Panelists and Performers

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Abdullah Thakwa Chau

Thekwa PleiramAbdullah Thakwa Chau will be giving a lunch talk on reading and writing Cham script (Akhar Thrah), while strongly advocating for cultural preservation.

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Abdulrozaq Kasom

KidAbdulrozaq Kasom is a first-generation Cham-American illustrator. He is a California native born and raised in Orange County. He holds a BFA in Illustration but focuses primarily on concept design. His area of interest in fine arts pertains to oil and digital painting. He began his career as an artist in 2014, yet also does freelance work when commissioned. He is currently aspiring to start his own line of clothing with his knowledge of design and contemporary fashion, in hopes to give back to his community. As a featured visual artist, Abdulrozaq will have his artwork on display during the conference.

 

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Aliza Kieu

Aliza KieuA first grader, Aliza Kieu performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

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Andy Kieu

Andy KieuAndy’s passion for keeping Cham tradition alive shows through his dedication in leading the San Jose Cham community towards a vision of better future and a stronger bond for Cham families and communities in the U.S. He has organized several Cham events each year that bring Cham families and communities together to carry on Champa traditions. He believes that a focus on education is the only way for the Cham community to grow stronger and brighter, so he has created an education foundation to help Cham students in a Cham village in Vietnam, especially for those who do well in school but have hardships that prevent school attendance, including disability and poverty. He also embraces and applies a similar practice to the Cham students within Cham San Jose community by granting them an award at the end of the school year. He hopes the young Cham generations will use the power of education for a better community, and will reach out with stronger voice, while maintaining the beauty of Champa heritage. Andy currently resides in San Jose, CA. He is the program director for the traditional Cham dancers from San Jose, who will perform in the afternoon.

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Anida Yoeu Ali

AnidaAnida Yoeu Ali is an artist whose works span performance, installation, video, poetry, public encounters, and global agitation. She is a first generation Muslim woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. After residing for over three decades outside of Cambodia, Ali returned to work in Phnom Penh as part of her 2011 U.S. Fulbright Fellowship. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to artmaking, her installation and performance works investigate the artistic, spiritual, and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. Her pioneering work with the critically acclaimed group “I Was Born With Two Tongues (1998-2003)” is archived with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program. Her artistic work has been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council. Anida earned her B.F.A. from University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and an M.F.A. from School of the Art Institute Chicago. She is a collaborative partner with Studio Revolt, an independent artist run media lab in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she currently resides. She won this year’s Sovereign Asia Art Prize for ‘Spiral Alley,’ from her Buddhist Bug series of photographed installation/performances. Although she cannot be with us in person, she will screen a film based upon the Buddhist Bug series, Little Mosque on the River, as well as another film incorporating her performances,1700% Project: Mistaken For Muslim.

 

 

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Anisha Dong

Anisha DongA first grader, Anisha Dong performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

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Ariya Chau

AriyaA graduate of UC Berkeley, where she received her undergraduate degree in public health, Ariya is currently studying at UC Davis School of Medicine. Her goal is to become a pediatrician. She is part of a panel on careers and the future of the Cham, where she’ll offer advice to Cham youth who wish to ultimately enter the medical profession.

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Asiroh Cham

AsirohAsiroh Cham is a Cham American, born in a refugee camp in Thailand, but has spent the majority of her life in California. In 2010, she traveled to Cambodia to co-direct a documentary on Cham genocide survivors in the midst of the U.N. backed tribunals. Asiroh received a 2012-2013 Armed with a Camera Fellowship through Visual Communications. Her recent short films have screened at The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Boston Asian American Film Festival, Seattle Asian American Film Festival, and the San Diego Asian Film Festival, among other venues. She was awarded the Linda Mabalot Legacy Scholarship for her work as an emerging documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on social issues. Asiroh recently worked on the documentary The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor, directed by Oscar nominated director Arthur Dong, which will be premiering this year. Asiroh holds a B.A. in Southeast Asian Studies & International Development Studies and an M.A. in Asian American Studies, both from U.C.L.A.  She also works at U.C.L.A. in student affairs and has been advising and counseling students in higher education, with a particular passion for helping first generation and underrepresented students succeed in college, for the past decade. Her narrative and stop motion animated short film My Name Is Asiroh screens during the afternoon performance. Her excerpted short documentary The Centaur, a collaboration with Julie Thi Underhill, will also screen in the afternoon.

