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The Bánh Mì Chronicles

The Bánh Mì Chronicles

By Randy Kim
The word “ Bánh Mì “ means “bread” in Vietnamese. Bánh Mì sandwiches are a long-time Vietnamese staple that’s been influenced since the French colonization. It was the first Vietnamese food I grew to like as a Southeast Asian kid growing up in a White middle class neighborhood outside of Chicago.

Through "The Bánh Mì Chronicles," I am looking to "break bánh mì" with AAPI folks in Chicago and beyond, to understand the work they are doing for themselves, their community, and their family. This journey will ensure that our interactions with each other become a part of our history.
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Storytelling: Recording Our History in Action w/ Dr. Ada Cheng

The Bánh Mì Chronicles

Storytelling: Recording Our History in Action w/ Dr. Ada Cheng

The Bánh Mì Chronicles

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Across the Front Lines w/ Kalaya'an Mendoza
(S4, EP 3) Kalaya'an Mendoza (He / Him / SIya) shares his community organizing experience over the years, and more recently, during the 2020 racial civil unreast.  Kalaya'an discusses his work in helping to promote nonviolent civil resistance, and also through his co-founding work Across Frontlines, an organization that works alongside frontline human rights defenders to protest against state-sanctioned violence. We talk about the Asians for Black Lives solidarity work, the mental, spiritual, and physical challenges of movement work, and what the challenges from the President Biden administration would look like for this current movement.  For more on Kalay'aan's work, follow him on Instagram at @Kalamendoza and @acrossfrontlines -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Kalaya'an Mendoza [He/Him/Siya] resides on occupied Lenape territory (New York City). He is a Queer, Hard of Hearing Filipino American organizer and human rights activist who has been engaged in nonviolent civil resistance for the past two decades with frontline communities from Turtle Island to Myanmar to Aotearoa. His work in the last year has focused on voter protection, community defense and tactical safety and security training for human rights defenders during the uprisings for Black lives of this summer and the 2020 elections. He is the co-founder of Across Frontlines, an organization that works alongside frontline human rights defenders to keep their communities safe from state and non state actor violence. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Season 4 is sponsored by Red Scarf Revolution (RSR).  RSR aims to bring awareness to the tragedies, atrocities and cultural destruction that the Cambodian people endured from 1975 to 1979 under the communist Khmer Rouge regime and how that period impacts us today.  With that awareness, Red Scarf Revolution advocates the silenced art, music, culture,  and language, with designs that incite the resiliency of the Cambodian people.  Visit their website at www.redscarfrevolution.com to check out their merch line and to learn more about their work, or follow their Instagram at red_scarf_revolution or on their Facebook.
1:19:59
January 17, 2021
To Forgive Myself w/ Loung Ung
(S4, EP 2). Khmer-American author Loung Ung joined me for this episode. She is best known for her international best-seller First, They Killed My Father.  She recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of her debut book which chronicled her survival as a young child during the Khmer Rouge genocide from 1975-1979.   This book would later be turned into a Netflix film in 2017 that Angelina Jolie would direct.  In this interview, she shared her reflections writing this book, and how this has aided in her healing from her childhood trauma from the genocide, and her relationship with Cambodia in her visits since the book.  She reminisced on her time working with Angelina and her son Maddox on the film, and their friendship together.  You can follow Loung's work at https://www.loungung.com and her Twitter @UngLoung. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Season 4 is sponsored by Red Scarf Revolution (RSR).  RSR aims to bring awareness to the tragedies, atrocities and cultural destruction that the Cambodian people endured from 1975 to 1979 under the communist Khmer Rouge regime and how that period impacts us today.  With that awareness, Red Scarf Revolution advocates the silenced art, music, culture,  and language, with designs that incite the resiliency of the Cambodian people.  Visit their website at www.redscarfrevolution.com to check out their merch line and to learn more about their work, or follow their Instagram at red_scarf_revolution or on their Facebook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Bio: LOUNG UNG is a bestselling author, activist, and co-screenplay writer of First They Killed My Father, a critically acclaimed 2017 Netflix Original Movie directed by Angelina Jolie based on her memoir.  Born in 1970 into a large, middle-class family in Phnom Penh, Loung was five years old when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia. Four years later, in one of the bloodiest genocides of the 20th century, an estimated 2 million died under the regime. Among the victims were Loung’s parents, two sisters, and 20 other relatives. In 1980, Loung, her older brother Meng and his wife, Eang, relocated as refugees to America.  In her first memoir, the national best-seller First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, Loung tells the story of her survival in Cambodia's Killing Fields. Her second book, Lucky Child, details her life as a refugee in Vermont and her sister Chou’s as a displaced person in Cambodia. In her third book, Lulu in the Sky, Loung chronicles her 1995 return to Cambodia as an activist to ban landmines, and her reunion with the family she left behind. Since then, she has made over forty trips back to Cambodia.  Today, she has shared her messages of resilience, healing, civic service, activism, and leadership across the world. She has spoken at schools, universities, and organizations. Loung is a contributing writer for the groundbreaking film Girl Rising, which profiles nine girls from nine countries, including Cambodia, who are struggling against odds to achieve an education. She has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, among others.  When not writing or traveling, Loung can be found at Market Garden Brewery, one of three microbreweries she co-owns in Ohio City, Ohio. 
