We are fundraising to sponsor participants and supplies for a three-day training called Hai Ba Trung School of Organizing in Philadelphia for progressive Vietnamese/Vietnamese-Americans residing primarily in the Northeast region. We need funds to cover the expenses of travel, food, and materials for twenty-five people for three days.
More about our campaign and HBT training!
WHAT: The Hai Bà Trưng School of Organizing is a training program for young self-identified progressive Vietnamese organizers. Participants have the opportunity to explore a progressive Vietnamese American identity, learn the basics of organizing theory and skills, and connect to local and national organizers doing social justice work. The training will focus on best practices and challenges unique to organizing in the Vietnamese American community in the Northeast region. Named after two celebrated women warriors who led one of the Viet peoples’ first major revolts against colonialism, the Hai Bà Trưng School’s goal is to develop a base of progressive Vietnamese American organizers and activists. HBT originated in summer of 2011 in Southern California and since then has completed trainings for three cohorts and expanded into Northern California and the Northeast US region. This year we hope to dive deeper into community issues, challenges, and opportunities unique to the Viet community in the Northeast region, and a day of hands-on fieldwork.
WHO: We are a small volunteer grassroots group and we need your financial support to make this training accessible to low-income folks and for those traveling from afar. Your support will also help feed and transport participants for the training. If you believe in our mission and the purpose of our training, lend us a hand! You can purchase a t-shirt with our Booster campaign to support our training. Please support our efforts by spreading the word to all your friends and communities! Our goal is to sell 150 t-shirts by April 15.
BEHIND THE DESIGN: The text on the back of the t-shirt is a traditional Vietnamese folk poem that inspired community members to create a banner protesting the exclusion of the Vietnamese LGBTQ community from the annual 2013 Lunar New Year parade in Orange County, California. The t-shirt design is inspired by one protest banner’s illustration which was re-designed by one of our team members. We saw the connection between the poem’s purpose with the on-going “Toi Dong Y” movement for LGBTQ equality in Viet Nam, and so we included the slogan as a shout out.
**If you need more information regarding our training or our fundraising campaign please send us an email at email@example.com.**
Please circulate our Booster campaign! We need your help!
Mansour Ourasanah, from Togo in West Africa is one of three winners of the 2014 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in the Arts, this year focusing on design. The prizes are awarded annually to young immigrants who have had a significant impact on the American arts early in their career, and include a $35,000 prize.
“We are delighted to recognize such a forward-thinking designer as Mansour,” said Marica Vilcek, vice president of the Foundation. “In his designs, he addresses complex social problems through elegant and thought-provoking solutions.”
Ourasanah, pictured, was originally born in Togo and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. He is currently a senior designer for Whirlpool’s Advanced Studio in Chicago, where his role is to create innovative user-centric solutions for a new generation of global and hyper-connected consumers.
His work focuses on the importance of storytelling in the design of products that address complex emotional and environmental challenges. His most recent project, LEPSIS: The Art of Growing Grasshoppers — a vessel that can be used to grow insects for food in efforts to promote sustainable meat production and consumption amongst urban populations — is one example of his achievements in the design arena.
A 2003 New York Times Scholar and a 2007 IDSA Midwest District Merit Award Winner, Ourasanah completed a Bachelors of Art in Design from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Advanced Product Design from the Umea Institute of Design in Sweden. Ourasanah’s work has been named a finalist for the renowned INDEX: Design to Improve Life Award; the winner of an EID Design Award; a winner of the Greener Gadget Design Award; and a winner of an IDEA Award, amongst others. His work has been featured on CNN and in publications such as Fast Company, Wired, Popular Science, and The Guardian.
My first boyfriend in high school was white. Like generic Canadian whiteboy white. We used to hang out and talk about 20th century history and make out in his basement a la That 70’s Show (before That 70’s Show was created) and yeah he was essentially an Eric Foreman. His parents (gruff dad, doting mother) didn’t really understand why their eldest white son would wanna bring home a brown girl, but they tolerated me because being diasporic, I behaved/spoke in a ‘Westernized’ enough way that I think sometimes they forgot I was brown until they looked up and saw me: “Oh right. She’s brown.” Oh, the disappointed, confused look in his mom’s eyes. I still remember it.