 

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Asma Men

asmaAsma Men began her career working with the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, where she worked on a range of civic engagement projects and campaigns such as Get-Out-The-Vote and Redistricting. She has continued to stay involved with OCAPICA as a member of their Policy Committee. Asma is currently Manager of the CA Public Leadership Pipeline Project, a collaborative that supports progressive individuals entering public leadership. On her spare time, if any, she is involved with several nonprofit organizations. She is an interim board member of Islah LA, which aims to service the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, Secretary of Tu Sach Islam—an online-based educational organization that provides Islamic resources to the Vietnamese-speaking community, a committee member for the Women’s Mosque of America, and a consultant for Project Kinship—an organization that works with the formerly incarcerated population. Asma received her Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies from UC Irvine and Masters in Public Policy from UCLA. Asma is on the Programming and Planning Committee. She will also moderate the Social Justice, Issues, and Activism panel in the morning.

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Azizah Ahmad

AzizahAzizah Ahmad is an active member of the Cham community in Sacramento, CA. Her experience advocating and analyzing policies affecting Southeast Asian and Asian Pacific American communities began when she was a student at UC Davis. After graduating, Azizah began working as the Language Access Project Director at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in Washington, DC and later as the California Policy Advocate at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. In the fall of 2013, Azizah was part of a three-women Cham delegation, which included Julie Thi Underhill and Khaleelah PoRome, testifying at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva. Azizah is also active in the arts community, as a past member of Sulu DC and co-chairing the 2013 AAPI Literary Arts and Performance Poetry Festival. She is currently the Communications Manager at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Azizah holds a BA in Religious Studies and Sociology from UC Davis. She will speak on the activism panel, and she co-directs the conference.

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David Kieu

David KieuDavid Kieu, a first grader at Hayes Elementary School, performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

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Erica Seu

ericaErica Seu is currently an undergraduate student at University of California, Davis. She has been with the Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe for over nine years. Her passion for dancing grew over the years and allowed her to feel closer to her own culture. Throughout the years Erica was able to travel around the Bay Area for performances and recently created a production with her fellow dancers called Remembering Ancient Gestures. Erica is an invited guest performer from the Cambodian American community, and she dances in the afternoon.

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Farina So

FarinaFarina So is currently a doctoral student of Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She has a wide range of interests, including sectarian conflict in Southeast Asia, genocide, human rights, gender, identity, and the rise of transnational Islam. Her Ph.D. research investigates the regional and temporal variations in patterns of intra-sectarian conflict in the Cambodian Muslim community during the period from 1992 to the present. Before pursuing her doctoral degree, Ms. So was the head of the Cham Oral History Project at the Documentation Center of Cambodia. The project documents the experience of Cham Muslims under the Khmer Rouge. This resulted in the publication of the Hijab of Cambodia: Memories of Cham Muslim Women after the Khmer Rouge, which was requested by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) as supplementary evidence of crimes against the Cham community during Democratic Kampuchea. She will speak during the Cham history panel.

 

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Hanhi La

Hanhi LaHanhi La attends Piedmont Hills High School. She has been performing traditional Cham dance for two years. Her current goal is to be happy and successful doing a job that can also help others. She lives in San Jose, CA. She performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

 

 

 

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Hati {Hatefas Yop}

HatefasHatefas Yop, also known as Hati, is a spoken word artist born and raised in the city of Santa Ana. She was raised by parents who escaped Cambodia’s killing fields and arrived in the United States in 1979. Hati’s writing expresses her experiences growing up first generation Cham American, while still learning to embrace her Cham identity. She first began spoken word poetry in high school after being introduced to Brave New Voices. In 2012, she represented the city of Long Beach along with her six person slam team ¡Duende! at the Brave New Voices competition in Oakland, including 400 other poets. Hati has also featured at spaces such as Common Ground open mic and Tuesday Night Cafe. Hati will perform her spoken word poetry during the afternoon performance.

