June 2009 Newsletter – Legacies Launches A Peaceful Legacy Campaign

Posted: Jun 1, 2009

Legacies of War

Legacies of War was created to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos, to provide space for healing the wounds of war and to create greater hope for a future of peace.


News and Events June 2009


A Peaceful Legacy Campaign launches
API Heritage 2





Festival-goers at the International Lao New Year stopped by the Legacies booth to sign the petition for A Peaceful Legacy. (Photo: Boon Vong)


Clearing bombs in Laos
On April 11, 2009, Legacies of War launched A Peaceful Legacy: Campaign to Remove Bombs from Laos.  The campaign will educate Congress on the urgent need for additional U.S. funding for Laos to remove unexploded bombs and provide victim assistance.
You can make a difference by signing the petition in support of this campaign.


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Over 500 signatures were collected in San Diego as part of the Lao New Year Celebration.





Global week of action

Join Legacies and the Cluster Munitions Coalition to participate in the Global Week of Action Against Cluster Munitions from May 29 – June 4, 2009.  This is part of an international ban effort that will have an important and far-reaching impact on our clearance efforts in Laos.

In the U.S., Legacies is part of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Land Mines and Cluster Munitions’ efforts to educate elected officials about the need to ban these deadly weapons.

You can also send a letter to President Obama to request an immediate review of the Bush administration’s decision not to participate in the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international treaty banning the production, use, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions. Legacies sent a letter to the Obama Administration.
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Board member, Elaine Russell, talks to San Francisco booth visitor about the International Ban efforts.
API Heritage Month
May was Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Heritage Month, a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The annual APIA Heritage Celebration at the Seattle Center took place on May 3rd and was presented by the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition in partnership with Seattle Center Festal. Several thousand people attend this event. Legacies of War’s National Traveling Exhibit was this year’s featured exhibit.
API Heritage 2 Legacies volunteers at Seattle’s API Heritage Celebration collecting signatures for the Legacies of Peace petition. From L to R: back row: Santisouk Sisavatdy, Ekkarath Sisavatdy, Franklin High students  Nakia Beaver, Weenta Benyam-Stephanos, Kenya Jones. Sitting: Sakuna Thongchanh and Islanda Khau.

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Curator Islanda Khau and Connie Sugahara at the introductory panel of Legacies of War national traveling exhibit featured this year at the annual APIA Heritage Celebration.


With the collaboration of the Wing Luke Asian Museum, the Legacies of War High School Curriculum was implemented at Franklin High School on the last week of April to fifty 11th graders and sixty 10th graders in Mr. Al Synder’s world history class. Moved by what they learned, students came out to the APIA event to help collect signatures for A Peaceful Legacy campaign.
Seattle Reception
A special Seattle reception was held in February at the ArtXChange Gallery featuring excerpts from the National Traveling Exhibition. The reception was held to thank our supporters and partners and share the progress of Legacies’ innovative work in Seattle, which has become a national model.
Seattle Reception
Pom Khampradith, Patty Phavong and  Khampou Thammavongxay at the Seattle Reception in February at ArtXChange Gallery.


Seattle: June Calender

Ribbons to Roots: The Threads That (Un)bind Us

A play and community dialogue about Southeast Asian migration, identity, and home.
Thursday June 4th 7pm
Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska S
Saturday June 6th 7pm
Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 3913 Brooklyn Ave NE

REFUGEE NATION meet & greet – Seattle, mid June. Come join us for light refreshments and meet the producers and actors of REFUGEE NATION, a theater production on the Laotian-American experience. for more info email: Sakuna Thongchanh.

June 27th Noon-5:30, Location TBA, Seattle
for more info email Sakuna Thongchanh.






Support our work
Donate on-line or make checks payable to Public Interest Projects, and send to our National Office:


Legacies of War
3233 M Street NW


Washington, DC  20007




San Diego Lao New Year Celebration

Thanks to the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and the Lao Community Cultural Center of San Diego for co-sponsoring Legacies of War and Refugee Nation in San Diego.
San Diego Lao New Year 1
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About 400 people came out for the Laotian American Arts Night, featuring Legacies of War exhibition, Refugee Nation, and Nerakhoun.
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Impromptu Lao dance lessons in San Diego at the Jacobs Center, where the Lao Transpired exhibition was featured.
San Diego 5
April Phomthavong and Pida Kongphouthone, co-emcee of the San Diego Lao New Year opening night program.





Staffing & Volunteer Update




Islanda Khau, Legacies’ curator and creative extraordinaire, will be transitioning from Legacies to pursue other creative projects. In the last four years, she managed the Legacies of War National Traveling Exhibition and created two additional exhibits, Lao Transpired and Legacies on Wheels. Under her guidance, the exhibits have showcased in over 10 venues and 8 states and in Dublin. We will miss her creativity, passion and warm smile. We wish her the very best in her future pursuits!


A Peaceful Legacy Campaign Team


Nakhone Keodara has ten years of organizing experience.  He moved to Hollywood in 2006 to pursue a career in acting and is now an aspiring screenwriter turned activist.  Nakhone founded the Gays United Network in response to the passage of Proposition 8 to organize the gay community against gay oppression.  Recently, he founded the SoCal Voice.net blog to give voice to the LGBT community, specifically gay Asian-Americans. Nakhone is managing A Peaceful Legacy campaign.


Bangbay Siboliban is an artist, with special skills in web development, graphics and video. She was born in Laos, the youngest of four children. Her family fled to Nong Khai when she was 3 months old and moved to the United States thereafter. Bangbay has her MFA in Media Arts Production from City University of New York and received her BA in Film Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. She is overseeing the website.


Seng Vang graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology in 2008. She served as one of the Northern California Representatives for the Hmong Student Inter-Collegiate Coalition and has provided voluntary support to various communities throughout the years. She is helping to develop the campaign’s training and presentation materials.



Rosa Keophimane graduated from San Jose State with a degree in Business Marketing in 2008. She currrently resides in Sacramento and works for the Office of Statewide Heath Planning and Development. During her free time she spends time with her family. She will be working on the campaign’s communications and marketing activities.

New Board Member


Cynthia Nguyen, MD, whose mother’s mother was born in Luang Prabang, has a background in the study of East Asian languages and civilizations. Her psychiatric practice emphasizes anxiety (post-traumatic stress disorder), geriatrics, and cross-cultural issues.  She has treated many patients from around the world (including Southeast Asian refugees, non-English speaking migrant workers, and PTSD survivors).  She is Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Stanford School of Medicine.

DC Advocacy Intern

John P. Edwards will be joining us as an advocacy intern in DC. He is a senior at Davidson College, where he is studying political science. His senior thesis focused on human rights and insurgencies. For the summer, he is an International Affairs student at Georgetown University’s Semester in Washington Program. John previously interned at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Category: Newsletters