1:02:58
January 10, 2021
Cool Woman w/ TRACE
(S4, EP 1) Vietnamese-American singer TRACE joined me as my first guest to kick things off for Season 4.  Fresh off her latest single and video release, "Cool Women", TRACE shared her experiences becoming a singer-songwriter in the American indie music scene, and her relationship with her mother Carol Kim, a Vietnam-War survivor and also a well-known Vietnamese singer in the Paris by Night series.  She went into the struggles of mental health and reconciling her relationship with her father through her music, and the challenges of creating art during the time of the pandemic.  You can check out her music on all streaming services.  Her IG is @TRACE and you can visit her at www.listentotrace.com.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Season 4 is sponsored by Red Scarf Revolution (RSR).  RSR aims to bring awareness to the tragedies, atrocities and cultural destruction the Cambodian people endured from 1975 to 1979 under the communist Khmer Rouge regime and how that period impacts us today.  With that awareness, Red Scarf Revolution advocates the silenced art, music, culture,  and language, with designs that incite the resiliency of the Cambodian people.  Visit their website at www.redscarfrevolution.com to check out their merch line and to learn more about their work, or follow their Instagram at red_scarf_revolution or on their Facebook.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: TRACE is a Vietnamese-American singer born and raised in Fountain Valley, California. In 2016, TRACE brought her first EP,  Low -  to life through a Kickstarter campaign. The 4-track piece earned her comparisons to the “west-coast cool of Lana Del Rey" and the “R&B-kissed ruminations of James Blake,” as well as over 30M streams and her first record deal. In early 2018, TRACE made her Ultra Records debut with her single “Blood and Bones,” followed by two more singles: "Side Eye” (which was featured on The Fader's fall list of "Best New Pop Songs") and "Anxiety." For the latter, TRACE partnered with the non-profit organization (NAMI) National Alliance on Mental Health to raise awareness on anxiety in the entertainment industry. Last year, TRACE released her 2nd EP--Like Hell and most recently released her song Cool Woman along with the music video which is now out on streaming services.  