 

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Inra Jaya {Phu Tue Tri}

Inra JayaBorn in Phan Rang in the village of My Nghiep (Caklaing in the Cham language), Inra Jaya (Phu Tue Tri) has lived in Ho Chi Minh city since 1991. He has been a photographer since 2009 and a videographer since 2012. He holds passions for art, photography, imaging, and all things Cham. In his own words, he describes his ascent into filmmaking. “I started filming everything about Cham, anyone special I met, any festivals, big or small, Cham normal life, Cham dancing, Cham instruments.” He has also published his Cham photography on book covers, in newspapers, and online at Incredible Champa, a site with over 2,500 followers. From across the Pacific Ocean, Inra Jaya shares some of his photography, as well as a short documentary, which will screen during the afternoon performance.

 

 

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Janet Thanh

Janet ThanhJanet Thanh has been doing cultural dances since the age of ten. She resides in San Jose, where she attends San Jose State University. She is currently majoring in recreational therapy. She is passionate about helping people’s well-being. She performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

 

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Julie Thi Underhill

JulieBorn of Cham, French, and Scottish/Irish-American descent, Julie Thi Underhill is an artist, activist, and scholar based in the Bay Area. Her creative work includes film/video, photography, performance, painting, poetry, and essay. Her activism includes two Cham delegations to the Forum on Minority Issues at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, focused on guaranteeing the rights of women in 2011 and on religious minorities in 2013, and one delegation to Capitol Hill. Through her doctoral studies at UC Berkeley, her scholarship focuses upon Cham American history, memory, and cultural production. As a board member of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, she served for three years as a managing editor of diaCRITICS, and twice-directed the first Vietnamese film festival in the Bay Area. She’s the current artist in residence for the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. Her documentary portraiture series is on display at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. She’s received fellowships from the Chancellor at UC Berkeley and the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at University of Massachusetts Boston. Currently a Ph.D. student instructor/lecturer at UC Berkeley, Julie holds a BA in Liberal Arts (Social History, Fine Art, Film/Video) from The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) and a MA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. Julie will speak on the social justice and activism panel about her trips to the UN. She will also screen her excerpted documentary The Centaur, filmed in Cambodia in 2010, a collaboration with Asiroh Cham. She co-directs the conference with Azizah Ahmad.

 

 

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Katie Kieu

Katie KieuA first grader, Katie Kieu performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

 

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Khaleelah PoRome

KhaleelahKhaleelah Porome is a talent manager working with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and various other ESPN talent managing communications and contract negotiations. She has also had the opportunity to produce for ESPN, Extra, and other media outlets. A California native, Khaleelah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Hampton University. After working as a laboratory chemist, she transitioned to a three-year appointment with the National Science Foundation, followed by a stint as a government contractor managing multimillion-dollar projects. She has been an advocate for the diasporized Cham community and has lobbied for their rights on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Khaleelah sat on the Washington Ballet’s Jete Society Steering Committee, was a member of the inaugural Refugees International’s Young Humanitarian Circle Steering Committee, and currently serves as a member of the Millennial Action Council for the Millennial Action Project. Khaleelah will speak on the social justice and activism panel.

 

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Kidflomatic {Safidine Phar}

KidflomaticSafidine Phar (born December 21, 1982) known for his stage name Kidflomatic (formerly Kid) is a Cham-American rapper, singer, producer, and entrepreneur. Originally born in Colorado, raised in Orange County California. He is influenced by many different artists and types of music genre. Phar launched his career with Worldwide Records in 2000-2004 and helped their production company develop into a mainstream label. With the help of his former label, he was empowered to broadcast talent through music more expressively. At at early age, he was blessed with an innate talent to read and develop music. He is currently an artist signed to “Big Boy Music” and recently released three hit singles and is also working on a complete album. Talents also include being able to Deejay and play instruments such as the piano and guitar. Phar is part of a panel on careers and the future of the Cham, in addition to rapping during the afternoon performance.

 

 

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Kieu Linh Caroline Valverde

ValverdeUC Davis Asian American Studies Professor Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde received her B.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her teaching, research and organizing interests include Southeast Asian American history and contemporary issues, mixed race and gender theories, Fashionology, Aesthetics, Diaspora, and Transnationalism Studies. She authored Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora (Temple University Press 2012). This book explores the immense influence of the native and diasporic communities on each other in politics, culture, community, generations, gender relations, technology, news media, and the arts. Professor Valverde will be giving opening remarks at the conference. In addition, she has been instrumental to bringing this conference to UC Davis and advocating for support from the Department of Asian American Studies and from Southeast Asians Furthering Education.

