KGA is now accepting applications for YWEP & YMEP!

Khmer Girls in Action is gearing up for another exciting year of organizing and community building! We are now accepting applications for our Young Women’s Empowerment Program (YWEP) and Young Men’s Empowerment Program (YMEP)!

If you are a Khmer/ Southeast Asian sophomore or freshman who wants to make this school year fun, productive and memorable while building meaningful relationships then apply today!  Complete your application online or turn it in to a KGA youth organizer or staff by Friday, September 18th!

Applications for the 2015-2016 year are now closed. If you wish to apply for the 2016-2017, please visit this page:


For more information please contact:
Joy Yanga-  | Corleone Ham- | 562.986.9415
1355 Redondo Avenue Suite #9
Long Beach, Ca 90804

Wellness Week: February 23- 27!

2nd Annual Wellness Week 2015This is our 2nd annual Wellness Week and KGA youth organizers will be talking about our campaign victory of securing a school- based health center with teen- only hours at Roosevelt Elementary school!  Set to open in the Fall of 2015, KGA youth organizers will be surveying students asking them what health resources and services should be at the new center to help them stay healthy and feel well.

Wellness Week is an opportunity to connect students to the information, resources and skills to support their physical, emotional, and mental health and is part of KGA’s Youth at the CORE Campaign to establish Wellness Centers at local high schools.

February is also National School Based Health Care Awareness Month and organizations like KGA are highlighting the importance of school- based health centers as a critical component to a student’s academic success.


Register to Vote!

Secretary of State - Register to Vote ចុះឈ្មោះបោះឆ្នោត

Registering to vote on- line is easy. Voters will need their California driver’s license or California ID card number, the last four digits of their Social Security number and their date of birth.

Those without a California license of ID can still use the online form to register, but must print out, sign and mail the voter registration form.

The deadline to register is October 20th at 11:59pm PST.

Now accepting 2014 YWEP & YMEP Applications

Khmer Girls in Action is gearing up for another exciting year of organizing and community building. We are now accepting applications for our Young Women’s Empowerment Program (YWEP) and Young Men’s Empowerment Program (YMEP)!

If you are a Khmer/ Southeast Asian sophomore or freshman who wants to make this school year fun, productive and memorable while building meaningful relationships then apply today!*

Young Womyn’s Empowerment Workshop (YWEP) Application

Young Men’s Empowerment Workshop (YMEP) Application

*All applications (paper and online) are due on or before September 19, 2014 at 6pm.

For more information please contact:
Joy Yanga | Seng So
1355 Redondo Avenue Suite #9
Long Beach, Ca 90804


Lian Cheun, Executive Director

KGA Executive Director Lian Cheun Appointed to President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs

Washington DC – The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) kicked off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the U.S. Department of the Interior yesterday, celebrating the community’s contributions to the country.  During the ceremony members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) were ceremonially sworn in, including Long Beach resident and community leader, Lian Cheun.

As part of the Commission, Lian is charged with working to improve the quality of life for AAPIs through increased participation in and access to federal programs. Commission members will advise the President on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the country and to improve their health, education, environment, and well-being.

“I am honored and humbled to have been chosen to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission,” said Cheun, “I’m excited to join my fellow commissioners to work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

Cheun is currently the executive director of Khmer Girls In Action (KGA), a community-based organization in Long Beach that develops the leadership of Southeast Asian youth to organize for social change.

With Cheun’s exceptional leadership, KGA has built a team of strong, effective Cambodian leaders whose Long Beach-based collaborations have significantly shifted outcomes for California’s Cambodian youth. Nationally, 37% of Cambodians have less than a 9th grade education; 38% have never obtained a high school diploma; and 14% have a bachelor’s degree. In the last three years, 99% of Long Beach’s Cambodian youth graduating from KGA’s programs received their high school diploma and matriculated to college, including 75% enrolling in four-year universities.

Cheun’s highly-effective leadership has supported KGA in achieving campaign victories impacting policy environments county- and state-wide, as well as nationally. Most recently KGA passed a school district resolution to promote restorative justice programs as alternatives to school discipline policies pushing low-income youth of color out of high school – and secured a language access policy to improve immigrants’ access to city services.

Cheun’s work is absolutely critical for California’s future: Following the genocidal horrors of the brutal reign of the Khmer Rouge, nearly 60% of Cambodian refugees resettled in California; Long Beach became home to the largest population of Cambodians (20,000) outside of Cambodia. A 2005 report found that 62% of this population suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cheun’s leadership innovatively centers the need for intergenerational healing within this population, prioritizing community-accountable institutional building ensuring its voice and place in multiracial coalitions improving the quality of life for California’s low-income communities of color, while securing partnership with a range of California decision makers.