58:00
January 3, 2021
Season 4 Trailer
I am excited to ring in the 2021 year with a new 4th season with a fresh lineup of incredible guests for this show.  I decided to name this season’s theme, “Process” after reflecting on what has been a turbulent 2020 year marred with civil unrest, the global pandemic and the recent US election.  in the aftermath of these events, I think of how the Asian American communities in particular are processing the challenges and losses from this past year, and how we as a community can learn from these experiences as we move onwards into 21.  This theme also explores the events in our journey that changed the course of our own living history, and how we work to find space for our own lifelong healing and reconciliation from our past. I’m also happy to announce that Red Scarf Revolution will be my new sponsor for Season 4.  Red Scarf Revolution is founded and run by Silong Chhun who is a dear friend of mine and past guest on this podcast. Silong is a 1.5 generation Khmer-American artist and community advocate from Tacoma, Washington.  The Red Scarf Revolution is a Khmer-owned merchandise line, and as part of the collective work that he is doing to bring attention to the history of Khmer Americans through the Khmer Rouge, the US refugee resettlement period, and the recent deportation issues affecting many Khmer-Americans.  Be sure to check out his merchandise line and his work. You can follow Red Scarf Revolution on Instagram at red_scarf_revolution or on Facebook, or on his website at www.redscarfrevolution.com Thank you to my season 4 guests for taking the time to be on this show, and for sharing your stories and your work.  It is an absolute honor and privilege to be talking with you for this important theme. I want to thank all my listeners who have been following me on my podcast journey for the past year, and I am looking forward to bringing you a new collection of stories from my guests.  I hope you enjoy this season, and until then, please be safe, exercise vigilance, compassion, and love for one another.  Thank you.
02:33
December 27, 2020
Season 3 "Where Do We Stand" Closing Remarks
Closing remarks to end Season 3, "Where Do We Stand?" theme.  Be on the lookout for Season 4, "Process" coming in early 2021 !! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This Season 3 episode is sponsored by Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line centering on immigrant empowerment.  Unfortunately, Lawrence and Argyle will discontinue at the end of this year so be sure to get their remaining merchandise before they are gone for good. I want to thank them for being my first sponsor, and for the wonderful work that they do to highlight our immigrant and refugee communities. Please visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com and get the last remaining merchandise before they are gone for good.  
03:20
October 25, 2020
If I Am to Rule, Then May I Submit to Love w/ MILCK
(S3, EP 11) We reached our final guest to close out Season 3 continuing the theme, "Where Do We Stand?".  MILCK (Connie Lim) is an Asian-American recording artist who first received international attention for her song "Quiet" which became viral during the Women's March in DC in 2017.  It would be named by Billboard Music as "The Protest Song of the Year" in 2017.  We discuss the impact that the song has had on her work as an artist and activist. She talks about her struggles breaking through as an Asian-American artist, and her hopes to use her music to help build solidarity with other marginalized communities.  MILCK talks about her recently released EP, "Into Gold" which is available on all streaming services.  MILCK also surprised me by performing her new single, "Somebody's Beloved".  Check this episode out for more! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at  www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: MILCK (Connie Lim) is a soul-cial change recording artist who gained international recognition when her song "Quiet" went viral and became coined as the unofficial anthem of The Women's March.  "Quiet" is translated into multiple languages by all over the world and has been featured as part of NPR's American Anthem series.  In 2017, Billboard called “Quiet” the No. 1 protest song of the year. “Quiet” is also the ending theme song to Broadway play Gloria, honoring Gloria Steinem. MILCK has performed this anthem as survivors of Larry Nassar walked the stage during the 2018 ESPYS. MILCK has been honored to share her songs and thoughts on the same stages as Michelle Obama, Oprah, Cheryl Strayed, Glennon Doyle, Jason Mraz, Yoko Ono, and Ani DiFranco. MILCK partnered with GRAMMY Award-winning producer Malay (Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys) to create her EP entitled Into Gold, as shared by Reese Witherspoon and TIME magazine. MILCK founded the #ICANTKEEPQUIET fund to support nonprofits that invest in underserved communities. Visit icantkeepquiet.org for more info
1:12:54
October 18, 2020
Destination: Queer Asian w/ Maya Reddy
(S3, EP 10) Maya Reddy, founder of Queer Asian Social Club (QASC), joins me for this episode as part of the Season 3 theme, "Where Do We Stand?"  Maya. a queer South Asian professional golfer, founded QASC to promote intersectional LGBTQ+ Asian identities and experiences.  It is a social media space, podcast, and merchandise line celebrating Asian queer / trans identities.  She shares her experience creating QASC with her team, and more recently, using their platform to call attention to anti-Asian racism in the wake of Covid-19, and building solidarity to fight against colorism and anti-Black racism.  She is currently in law school, and been focusing her attention on LGBTQ issues in athletics.  Check this episode out for more! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at  www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Maya Reddy is a queer South Asian former professional golfer, LGBTQ+ athlete activist, Athlete Ally ambassador, founder of the Queer Asian Social Club, and a Toll Public Interest Scholar in the University of Pennsylvania Law School class of 2022. She was a three-time NCAA All-American and gained status on the Symetra Tour before having to take a step back from the sport due to its exclusive culture and the many harmful experiences she endured, as a result of that culture. Maya focused her pain in fighting for and becoming an advocate for LGBTQ-inclusive policies in sports and decided to pursue a law degree to strengthen her work in inclusive policy formation, advocacy, and litigation defending trans and queer athletes.
