KGA is located at 1085 Redondo Avenue / Long Beach, CA 90804
Telephone: (562) 986-9415 / Fax: (562) 986-9416 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lian Cheun is the Executive Director of Khmer Girls in Action. She is a 1.5 generation refugee from Cambodia. She grew up in the Bay Area and has spent 2 decades working in low-income communities of color. Lian started out as a youth organizer on the Kids First! Campaign and has since worked for funding for youth programs, fought for educational and health justice, volunteered and trained for numerous GOTV efforts with the Alameda County Labor Council, and fought for workers’ rights regionally and internationally. In 2007, Lian helped Migrant Forum in Asia organize the very first regional, migrant domestic workers’ assembly. Lian believes in fighting for our self-determination as women, as workers, and as creators of knowledge and culture in our communities. She was also the former director of the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). In 2014, Lian was appointed to President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Sophya Chum is a 2nd generation Cambodian American. She was raised in Long Beach and is a founding member of Khmer Girls in Action. She brings over 15 years of experience working with Southeast Asian youth, refugees and low-income communities of color. Sophya was a youth organizer in the Sexual Harassment and Anti-deportation Campaigns which focused on reproductive justice and immigrant and refugee rights. As a staff member of KGA she has worked on campaigns for educational and health justice and has coordinated numerous GOTV efforts in Long Beach, particularly around young women’s reproductive health access. Sophya has developed and guided youth members in their transition into interns, staff and leaders for the organization. In 2005, she was selected by the National Women’s Health Network as one of the 30 women who have made a difference in the women’s health movement. In 2013, she received the young women leadership “30 under 30” award by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal. Working directly with working class, Southeast Asian high school youth in Long Beach, Sophya helps KGA’s members foster positive self-images, feminist principles, health, well-being, and sisterhood. Sophya believes in empowering communities to lead and fight for social justice through community organizing work. She is a mommy of two and loves to sing and dance with her kids
Joy is a second generation Filipina- American who grew up in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. A high school outreach program led her to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz where she obtained a B.A. in American Studies. Soon after, she completed an internship with the Center for Third World Organizing and has since been inspired to use media, culture and arts for community organizing, healing & empowerment. Joy has worked with KGA for over 5 years and in that time she has coordinated the Cultural Historical Arts Program, Young Women’s Empowerment Program, Yellow Lounge and electoral and civic engagement campaigns as well as media and communications. She seeks to amplify the voices and presence of SEA young women, youth of color, immigrant and refugee experiences. She aims to give students opportunities to love themselves, “Know History, Know Self!”, and use various art forms to engage community and build collective power.
Chrissy is a second generation Cambodian- American, born and raised in the city of Long Beach in the heart of Cambodia Town. Living in such a diverse city has exposed Chrissy to different disparities and injustices at a young age. It was not until she got involved with Khmer Girls in Action at age 14 that she was able to understand the issues and challenges her community faces and how to create change. Chrissy learned how to build community power, to have a voice, and to share her experiences in the movement for social justice. She hopes to strengthen her political analysis around race, class, and gender so that she can better find solutions for the Cambodian community and larger Southeast Asian and API communities.
Jennefer is a second generation Cambodian-American from Long Beach, California. She is an alumni of Khmer Girls in Action and was a member from 2005-2008. Her politicization and leadership development began with KGA where she soon took on the role of a Youth Organizer, the first of its kind in KGA. She later obtained her degree in International Relations with a minor in Africana Studies from San Francisco State University. After nearly ten years in the Bay Area, she felt it was only right for her to return and invest back in the city that raised her. She continues to learn and practice radical love and healing and is committed in bringing forward the stories, the struggles, and voices of today’s youth of color. Her experiences have always pointed her back to her values: community, culture, and justice. Dedicating her life to social change is her form of resistance and she hopes to continue working in various capacities centered around helping marginalized communities.