Anyway, one day bf asks if I want to stay for dinner. The last thing I want to do is impose on his already demi-froid parents but I was hungry and I wanted to hear the full Tool CD and I wanted to watch bf play more Warcraft (just Warcraft. It wasn’t a ‘World of’, not yet. Internet wasn’t around. Yes m’lord.)
So we go upstairs and his mom is sweet to him and tries not to make too much eye contact with me and I sit down to the family dinner table with bf. His dad makes fun of his mom in that typical breeder ‘me husband, you wife’ sort of white middle class suburbian way, and the two sons join in. His mom takes it all in stride like a good housewife (who worked too, I think) with her manly husband and two smug, if slightly insecure sons.
Dinner: baked dry shaped chicken nuggets, that frozen vegetable melange (peas, carrots and corn…you know the one) reheated in the microwave, some sort of potato that I can’t remember now. Possibly tots?
And a stack of white sliced bread.
The bread just was there…in the middle of the table. Just…slices of bread, on a plate. Straight from a bag. Not toast, no garlic butter…just bread. With frozen nugget chicken, dry veg melange and bits of potato (also derived from a freezer).
I was so confused. Where was the gravy? Where was the sauce? Where was the pepper? Where was anything? They had a bottle of HP and one of ketchup, I think. Both were ignored. I love both condiments but it all seemed so…severe. There was no passion attached to the food. No one complimented his mom on her cooking because I don’t even think they were really invested in anything other than putting food into their mouths.
The fascinating thing was that with this loveless dinner, I watched them take slices of bread, fold them in half and insert it into their mouths…just like that!
I think after that I avoided eating at his place, and not just because I was afraid his parents would think I was a ‘typical brown person’ who mooched off their, uh, ‘fantastic’ white dinners - but I was already bewitching their son, after all. I tried to stay out of their way. And I tried not to invite boyfriend over to mine. Mom’s curry chicken and stew beef with kidney beans and red pork and roti and dahl and Dad’s bbq chicken & ribs and fried aloo and tomato choka would be too much for his gentle sensitive stomach. (no he really did have a sensitive stomach).
But I knew after that dinner - particularly bf’s casual disinterest in food other than for fuel energy purposes - that he wasn’t my true love.
Anyway. There’s a reason I’m a foodie, heh.
"Greece is the «world» I live even if I am far away from my land and my people, and this is because we carry with us a language and a whole culture, armed with habits and manners that qualify us; and the truth is that only when you get out of your country you understand it, simply because then you see the difference. This does not mean that I deal only with Greeks here, the contrary I would say. But this world protects me. It is my consolation, my courage, and my pride. Because I know where I come from and who I am and this I learned in Greece and it is impossible to let it behind me."
Roots tourism is bringing African-Americans and other members of African diaspora to the seaside town of Cape Coast in Ghana
She came over for dinner and to catch up. After dinner she flicked her wrists and BAM! Dhal.
#thisisnotafoodshot #guyanese #diaspora #chunkay #heartcentre
I don’t really know when to use “habria” or “hubo” or “hubiera.” Lots of time I fuck it up. Like all spanish-learners. But sometimes I get it right. Like all spanish-learners. But, when I get it right, it’s not because of my summer at a language institute or that for real awesome high-school professor. It’s because somewhere in the high-wire that connects the brain to the tongue to the ear I know what spanish sounds like.
Not that I haven’t taken spanish courses. I’ve taken un monton. But my crutch in every one of those classes was that I can roll my r’s like a pro and sometimes I can pass. I can sort-of, well-enough replicate what my mom sounds like on the phone with her sister. I can sort-of mix together all the sounds, and pronunciations, and intonations of Thanksgiving. Of birthdays. Of quinces. Sometimes I can pass, as maybe, a really socially awkward spanish speaker. Native.
