What are the stories Southeast Asians carry from the Mekong to the Mississippi? In Minnesota's first Southeast Asian-authored anthology of stories poetry and artwork the Southeast Asian diaspora storytelling (SEADS) initiative aims to reclaim honor and amplify the lived experiences of veterans mothers activists scholars and other historically invisible narratives of Hmong Khmer Lao and Việt community members.
From childhood sweethearts to memories of the CIA secret armies to first winters in Minnesota these stories explore long-buried edges of war and grief memories and the resilience to rebuild and reimagine the lives our elders believe we could have for ourselves. The high costs and the unexpected treasures. These stories leave the reader with a renewed sense of hope and an understanding of the urgency for everyone to learn from our shared history so that future generations do not have to repeat it.
SEADS is a collaboration in partnership with The SEAD Project ManForward mk nguyen and Narate Keys. To learn more visit www.theseadproject.org.
Chanida Phaengdara Potter is a 1.5 Lao American refugee, mother, amplifier and narrative storyteller. The founding editor of Little Laos on the Prairie and executive director of The SEAD Project, she has a BA in Global Studies and Media Studies from the University of Minnesota and an MPA from Hamline University.
mk nguyen, a second generation Viet mother in Mni Sota based in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul, loves talking to people about regeneration of peoplehood and planet.
Narate Keys, self-published author of The Good Life, is a mother, Cambodian poet and spoken word artist based in St. Paul. Her family lived through the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia; she was born in a Thai refugee camp.
Pheng Thao, part of the 1.5 generation from Laos, is a mental health practitioner and founding director of ManForward and Txivneej Yawg. He facilitates trainings on gender based violence, coordinates Men and Masculine Folks Network, and serves as a trustee on the Minnesota Women’s Foundation.