1:40:38
October 11, 2020
Organizing with the Fam w / Kristina Tendilla
(S3, EP 9) Kristina Tendilla joins me as my guest for this Season 3's theme "Where Do We Stand?"  Kristina is a queer Filipinx-American community organizer in Chicago and current Executive Director of AFIRE (Alliance of Filipino Immigrant Rights and Empowerment).  She discusses what prompted her to be involved in community organizing, and her role with AFIRE, particularly with elders and careworkers affected by Covid-19.  She talks about the challenges in having difficult conversations with the Filipinx / API community on anti-Black racism and colorism, and the critical need to involve her community on key issues for this upcoming election.  Check out this episode to learn more about Kristina's work!  Recorded on July 9th.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Kristina Tendilla (she/they) has been a life long Filipinx organizer and community worker. Most recently, Kristina was a national organizer with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum working with chapters across the country to fight for reproductive justice. Before that, they were a community organizer with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago for several years working on the city and state level. Kristina joined i2i to build solidarity with the queer and trans AAPI community. For 10 years, Kristina organized alongside families and people in the immigrant and refugee community to engage in the fight around worker rights, healthcare access, Illinois TRUST Act, rejecting anti-Muslim and xenophobic executive orders, & other immigrant/racial justice issues. Kristina was recognized as a National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum Everyday SHEroe and a Chicago Women and Femme to Celebrate. Through their work and other LGBTQIA+ AAPIs, i2i received the National Queer Asian American Pacific Islander Alliance Advocacy Award in 2016.  Kristina is currently the Executive Director with AFIRE (Alliance of Filipino Immigrant Rights and Empowerment) since 2019. 
1:18:34
October 4, 2020
Serving the Mission w/ Rep. Chris Chyung
(S3, EP 8) In continuation of the Season 3 theme, "Where Do We Stand?",  Indiana State Representative Chris Chyung joined me as my guest for this episode.  In 2018, he became the youngest (at 25 years old) & first Korean-American elected into office in Indiana's history by beating the district's long-time incumbent by only 82 votes in one of the state's traditionally GOP districts.  This year, he is running for a very tight reelection race.  Rep. Chyung talks about the challenges of running in 2018 as someone new to politics and as an Asian-American running in a district that is 90% white and GOP-leaning.  He discusses what he's learned since taking office and working in a state where the GOP holds the majority control as a Democrat.  We talk about the issues affecting his constituents in the wake of Covid-19, his own approach to navigating his district's politics and with the Democrat party, and his upcoming reelection campaign.  Please check out for more on this episode.   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Indiana State Representative Chris Chyung of Dyer represents Indiana House District 15.  Chyung is the ranking minority member of the Local Government Committee. He is also a member of the following Indiana House committees: Financial Institutions, Roads and Transportation, and Veterans Affairs and Public Safety. Chyung was born in Merrillville and graduated from Munster High School. After working as a financial analyst for Pangea Real Estate in Chicago, Chyung started his own real estate company, Koh Holdings LLC, in Hammond. Chyung's volunteer work has included service with Habitat for Humanity Restore as well as the Welcome Network. You can check out his website at www.votechyung.com
58:44
September 27, 2020
It's Our Time Now w/ Suely Saro Ed.D
(S3, EP 7) Suely Saro Ed.D. joins me as a guest for the Season 3 edition of "Where Do We Stand?"  Suely is currently running for Long Beach City Council.  Earlier this year, she beat her opponent who has been a long-time incumbent.  If elected, she'll be the first Khmer-American elected into Long Beach City Council, home to the largest Khmer-American population in the US.  In our conversation, she shares her experience in what led her to run for office for the first time, and what it's like to campaign during the pandemic.  She goes into issues that have affected her district in the wake of Covid-19 and the civil unrest since George Floyd and Breonna Taylor's murders.  Suely talks about what she hopes to do for the city of Long Beach, CA and her hopes of encouraging fellow Khmer-Americans to be civically engaged in their community.   Please check out this episode for more on my interiew w / Suely.   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at  www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Suely Saro is running for Long Beach City Council District 6 in the 2020 election. As a field representative for the Office of former State Senator Ricardo Lara, Suely had the opportunity to work closely with residents in District 6 and throughout Long Beach.  