In twice-a-week spanish class, impersonation of my community of short and thin, sharp and blunt, immigrants was enough. But in full-time, living in buenos aires, study-abroad immersion, passing as a native is not a grade, it’s survival. Well, maybe not survival. But, it’s different. It’s remembering that I am different from the other kids on the program who just really fucking love spanish. I’m here trying to reclaim something that wasn’t even really mine in the first place? My ass would not be in buenos aires right now if it wasn’t because rearranging all the letters of my name spells IMMIGRANT. I would not be in buenos aires right now, with a $6,000 stipend from my fancy so-cal school, if it wasn’t because mad people in my family learned the teeth-grinding language of english without a program, without a host-mom cooking them hot meals, and without anyone checking up on them. No safety net ‘cept for the one they knitted with their own hands. The same hands that their parents kissed goodbye, not for 6 months but for 6 decades.
I just walked into ba like it owed me something. Like I got this blue passport with five words on it so give me your language. My language. Our language that sounds like colonialism but lucky for us tastes like resistance.
Intense right. IN-fucking-tense. I’m here acting like I know. Like I know how latinos do. Like I already know what empanadas are so step-the-fuck-aside white kids. But also, I don’t know. My voice still gets all quiet when I run my sentences into the subjunctive and I can’t look anyone in the eye when I ask “disculpame, que ca(sh)e es esta?”
So cheers to all the people who figured out that having roots in the diaspora makes pretending, passing, collecting, mixing, crying, working, hoping, your first language. So for now, I’ll be a citizen of diaspora. I guess I’ll find home in diaspora.
"It runs from Chicago to LA, more than 2.000 miles all the way…" It might be the most famous road trip in the world; it is surely a much beloved song. But when writer Lamprini Thoma and photographer Nikos Ventouras hit Route 66 for the first time, they discovered that this famous road also has an historic (and tasty) Greek side. This October, on their fifth trip to the Mother Road, the two devoted sixty-sixers found that Greeks are still feeding America’s nostalgia.
Homecoming Revolution Africa will hold an event in London, United Kingdom (UK) on March 15 and 16 in a bid to entice top African professionals back from the diaspora.
Companies attending include Barclays Africa, Standard Bank Group, KPMG Africa, Diageo, Ecobank, Africa Health Placements, Chicken Republic, Globacom, Group Five and Deloitte.
In order to tap into the top African talent interested in returning, Homecoming Revolution partnered with the various professional diaspora networks and noted a significant pool of professionals interested in engaging.
“I’ve noticed a change in the attitude of African diaspora in the UK, they are all aware of what’s going on back home and they want to be a part of it,” said Clarissa Azkoul from the International Organisation for Migration.
“We’ve found that successful returnees move home firstly to be closer to friends and family, second for a sense of belonging and purpose and only third for career. So if you find yourself haggling over your pay package as the deciding factor on if you’ll move home or not – then you simply aren’t ready to return and you should stay where you are,” said Jones.
African-born scholars living and working in American and Canadian universities are now able to apply for fellowships to undertake academic projects in African universities under a diaspora initiative supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Some 100 scholarships are up for grabs under the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program which will commence in June 2014 and will run for two years. The aim is to transform the ‘brain drain’ that strips African universities of many of Africa’s finest minds into ‘brain circulation’, in which African academics in North America are encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise with their motherland.
Scholars will have the opportunity to work in a university for periods ranging from 14 to 90 days in areas including teaching, curriculum, research, and graduate training and mentoring.
“The fellows will engage in capacity building educational projects proposed and hosted by faculty at higher education institutions in six Carnegie partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,” the corporation said in a press statement.
The countries are Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Interested universities in the partner countries are also able to apply to host a scholar, and to design a project to be jointly undertaken with an academic in the diaspora. Both private and public universities are eligible to participate in the initiative.
Why a Nigerian fashion startup decided to accept Bitcoin as payment
Nigerian Kunmi Otitoju studied and worked in the US and Europe before launching her fashion design startup, Minku, in 2011. The company – based in Lagos and Barcelona – specialises in handmade, Yoruba-themed leather bags for men and women which are mainly sold online and at high-end stores in Nigeria.
Recently, Minku started accepting the controversial Bitcoin as an online payment method for its designs. How we made it in Africa asked Otitoju about her decision to accept the digital currency, as well as the potential she sees in the Nigerian fashion industry and ecommerce space