 

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Madaly Admad

MadalyEven after earning a master of fine arts degree and having taught university art classes, Madaly still considers himself a student of the arts. He is constantly striving to perfect his craft, whether it is photography, design, drawing or painting. He draws inspiration from his life experiences and his travels. Through his travels he has visited some of the world’s great art museums where he is humbled by the masterpieces of the past and present. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and daughter. As a featured visual artist, Madaly will have his artwork on display during the conference.

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Marimas Hosan Mostiller

MHMMarimas Hosan Mostiller is a second generation Cham American, and first generation college student. She is currently an American Studies Ph.D. student at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research focuses on Cham American identity, indigenous identity, and the broader Southeast Asian American diaspora. She recently earned a M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. Her Master’s thesis “Cham Identity and Social Mobility in the United States” focuses on the multiple intersections of 1.5 and second generation Cham Muslim American identity including ethnicity, religion, and nationality. Additionally, because Cham Americans are newer immigrants, the study examines sociocultural factors that influence Cham American social mobility. Portions of Marimas’ Master’s thesis have been presented at the following conferences: Association for Asian American Studies and American Academy of Religion. Marimas has earned multiple degrees including a B.S. in psychology and minor and behavioral sciences from the University of La Verne, and a M.Ed. in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California. For a number of years Marimas has worked as a professional academic advisor for high school and college students, and she hopes that her research and experiences will encourage Cham youth to pursue a higher education. She will be on the morning panel on Cham history.

 

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Mina Truong

Mina TruongA first grader, Mina Truong performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

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Muhamedarifeine Manhsour

Muhamedarifeine Muhamedarifeine Manhsour works in Seattle at the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity. He focuses upon outreach to the Southeast Asian community. He explains, “People look at me and see an Asian face. They wonder why I have an Arabic name. This is because of my wonderful heritage. My parents are refugees. My mom is from Cambodia and my dad is from Vietnam; they are Cham. Cham are the indigenous natives of Vietnam and Cambodia and the major religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. In our case, we are Muslim Cham. I am so grateful to be in this position to help the students reach their goals and serve the underrepresented community. I believe all students should have access to higher education.” Muhamedarifeine is part of a panel on careers and the future of the Cham.

 

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Po Dharma

po dharma photoPo Dharma is a Cham from Vietnam, and one of the world’s few scholars researching the history and civilization of Champa. He has published over sixty articles and books on the Champa history and anthropology, and on Champa’s relations with the neighboring countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malay World. Over his career, he has earned a Diplôme de l’Ecole Militaire à Phnom-Penh (1969); a Diplôme de l’EPHE, Sorbonne, Paris (1978); a DEA, Sorbonne, Paris (1980); and a Doctorat, Sorbonne, Paris (1986). He has also served as an officer of the Cambodian Army (1969-1972), a research assistant (collaborateur scientifique) at The French Research School of the Far East (1972-1982), a scientific researcher (chargé de recherché) at The French Research School of the Far East (1982), in charge of the Champaka journal (responsable de la revue Champaka) (1999-present), and an associate professor (professeur associé) at The French Research School of the Far East (Paris: 2003-present). Dharma is on the Champa history panel, where he’s addressing the kingdom of Champa.

 

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Rofek Yousouf

RofekBorn and raised in Southern California, Rofek is a software engineer who is passionate about Cham history and culture. For more than half of his existence, he grew up not knowing much about his Cham roots. During those early years, before the internet became a thing, he only had stories passed down orally from his parents and grandfather. He thought all Chams were Muslims until 2003 when he went to the Ka Te Festival in San Jose. Since then, he’s been obsessed with Cham history and culture, reading and absorbing everything he can find on the internet. He turned this obsession into a fictional story he started writing years ago, while in college. Nowadays he channels that same energy and inspiration for future projects, whether it’s designing a game based on Cham culture or software development for Cham awareness and keeping Cham culture alive. Rofek will screen a short film about his work during the Careers panel.