Suely was the first in her family to graduate from college, holds a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne, is an adjunct faculty member at the School of Social Work at California State University-LA, and serves as a Consultant to the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC). Suely understands the immigrant experience first hand. Born in a Thai refugee camp to parents who survived the Cambodian Genocide, Suely and her family  settled in LA before they moved to Long Beach. Throughout her life, Suely has been dedicated to fighting for equity for working families, youth, immigrants, and women. She began her career as a labor organizer working alongside janitors at SEIU Local 6 and healthcare workers at SEIU 1199NW in their fight for fair wages and better working conditions. She went on to become the first Executive Director of Khmer Girls in Action. She then joined the Health Access Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice to provide education, build coalitions, and conduct advocacy on the Affordable Care Act.  You can visit her at www.suelysaro.com
56:52
September 20, 2020
Organizing Through Teaching w/ Jianan Shi
(S3, EP 6) Jianan Shi joined in as a guest for this week's episode which was recorded on July 24th.  Jianan is the Executive Director with Illinois Raise Your Hand, a parent advocacy organization that organizes parents around systemic issues in education. Prior to that, he was a science teacher at Solorio Academy High School in Chicago, and has been involved in community activism which includes volunteering with Asian American Advancing Justice (AAAJC-Chicago), and actively working with Black and Brown communities on youth empowerment, education access, anti-police brutality among others.  Jianan speaks about his leadership role with IL Raise Your Hand and their response during Covid-19, and the challenges that public schools, in both Chicago and across IL, have faced since the pandemic.  We also spoke about his upbringing and how this would influence him to be involved in education and community organizing.  Hope you enjoy my conversation with Jianan, and that you can find ways to get involved!  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio:  -- Jianan Shi is the Executive Director of Raise Your Hand, a parent advocacy organization that organizes parents around systemic issues in education. Before joining Raise Your Hand a year ago, Jianan was a science educator at a Solorio Academy, a neighborhood CPS HS and has taught for 6 years. Jianan has been in Chicago for almost 4 years now - prior to Chicago, he has spent most of his life in the Boston area. When he is not working, he is spending too much money on his dog Roxie and eating his way through Chicago.  For more on IL Raise Your Hand, please visit: https://www.ilraiseyourhand.org/ or go to their Instagram at @ilraiseyourhand or on their FB https://www.facebook.com/ilraiseyourhand/
1:10:59
September 13, 2020
Documenting My Dream w/ Dr. Tereza Lee
(S3, EP 5) In this week's episode, I spoke with my old friend Tereza Lee back in July.  Tereza is a mother of 3, professional pianist, and a long-time immigration rights activist. Tereza was one of the pioneers of the DREAM movement in the early 2000's when her then-undocumented status inspired US-IL Senator Dick Durbin to sponsor the first DREAM Act proposal in 2001.  In this interview, Tereza shared her experiences growing up undocumented, and how her music teacher inspired her to share her story to Senator Durbin.  She reminisces back on the struggles of the undocumented movement, but also hopes for this current generation of DACA / undocumented activists.  She recently received her doctorate, and talked about her research of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and his mentorship of Harry Burleigh, one of the earliest African American composers as well as his work with Black and Indigenous music students.  We talked about her experiences living in NYC during this Covid-19 era.  Hope you get to listen in, and hear her powerful journey! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio -- Tereza Lee is a pianist “whose touch is exceptionally clear” (—Chicago Sun-Times), who is also a prominent advocate for immigrant rights. She began her performing career at the age of 11, as the pianist at her family’s church. At 16, she became the first student from an inner-city school to win first prize in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition, and performed with the C.S.O. She has gone on to perform as a soloist at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Barge Music, Lincoln Center and the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. She has premiered works by Aaron Jay Kernis, Augusta Read Thomas, Ned Rorem, Josephine Lee, and Kenneth Frazelle.  Tereza’s role in helping to inspire Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois to introduce the DREAM Act has been documented in The New York Times, PBS, NPR, USA Today, The Economist, NY1, and WNYC. She has been engaged in activism especially on immigration issues, supporting the New York State Liberty Act, the New York State DREAM Act, Greenlight NY and Driver’s License For All Campaigns.   Tereza recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