Amy started off as a member in 2003-2004 and continued to participate and volunteer with KGA after graduation. She was born and raised in Long Beach and is an active member in the Khmer Community. She is the daughter of a first generation refugee from Cambodia who still faces struggles every day. The connection she has to her people is her relationships she builds with the youth. She believes that there is nothing more powerful than to be guided and set up for success. As a member, Khmer Girls in Action saw so much potential in her and believed that she could make a change and by setting her up with the right tools, she was able to be who she is today! Her journey continues and joined the team in August 2016 and am more excited to be able to give, teach, and build a bond with the youth as KGA has done for her.
Maggie is a second-generation Chinese-Vietnamese American from Northeast Los Angeles. She graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Human Development and a minor in Ethnic Studies. As a student leader, she worked to increase access to higher education for Southeast Asian youth in San Diego, as well as organized to demand the increased support of culturally responsive mental health services, the creation of a Critical Asian American Studies Minor and an API/Middle Eastern/Desi American Research Center (all still in the works), and co-founded Asian American Womxn Time, a space for Asian American women to reclaim space and time together. Maggie is passionate about building community power towards social justice, and believes that youth organizing is critical to the movement. Through challenge, support, healing and love, she hopes to let herself and the folks she works with know that they are enough.
Pouelinna Po is a Cambodian-American Womxn, born and raised in Long Beach, California. She has been actively involved with Khmer Girls in Action since 2011 when she was only 14 years old. As a teen Popo recognized the injustices that her community was up against. When was a member of KGA she was able to understand and connect root causes to fighting for systemic change. As a youth leader, Pouelinna advocated for language access, healthcare for all, and school- based wellness centers for youth and teens. This experience has empowered her to lead for social justice and it has deepened her love for her community. Pouelinna hopes to build a louder voice for the Southeast Asian Community in Long Beach by educating and mobilizing them to get out the vote!
Alisha is a second generation Cambodian-American who was born and raised in the city of Long Beach. Her family’s roots in this city traces back to 1989, when eleven of her family members resettled in Long Beach seeking refuge from war and genocide in their homeland. The hardships and experiences of being raised by immigrant refugees inspires Alisha to be the voice that brings justice and healing back to her family and community. As an alumn of KGA, Alisha worked on Youth at the CORE, GOTV and Keep Families Together campaigns which demanded for a school- based wellness center, positive school climate, reproductive justice, civic engagement and immigrant and refugee rights. In her process of transitioning from youth member to staff. Alisha interned with Cambodian Advocacy Collaborative (CAC) as well as Seeding Change. With her experience she hopes to educate, mentor and motivate young SEA women to learn more about themselves, their history and meaningful issues that they are passionate about.
Som is a queer second generation Khmer American. Their family fled Cambodia from the war during the 1970’s and resettled in Long Beach, California. Som lived their whole life in Long Beach. They received their education from the Long Beach Unified School District and California State University of Long Beach. They graduated with a Bachelors of Arts. Som started in the pilot program for the Young Men’s Empowerment Program. They have worked closely with the Every Student Matters campaign and advocated for a Wellness Center at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. They advocate for young queer and trans Southeast Asians to have a space to learn, grow, have fun and live their truth. Now, Som works to have a future with the youth leading the change.
Mayta Lor is a second-generation Hmong American, born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, with her bachelor’s degree in History and Southeast Asian Studies and a Certificate in Asian American Studies. Mayta has over ten years of experience working with Asian and Pacific Islander youth and over five years of professional nonprofit experience in grant writing, strategic fundraising, and building key partnerships. She has worked with nonprofit organizations such as LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics), the Little Tokyo Community Council, MAASU (Midwest Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Student Association), and the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent. Mayta is passionate about community empowerment, creating intentional leadership pipelines, and advocating for resources and equal opportunities for marginalized communities and communities of color. She hopes to continue creating a more equitable world in affirming and empowering the experiences, ideas, and leadership of Southeast Asian women and youth of color.