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Rohany Karya

RohaRohany Karya, Esq., is an attorney for the State of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program – 4th Judicial Circuit. As a child advocacy attorney, Rohany represents children in foster care or out of home placements that entered the system either through physical/sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment. During law school, she interned with the Refugee Immigration Project and conducted several outreach presentations to the Cambodian communities regarding immigration legislation. Additionally, Rohany participated in the Immigration Rights Clinic where she represented two Haitians siblings in obtaining legal status after being abandoned by their parents and a disabled Cambodian field worker who was a victim of human trafficking. In 2009, Rohany completed an externship at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (“ECCC”), the United Nations court conducting the Khmer Rouge tribunal. She worked in the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges and assisted in the production of legal pleadings prosecuting the alleged perpetrators responsible for the war crimes.

 

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Rohimah Moly

Rohimah MolyRohimah Moly is Deputy Commissioner of Legislation at the California Department of Business Oversight. She served as Director of Legislative Affairs at the California State Treasurer’s Office and before that was Special Assistant to the Treasurer. She was Campaign Manager and the Northern Political Director at Lockyer for Treasurer from 2003 to 2006. Moly is a member of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project Executive Board. Rohimah will speak on the Careers panel.

 

 

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Ryan Boun

RyanRyan Boun is a native of San Jose, California. He is a member of the Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe of San Jose. He is currently studying at the University of California, Santa Cruz, pursing a degree in the social sciences.  Ryan is an invited guest performer from the Cambodian American community, and he dances in the afternoon.

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Saifuddin Amath

SaifA filmmaker currently living in Washington DC, Saifuddin Amath will be sharing a work-in-progress screening from his Cham Diaspora project, which features ten stories of Cham survivors of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. He has multiple family members who perished during the regime, and he’s documented surviving members (and their memories) through film. Preview a two-minute trailer for his project here and the website here.

 

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Sally Kieu

Sally KieuA first grader, Sally Kieu performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

 

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Sarin Kieu

Sarin KieuA sixth grader, Sarin Kieu performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

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Sean Tu

Sean TuSean Tu began his social service as President of the Vietnamese Student Association at Iowa State University in 1986-87. Trained as an electrical engineer, Mr. Tu became a social activist and human rights advocate by choice. Since 2007, he’s been the elected Secretary General for the Intenational Office of Champa (IOC-Champa), whose mission is to promote the awareness of the history and culture of Champa. That same year, he was the Secretary General for the Conference on Champa held at Le Petit Trianon Theater in San Jose. In December 2010, he attended the UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva, Switzerland, and went on advocate for human Rights in Viet Nam, in Washington DC in June 2013. Occasionally, he appears as a guest speaker about Cham issues on Vietnamese radio and on the Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (SBTN) in Orange County, Southern California. He will moderate the Cham history panel.

 

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Sharina Champa

Sharina ChampaSharina Champa attends Piedmont Hills High School. Her current goal is to go skydiving as a way of conquering her fear of doing things beyond her horizon. She lives in San Jose, CA. She performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

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Tiffany Nguyen

Tiffany NguyenTiffany Nguyen attends Piedmont Hills High School. She has performed traditional Cham dance for four years. Her current goal is to work as a humanitarian and to change the living conditions of people in developing countries. She lives in San Jose, CA. She performs in the afternoon as a traditional Cham dancer.

 

 

 

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Yasmeen Cham Thanh

Yasmeen Cham ThanhYasmeen Cham Thanh is the founder of Moonlight Humanity Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing access to sanitation, education, and emergency relief, especially in impoverished communities within Southeast Asia. In her words, “Moonlight Humanity aims to bring attention and care toward a society with no voice. Our vision is to help address the basic humanitarian needs of displaced indigenous people by providing access to clean water. The name Moonlight Humanity reflects the intention of shedding a light of love and hope over these forgotten people.” Yasmeen will appear in the morning panel on social justice, issues, and activism.

 

 

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Abdullah,th.Chau · May 6, 2015

    I’d like to attend that day 5/24/2015.O behalf of my cousin Quasin TU I wiil be accept to replace to talk in the program on that day. My name Abdullah Thakwa Chau. come from Seatte Wa .Thank you verry much .

    Like

    • ReGenerating Champa · May 23, 2015

      Wonderful! We sent an email to you asking for your bio and photo. Please send that information to the conference co-director Julie Thi Underhill Thanks!

      Like

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