1:24:58
September 6, 2020
Re-Imagining Equity in the Workplace w/ Michelle Kim
(S3, EP 4) Michelle Kim joined in for this week's episode as part of Season 3's theme, "Where Do We Stand?".  Michelle is a queer social justice activist, and is currently the CEO of Awaken, which provides interactive DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) workshops for a number of leading tech companies across the US.  She talked about the barriers that BIPOC employees are still facing with their employers, and what companies are failing to do in addressing the systemic racism and micro-aggressions in their work culture.  She spent time breaking down where DEI initiatives fall short, and how companies must use best practices to dismantle white supremacy in their environment.  Please check out this episode for more on my discussion with Michelle.   Recorded: July 10th -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Michelle Kim is an entrepreneur and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) thought leader who believes in creating compassionate space for uncomfortable conversations that go beyond just “checking the box.” She is the CEO of Awaken, a leading provider of interactive DEI workshops, where she has consulted hundreds of organizations and top executives from Fortune 500 to tech giants to spark meaningful change. Michelle has been a lifelong social justice activist and has served on a variety of organizations such as the San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau, SF Human Rights Commission's Advisory Committee, and LYRIC nonprofit’s Board of Directors. Her work has appeared on world renowned platforms such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The New York Times, and NPR, and she has been named Medium’s Top Writer in Diversity 3 years in a row. Visit Awaken at www.visionawaken.com. Follow Michelle on LinkedIn or Twitter.
53:22
August 30, 2020
Uncovering Minor Feelings w/ Cathy Park Hong
(S3, EP 3) Cathy Park Hong joined me for this week's episode of the podcast.  Cathy is a Korean-American poet, writer, and professor at Rutgers-Newark University.  Cathy recently released her critically acclaimed essay book, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning this past Spring.  In discussing her latest book, Cathy shared her process in writing Minor Feelings, and on the complicated layers of the Asian-American identity in her essays.  Her book segued into the current anti-Asian racism during Covid-19 which she also wrote an op-ed for the NY-Times called "The Slur I Never Expected To Hear in 2020".  She talked about the challenging issues confronting anti-Black racism in the API community in the wake of George Floyd's murder, and reflected on the differences between her experience with the LA Riot and the current protest movements.  There is so much more in our discussion that you won't want to miss!   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Cathy Park Hong is a Korean-American poet, journalist the author of Translating Mo'um, (Hanging Loose Press, 2002); Dance Dance Revolution (W.W. Norton, 2007), winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize; and Engine Empire (W.W. Norton, 2012). In Spring 2020, Cathy recently released her critically acclaimed essay book, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the NEA, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her writing on politics and her reviews have appeared in the Village Voice, the Guardian, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, and New York Times Magazine.  She is a professor at Rutgers-Newark University and Poetry Editor for The New Republic.  
1:03:00
August 23, 2020
The Work to Liberate w/ Anoop Prasad
(S3, EP 2) Anoop Prasad, Immigration Attorney w/ Asian Law Caucus, joins in for this episode continuing on the Season 3 theme "Where Do We Stand?" as he talks about the current situation that has affected Southeast Asian and other API immigrants who are currently detained by ICE and facing deportation during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Anoop shares about the history of the deportation of visa and green-card holding Southeast Asian immigrants, and how it has continued to accelerate under the Trump administration.  Anoop offers important advice to those seeking to become better allies in the fight against ICE and advocate for the release of those facing deportation. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor Lawrence & Argyle. a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt, and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com, or on their Facebook or Instagram @LawrenceandArgyle.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Anoop Prasad is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco and also a part of Survived and Punished and Asian Prisoner Support Committee. Anoop works with Southeast Asian refugees in prison and immigration detention facing deportation due to criminal convictions. Their work has included organizing campaigns to stop deportations, policy campaigns to expand the use of clemency by Governors, and representing people facing deportation.
