Channapha Khamvongsa, Executive Director
Channapha Khamvongsa is founder and executive director of Legacies of War, an organization that seeks to address the problem of unexploded ordnance in Laos, to provide space for healing the wounds of war, and to create greater hope for a future of peace. The organization uses art, culture, education, and community organizing, especially among the Lao diaspora, to create healing and transformation out of the wreckage of war. Legacies has successfully advocated for an increase in U.S. funding for bomb clearance in Laos, from an annual average of $2M in 2008 to $30M in 2016. In September 2016, President Barack Obama acknowledged Channapha’s advocacy efforts in Laos, where he became the first U.S. President to visit the country. Channapha has written and spoken widely about the secret war in Laos and its aftermath and has appeared in the New York Times, Democracy Now!, CNN, ABC, PBS and CBS News. She previously worked at the Ford Foundation and NEO Philanthropy on immigrant rights, civil society, civic engagement, capacity building, and transformational leadership. She has served on the Seattle Women’s Commission, as well as on the boards of the Refugee Women’s Alliance and the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). She was born in Vientiane, Laos and came to the U.S. as a refugee at the age of seven. Channapha received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University.
See Xiong, Program and Communications Coordinator
See Xiong is a graduate of California State University, Fresno. She is a freelance writer, having published about Asian Americans in ethnic publications, including A-List Magazine, The Hmong Tribune, The kNOw Youth Media, Txhawb Magazine, and she started the online platforms and led the digital editorial work for Asian Pacific Review (a subsidiary of The Collegian at Fresno State). She was a Tamejavi Fellow for the Pan Valley Institute of the American Friends Service Committee; a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar of the Cal State University, in which she interned at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions; a core planning member of the Hmongstory 40 project, where she supported programming, communications, organized volunteers, researched, and wrote for the exhibition. She received the Critical Refugee Collective grant given by the University of California Critical Refugee Collective in 2017, for which she funded the printing of the zine series MAI. In 2018, she co-founded and is currently the co-editor of maivmai, a digital Hmong American Literary Press. You can find her poetry in Files, Cockroaches and Poetry (2017) published by the Chicanx Writers and Artists Association at Fresno State. She has read with the Hmong American Writers Circle. Her passion is Southeast Asian diaspora.
Aleena Inthaly, Program Assistant
Aleena worked on facilitating international exchange programs while at World Learning, an international nonprofit organization that focuses on international development, education, and exchange programs. Since then, she has spent time around the world including Thailand, Turkey, Moldova, and India. Aleena returned back to DC to become more involved with immigrant communities in the Washington DC area, specifically a community that hits close to home, the Lao community. Aleena’s main passion in life is to connect people through conversations of memories, history, culture, and the traditions that come with meeting people in new places and is using that passion in her work at Legacies of War. In her spare time, Aleena is a Washington DC food tour guide and takes groups through the U St. and Shaw neighborhoods discussing the incredible history of the city, its communities, and the amazing places to eat on each block. Aleena graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in Political Science concentrating on International Relations and also started the first student chapter of Legacies of War during her time in school.
Victoria Liu, Graphic Consultant
Victoria Liu is a recent graduate of Princeton University, where she studied International Law and Institutions within the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is fascinated by macro-level examinations of the movements of institutions, nations, and individuals. She is the past Director of Marketing at Princeton’s Advertise This, Princeton’s only marketing and advertising club, seeking to explore the abstract construction of image and its effect on audience reception and interest.