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National Conference Celebrates Southeast Asian American Experience

Representatives of Communities Across the U.S. Gather at UMass Lowell

Angkor Dance Troupe
Lowell's Angkor Dance Troupe will perform as part of the Southeast Asian American Studies Conference.


Media contacts: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or and Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or

* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *

WHAT:  A national summit of community organizers, policymakers, researchers and others are gathering at UMass Lowell this week for the 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies conference. It is the first time the conference will be held on the East Coast. 

The conference is celebrating the culture of Southeast Asian Americans and taking on some of the issues that face communities across the country, from immigration rights to overcoming stereotypes, through workshops and panel discussions featuring activists, educators, policymakers, students and others from across the U.S. Featured speakers will include Channapha Khamvongsa, executive director of Legacies of War; Katrina Dizon Mariategue, immigration policy adviser for Southeast Asian Resource Action Network; and UMass Lowell faculty members Khanh Dinh, a clinical psychologist, and Hai Pho, professor emeritus of political science and founding board member of the Indochinese Refugee Foundation.

More than two dozen sessions will take on topics including Lowell’s Cambodian American communities and how they came about, which will be examined on Thursday, July 27 at 10:45 a.m., and barriers to health care, which will be explored on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Both presentations will be held at the McGauvran Center, Room 313, 71 Wilder St., UMass Lowell South Campus.

Events for the public include the following and more information on these and others can be found at link:

  • The 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Showcase will screen eight films over six sessions on Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28 at O’Leary Library, 61 Wilder St., UMass Lowell South Campus.
  • “From Cambodian Refugee to Elected Town Council Member… An Unexpected Journey,” a free presentation on the personal story of Sophal Ear, Ph.D., who came to the U.S. at age 10 and has gone on to become a professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles, as well as serving as a TED Fellow, Fulbright Specialist, Council on Foreign Relations member and in a number of other roles. Friday, July 28, 3:15 p.m., O’Leary Library, Room 222, 61 Wilder St., UMass Lowell South Campus. 
  • “Refugee Nation,” a free performance of the first national touring production about the Laotian American experience by TeAda Productions. Friday, July 28, 3:15 p.m., Durgin Concert Hall, 35 Wilder St., UMass Lowell South Campus.