Now is the perfect time to acknowledge Cheun’s contribution. Policy environments have demonstrated receptiveness to replication through the passage of Long Beach Unified School District’s resolution for restorative justice programs, alongside the Affordable Care Act, which provides funds for school-based health centers, another initiative Cheun and KGA are advancing.

Cheun is a 1.5 generation refugee from Oakland, CA. She has spent over a decade 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 most recently fought for workers’ rights regionally and internationally. In 2007, Lian helped Migrant Forum in Asia organize the very first regional, migrant domestic workers’ assembly in Asia.  She was also the former director of the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO).

A video of the WHIAAPI Opening Ceremony can be found at, where community members can watch Cheun sworn into her new position as commissioner.

Khmer Girls In Action will honor Cheun at the organization’s 10th annual Yellow Lounge arts and culture showcase on Saturday, May 17 from 4:00-6:30 p.m. at the Long Beach Schools for Adults, 3701 East Willow St. Long Beach, CA 90815.  More information about the Yellow Lounge event can be found at

Khmer Girls In Action Seeks Communications & Program Coordinator


Effective: April 1, 2014
Salary: $30,000-34,000 (DOE)

KHMER GIRLS IN ACTION (KGA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a
progressive and sustainable Long Beach community that works for gender, racial and
economic justice led by Southeast Asian young women. Taking a comprehensive approach
to youth development, KGA provides leadership development, organizing, and advocacy as
well as cultural exploration and expression.

The Young Women’s Empowerment Program (YWEP) is a program for Southeast Asian
young women ages 14-18 in Long Beach organizing for social change and community
empowerment. YWEP is a space for young women to explore their identity, build their
political consciousness and develop organizing skills. As a youth and adult led organization,
KGA’s staff works as a team, striving towards equal participation and decision making with
youth and adults. Valuing process and consensus building efforts, KGA staff must be highly
committed to social justice, youth development, and community building both within and
outside the organization.

KGA’s organizing work builds from our program components to provide opportunities for the
community to use their collective power and create institutional change. KGA utilizes
strategic communications to popularize our campaigns and shape the dialogue around our

-Lead program development and planning for the Young Women’s Empowerment Program
-Develop and facilitate Young Women’s Empowerment Program Trainings/Curriculum on
leadership development and social justice issues (i.e. identity, gender, economic justice,
organizing, etc.)
-Supervise and mentor youth members and volunteers
-Provide academic and personal support and connect youth to resources
-Conduct outreach and recruit new youth members
-Develop organizing and youth development strategies sensitive to immigrant/refugee
-Coordinate parent orientation and maintain relationships with youth members’ parents
-Maintain electronic database of all members, families and community allies
-Establish relationships with youth organizing and social justice groups

-Serve as KGA representative at conferences, summits, etc.
-Provide support for organizational events, field trips, campaigns, etc.
-Oversee organizational communications and train staff and youth members to work with
the media
-Develop media plans and implement communications strategies to popularize grassroots
organizing campaigns (including website, newsletter & social media)
-Work with youth to create multimedia storytelling projects sharing the experiences of 2nd

generation Cambodian American youth
-Document and archive media coverage, photography/footage of campaigns and events,
and storytelling projects
-Support development of long-term sustainability plan for KGA

-At least 3 years of experience with curriculum development, training design and facilitation
-Comfortable speaking in front of small-large groups
-Experience working with and mentoring young people, preferably young women
-Experience with youth organizing and campaign development
-Ability to design creative and non-traditional models of youth programming
-Understanding of Southeast Asian community, preferably Khmer speaking
-Highly organized and punctual
-Computer skills, Microsoft office, Filemaker Pro, web design/html a plus
-Knowledge of Asian/Pacific Islander organizing and service providers in LA
-Strong commitment to social and gender justice and youth self-determination
-Strong understanding and analysis of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism,
-Ability to work independently and as part of a team
-Strong writing and research skills
-Understanding of organizational and campaign communications; experience with
media/communications a plus
-Willingness to work nights and weekends
-Highly motivated and demonstrates ability to take initiative and work with minimal
-Valid California Driver’s License and access to insured automobile or transportation, and
ability and willingness to transport youth to and from activities.

