumad and Moro people see this as nothing new. It’s part of a long legacy of colonizers seeking to push them off their ancestral land in order to extract their resources.
F18. Author Spotlight – Life is Free Verse (Register for full access)
Author: Sut PhaL (he/him/his), Independent
I am the author named Sut PhaL and wrote the book titled “Life is Free Verse”. The book is filled with existences from my very own experiences. Trials and tribulations, ramifications to succession; what thesis may define into ones such logical orientation. The hardships, unpleasant situation, environmental justice, social justice, racial justice made me who I am today, poetic justice. I was able to challenge myself everyday through dark muddy obstacles and became creative to write each chapter in this book by verses.
A wise man once said to me: “if you go by the book, you can never go wrong”.
As mentioned before I am not here for a war page only to clarify the awareness of all systems that people may likely experience. My story is to be told for inspiration and acknowledgement, so others may support the change and take aim for a brighter society.
Many invested in financial goals but throughout my history I had always invested in Peace.
— I am the Ghetto Poetic Cambodian American
FEATURED PLENARY 4:00-5:30p PT
F19. Controlling Images: History & Preservation (access link)
Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center
Founded by film director Rithy Panh, Bophana Center collects every archive images and sounds on Cambodia, and it offers free public access to this unique heritage. Bophana Center also trains young Cambodians for careers in filmmaking, broadcasting and new media. The goal is to open their mind to artistic creation and foster a personal cultural production.