Identity, Storytelling, Social Awareness: The Lao Project and The Dear Americans Project
May 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm EDT
Save the date and join us on Thursday, May 13th, 7 p.m. ET. as UMA presents Identity, Storytelling, and Social Awareness. We will chat with the founders of the The Lao Project and The Dear Americans Project. They will share their work in building a platform for stories and voices to help others embrace their identity while connecting across many communities.
Journalist Vekonda Luangaphay (The Lao Project) and cinematographer/director Anthony Martinez (The Dear Americans Project) will be the featured presenters. Attendees will be able to reflect on this work, ask questions of the creators, and engage in discussion about the feelings and thoughts these projects stir.
This free Event will be held by zoom and requires registration!
Video created by Anthony Martinez
Vekonda Luangaphay is a freelance journalist in the Boston area. As a Lao American in search of stories to resonate with, she couldn’t find any. Since representation is important, she launched The Lao Project to seek out stories she sees herself in and to amplify those voices for future Lao Americans. It’s a project with a mission to connect Lao communities across America and Lao generations across time.
In light of Lao New Year in April and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May, she has partnered with the Laotian American National Alliance (LANA), to bring about a weekly Facebook Live called #WhoWeAre: Laotian American Virtual Series to highlight the multifaceted nature of the Lao community through storytelling and series of live chats with inspirational members of the Lao community. LANA is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the social and economic well-being of Lao Americans through civic engagement and public policy advocacy.
- The Lao Project website
- Instagram: The Lao Project
- LANA website
- LANA #WhoWeAre: Laotian American Virtual Series
Tony Martinez brings 10 years of experience creating high-end video content in various media including news, film, television, and online media. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, he felt called to create a platform for healing and understanding given the effects of racism in America today. He invited a community of international voices to the platform with the prompt, “What would you say to an American today?” The Dear Americans Project has since grown with responses coming from a variety of countries including Egypt, England, Sweden, Greece, Venezuela and several others, addressing the concerns of racism in America but from a global perspective.
He also runs Second House Films, a Malden-based production company that enables small to mid-size businesses to have access to high-quality video and storytelling. When he isn’t trying to be productive, Tony enjoys traveling, cooking, playing volleyball and binge-watching British crimes shows.
- The Dear Americans Project website
- Instagram: The Dear Americans Project
- Second House Films website
- Instagram: Second House Films