Khmer Girls in Action
1355 Redondo Avenue, Suite 9 Long Beach, CA 90804
(562) 986-9416 fax, (562) 986-9415 office

Email cover letter and resumes to:
Sophin Zoe Pruong-McCreery

Position will remain open until filled

ESM Rally for School Discipline Resolution

LBUSD Votes to Improve Discipline and Keep Kids In School

A Victory for the Every Student Matters Campaign!

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, the Long Beach Unified School District passed a resolution to promote positive alternatives to exclusionary school discipline by a unanimous vote.  The resolution urges LBUSD schools to provide alternatives to suspensions and expulsions by expanding Restorative Justice programs that support all students in becoming healthy, thriving adults.

“Restorative Justice allows a student to see the larger picture of his/her defiance,” said Barbara Lindholm, Principal at Reid High School. “We aren’t interested in ‘punishment.’ Rather, we want to inculcate the values of empathy, orderliness, and manners in students – lifelong lessons which they will use in future arenas.”  A student from Poly High School and a leader from Khmer Girls in Action, Malachy Keo, echoed Principal Lindholm adding, “I’ve had disagreements with teachers before.  Restorative Justice practices would have helped me and my teachers see each other’s point of view and build better relationships.”

As the majority of students in Los Angeles County, young people of color have a vital role to play in making our neighborhoods safer, our economy stronger and steering our city and state towards success. Yet low income and young men of color have the lowest life expectancy rates, highest unemployment rates, fewest high school and college graduates and most murder victims of any demographic group in the county. This reality starts in school policies that unfairly target students of color for suspensions which ultimately lead to truancy and drop-outs.

“This vote is an important first step in our effort to ensure that every student has an opportunity to thrive,” said Kafi D. Blumenfield, President and CEO of Liberty Hill Foundation.  “Passage of this resolution signals that Long Beach truly wants all students to lead healthy, successful lives.”

Long Beach Schools Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser put forth the resolution which promotes disciplinary policies that are equitable, fair, focus on prevention, and provide an opportunity for students to learn from their mistakes. “I applauded the Superintendent and School Board for taking the right step forward,” said Delisa King, a parent of LBUSD high school students.  “I hope the district will work with our community of parents, students and advocates on implementing school discipline reforms.”

“Long Beach Unified has always been about change and improvement and this has been a part of everything we do,” said Citlali Hernandez, Senior at Wilson High School and a student leader at Californians for Justice.  “This resolution is no exception.  I look forward to working with the District to make sure that every student feels that they matter.”

About the Every Student Matters Campaign
Every Student Matters (ESM) is the first student-led policy advocacy campaign organized by the Building Healthy Communities Youth Committee. We seek to foster school discipline practices that address the root causes of behavioral issues, restore justice, and put students on a path to success.  Every Student Matters is a campaign of the Brothers Sons Selves initiative at Liberty Hill Foundation. Brothers Sons Selves is a coalition of L.A. County community organizations working towards a common agenda to improve the lives of young men and was created in partnership with The California Endowment.

Apply today for KGA’s Young Women’s & Young Men’s Empowerment Programs!

Welcome back to school everyone! Khmer Girls in Action is gearing up for another exciting year of organizing and community building, and we are now accepting applications for our Young Women’s Empowerment Program (YWEP) and Young Men’s Empowerment Program (YMEP).

Our Young Women’s Empowerment Program (YWEP) and Young Men’s Empowerment Program (YMEP) are safe spaces to:
*Be yourself
*Meet new people and build sisterhood/brotherhood
*Express yourself through art
*Go on field trips
*Have fun
*Get academic & personal support
*Earn community service hours
*Learn about your community, create positive change, and fight for social justice!

KGA will host an Open House event on September 11th, 2013 from 4pm-7pm at the KGA office. The Open House event will be an opportunity for prospective members to learn more about KGA, meet current staff and members and have fun.

Young Women’s Empowerment Program (YWEP Application)
Young Men’s Empowerment Program Application (YMEP Application)

Young Women's Empowerment ProgramRequirements for the Young Women’s Program:
*Must be a freshmen or sophomore in high school
*Must live in and around the Cambodia Town area
*Must be committed for the 2013-2014 program year
*Applications are due on September 13th, 2013

Young Men's Empowerment ProgramRequirements for the Young Men’s Program:
*Must be 14-24 years old
*Must be committed for the 2013-2014 program year
*Applications are due September 13th, 2013

For more information please contact:
Justine Calma | Seng So
1355 Redondo Avenue Suite #9
Long Beach, Ca 90804