51:06
August 16, 2020
Surviving to Educate w/ Annie Tan
(S3, EP 1) Annie Tan, special education teacher, activist, writer and storyteller, kicks things off as my first guest of the 3rd season of the podcast.  In this discussion, Annie talked about the challenges she has faced as a teacher in NYC during Covid-19, and the impact that it has on her students, school colleagues, and parents.  She shared her reflection on learning about being related to Vincent Chin, who back in 1982, was murdered by a group of white men in Detroit in a hate-crime attack.  She talked about the Asian-American movement that followed soon after his death.  Annie shared her thoughts about the current national civil unrest in the awake of George Floyd's death, and what it means to talk about anti-Blackness in the API community and with her family.   Check out this episode ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Bio: Annie Tan is a special education teacher, activist, writer and storyteller based in Chinatown, New York City. Annie fights for her students, public education, teachers unions, tenants rights, Asian American issues and racial justice. Annie's work has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, New Republic, PBS' documentary series "Asian Americans," and two of her stories have been featured on the Moth Radio Hour on NPR. Annie is currently working on a book about her family and Asian American history. You can follow Annie's work at annietan.com and Twitter/Instagram at @annietangent.
1:30:49
August 5, 2020
Season 3 Theme "Where Do We Stand?"
I am excited to be back and share with you a new 3rd season of "The Banh Mi Chronicles" Podcast.  For this 3rd season, the podcast will be exploring the theme, "Where Do We Stand?" as I sit down and talk with fellow APIA guests as they share their experiences living through the Covid-19 pandemic, their current work on anti-racism including issues on anti-Blackness and colorism in our communities, and reflections on this upcoming 2020 election.  Listen to this preview to learn more about this season.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ To kick things off, I share my storytelling piece I wrote called "The Family Dinner Table" which was written right after the Charlottesville protest in 2017, as I shared about the struggles of dealing with my family's racism.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page
14:31
August 2, 2020
Season 2 "1975" Finale
Welcome to the Season 2 Recap of The Banh Mi Chronicles Podcast! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Final closing remarks about this past season 2 reflecting on the year "1975" -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Following thanks to my following guests, Thanhha Lai, Van Huynh, Phanit Duong, Tung Nguyen, SIlong Chhun, Khemarey Khoeun, Tony Ho Tran, Punisa Pov, Kevin Yang, Saymoukda Vongsay, Simone Cottrell, Sambath Meas, Sina Sam, and Viet Thanh Nguyen for joining me on for this season and sharing your incredible journey and work with us.    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I would like to send my special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle for sponsoring this 2nd season.  If you have the time, please check them out on their website at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on their Instagram. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Last but not least, thank you to everyone for listening and supporting the podcast.  I will look to return again soon with a new theme for the upcoming 3rd season. Be on the lookout for updates by visiting me on my Facebook at The Banh Mi Chronicles or on Instagram @ BanhMi_Chronicles.  Stay tuned and thank you as always.  
02:37
June 9, 2020
Where Do We Go From Here? w/ Viet Thanh Nguyen
(S2, EP 14) For this Season 2 finale centering on the theme, "1975",  NY Times best seller and Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen joins in as a guest on the podcast.  In this episode, Viet reflects on the growing hostility towards the API (Asian Pacific Islander) communities in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic, and how the API community can build solidarity and strength during this critical time.  He also speaks about former presidential candidate Andrew Yang's recent controversial op-ed.  Viet looks back on the 45 year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, and his critically acclaimed fiction novel, The Sympathizer which is set in the post Vietnam War period.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Short Bio: Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His other books are The Refugees, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is a University Professor, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. His most recent publication is Chicken of the Sea, a children’s book written in collaboration with his six-year-old son, Ellison.
