Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Visiting Arizona!

This July 4th weekend I'll be visiting Phoenix, Arizona to document the Wat Lao out there and the Lao community out there. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you out there!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Visit To Space Aliens

A visit to the Space Aliens bar and grill in Minnesota that caters to those people in the mood for space aliens and barbecue.

Photostudy: Wat Lao Monticello, 2552

From the recent festival highlighting the penultimate life of the Buddha as Prince Vesantara. This festival took place on June 13th near Monticello, Minnesota and was well attended with good weather throughout the event.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Haiku Movie Reviews!

It's been a while:

Wolverine: Origins
Good friends, changing lives,
Living so amazingly?
A surprising drag.

Star Trek
Going back in time,
Change your stories but not friends.
Live long and wonder.

Terminator: Salvation
Who are the soulless?
On one side or another,
Machines change the game.

Drag Me To Hell
Getting what you want
Comes with a price to beware.
Even gifts cause woes.

Fulfill your promise.
Beware seeking your heroes.
Some dogs love freely.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

[WI] June 12th Luk Lao Lan Lao Fundraiser

A Luk Lao Lan Lao fundraiser event will be held on June 12th at Paulos (5121 W Howard Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53220). The entry fee is $8.00 but there will be free snacks and drinks available for purchase.

Their mission is to help the Lao Community of Wisconsin to preserve the Lao culture through the teaching of Lao music and art. It will serve as an educational platform for the teaching of Lao culture of all ethnic groups, particularly Lao Mainlander, Lao Middle Lander and Lao Highlander youth through different activities.

If you have any question, feel free to contact:
Pakayphet Phakeovilay (La), Advisor
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Upward Bound TRIO & Pre-College Program
P.O.Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Phone: 414-229-5157
Fax: 414-229-2859

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Performing this week at the Loft

June 10th: Kulture Trust!: An Evening of Mixed Arts to Benefit Kulture Klub

Minnesota State Arts Board grantees will present an evening of visual art, writing, and music, to benefit Kulture Klub, an independent nonprofit arts organization that brings together homeless teens and artists.

Each artist will showcase recent work in a five-minute presentation. Not your usual placid reading, this event will be varied and fast-paced, with something to please all kinds of artistic tastes.

The event will take place on Wednesday, June 10th, at the Loft Literary Center, located in Suite 200, Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, 55415. Open Book is located on Washington Avenue near the University of Minnesota's West Bank campus. For further information: www.loft.org. Presentation begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception with food and drinks. Admission will be by donation (suggested donation: $10-15). Kulture Klub Collaborative brings together artists and homeless teens at YouthLink/Project OffStreets, a drop-in center located in downtown Minneapolis. You can find out more information at www.kultureklub.org.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dr. Mai Na Lee Lecture: Women's Role in the Shaping of the Hmong People

When I first began my journey searching for my family, Dr. Mai Na Lee was a pivotal figure in many aspects of my life, who was exceptionally helpful and instrumental in developing my understanding of the community life of the Hmong, and even today I find her perspective and approach one of the most important and interesting to watch. She's an exceptional thinker who's among the top in her field, from my personal point of view. If you get a chance to see her speak this week, I strongly encourage it.

Hmong Women Speakers Series Featuring:
Dr. Mai Na Lee Women's Role in the Shaping of the Hmong People

When: Thursday, June 11, 2009
Time: 12 pm NOON - 1:30 pm
Where: Hoa Bien Restaurant, 1105 University Ave W., St. Paul, MN

$50 Corporate/Professional
$30 Nonprofit/Community
$25 Student

When Mai Na Lee came to the United States with her family in 1980, she was 12 years old and had never held a pencil. Twenty-five years later, she became the first Hmong American to earn a Ph.D. in history. Today, as an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota , she is the first in the nation to develop and teach college-level courses on Hmong history.

Lee was recruited to teach at the University by Ann Waltner, professor of history and director of the Institute for Advanced Study at the University. "I wanted to recruit Mai Na because Hmong history is extremely important in the local context and because she is an excellent historian," Waltner explains.

Lee was a post-doctoral fellow at the U in 2005 and 2006 and last fall accepted a tenure-track position. Lee's personal history includes other firsts.

She was the first among her four siblings to master English, to graduate from high school (Humboldt in St. Paul ), and to receive her B.A. (Carleton College) and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees (University of Wisconsin-Madison). She was also the first Hmong to receive a $20,000 Susan B. Anthony Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, which enabled her to finish her dissertation.

"This was a great honor for me," Lee says. "It was the first time the word pioneer was attributed to me. I love that title. I am a great admirer of Susan B. Anthony and other American women who were pioneers in their struggles for civil rights."

The manuscript for her dissertation, titled The Dream of the Hmong Kingdom: Resistance, Collaboration and Legitimation Under French Rule, will be published as a book next summer.

Lee modestly acknowledges that she has come a long way since leaving Laos and the refugee camps of Thailand and arriving in the small town of Omro, outside Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

She had had no previous schooling but was placed in the third grade and learned English very quickly. This stood her in good stead when the family, feeling lonely and isolated as the only Hmong in Omro, moved to the Twin Cities, where other relatives and friends had settled.

RSVP to info@hmongwomenachieve.org or by calling 651.276.0957.
Please note that you can pay and register on the day of the event.

Preparing for the DTV Transition in Minnesota

On Saturday, June 6th, Lao Assistance Staff and youth volunteers along with representatives from Mn Media Empowerment Project, Grass Roots Solutions and Main Street Project came together to inform the community about resources available regarding the transition to DTV on June 12th at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Despite the cold and rain, everyone was happy to have the opportunity to talk to visitors from all over the Twin Cities and received great responses from many who were curious about their efforts.

The Lao Assistance Center in Minneapolis still has a DTV Assistance Center to help Laotians prepare for the Digital TV Transition. This summer, television stations will make the final transition towards Digital Television and many older TV sets will no longer function without a signal converter box.

If you know someone who wants to know what kind of a converter box to get, where to get one and how to install one properly, contact the Lao Assistance Center at (612) 374-4967 or e-mail chongchith@laocenter.org. You can also drop in at 503 Irving Ave. N in Minneapolis during regular business hours.

On June 12th, the day the nation turns off analog TV, the DTV Social Justice Coalition will be hosting a fun community event at Powderhorn Park to ensure that everyone is prepared for the DTV transition. Twin Cities residents will have a chance to apply for coupons, exchange their government coupons for a converter box, see live demonstrations on how to hook it up, and enjoy some food. Help will be provided in multiple languages.

The DTV Transition has been a stumbling block for many communities and it has threatened to decrease access to television. The current costs associated with a DTV transition, including the purchase of a converter box could leave millions of viewers in the dark.

“Many of the folks that have been on the outside looking in around DTV have been
communities of color and low income communities,” said Steven Renderos, Project
Coordinator for the MN Media Empowerment Project. “Even now there are families that
can’t afford the switch and that’s why having the No-Cost Box is so important.”

The DTV Coalition—members of the Media Action Grassroots Network teamed up with
Mosquito Productions, a local electronics retailer, to provide a No-Cost Box, which helps low-income families afford the cost of purchasing the converter box.

This DTV Day of Action is a nationally coordinated effort by the Media Action Grassroots Network highlighting the importance of a socially responsible DTV transition.