58:42
May 31, 2020
Building My New Normal Pt 2 w/ Sina Sam
(S2, EP 13.2) For this week’s part 2 episode, I interviewed guest Sina Sam, a longtime Cambodian-American community leader from Washington State.  She became the first Cambodian American woman to serve as the Commissioner for the Asian Pacific American Affairs for Governor Inslee’s office in Washington State.  She is the co-founder of the Khmer Anti Deportation Group and is now serving as the Field Director for SEARAC otherwise known as Southeast Asia Resource Center.    For part 2, she talked about how her experience as a teen mom would lead her to be actively involved in reproductive justice rights, and eventually in Cambodian-American / Southeast Asian civic engagement.  She talked about the issues concerning deportations in the Southeast Asian American communities across the US and the group she co-founded to advocate against the deportations. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Sina Sam is a 1.5 generation Khmer American, born in a Thai refugee camp and raised in Seattle, WA. Before her appointment as the first Cambodian woman to serve on the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) of Washington State, Commissioner Sam has been an active organizer in the Khmer community for almost two decades. Co-founder of the Khmer Anti-deportation Advocacy Group (KhAAG) and an organizer with F.I.G.H.T, her advocacy work centers around addressing high rates of incarceration and deportation for Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs), and other vulnerable populations. Currently, she is the Field Director in transition at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Chair of CAPAA's Civil Rights & Immigration Committee, and is the first woman to be elected to lead the API Caucus of WA State Democrats. Understanding that hard work alone will not guarantee better opportunities, that there are structural barriers for some and not for others, much of Sina's personal, professional and community building work are guided by a passion towards intersectional and restorative justice, and trauma-informed healing
1:15:54
May 24, 2020
Building My New Normal Pt. 1 w/ Sina Sam
(S2 EP 13.1) Sina Sam, a 1.5 generation Khmer-American chatted with the podcast for our two-part interview.  She became the first Cambodian-American woman to serve as the Commissioner for the Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) for Governor Inslee's office in Washington State.  She is a co-founder of the Khmer Anti-Deportation Group (KHAAG) and currently the Field Director for SEARAC (Southeast Asia Resource Action Center). She shared her experience arriving in Seattle with her family during the 1980s.  Sina would experience many of the same challenges and hardship that Southeast Asian refugees faced during resettlement. There was poverty, violence, intergenerational trauma, internalized racism, failing schools and family instability.  In Pt 1 of this interview, she talked at length about being a teen parent and high school dropout at the age of 16, and dealing with the fractured relationship she had with her father at the time.  There's so much more that Sina shared with me throughout our long, fascinating interview, but don't miss out on listening to Pt 1 of this interview.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Sina Sam is a 1.5 generation Khmer American, born in a Thai refugee camp and raised in Seattle, WA. Before her appointment as the first Cambodian woman to serve on the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) of Washington State, Commissioner Sam has been an active organizer in the Khmer community for almost two decades. Co-founder of the Khmer Anti-deportation Advocacy Group (KhAAG) and an organizer with F.I.G.H.T, her advocacy work centers around addressing high rates of incarceration and deportation for Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs), and other vulnerable populations. Currently, she is the Field Director in transition at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Chair of CAPAA's Civil Rights & Immigration Committee, and is the first woman to be elected to lead the API Caucus of WA State Democrats. Understanding that hard work alone will not guarantee better opportunities, that there are structural barriers for some and not for others, much of Sina's personal, professional and community building work are guided by a passion towards intersectional and restorative justice, and trauma-informed healing
1:16:51
May 17, 2020
I Am A Refugenius w/ Saymoukda Vongsay
(S2, EP 12) For this week's episode of The Banh Mi Chronicles Podcast centering on the theme "1975", Lao American writer and playwright Saymoukda Vongsay aka "Refugenius" joins in as a guest and shares her family's migration journey from Laos to Minnesota after the Laos Civil War.  She shares  her experience growing up with the Lao community in Minnesota, the process of finding her voice through spoken word / poetry, and creating plays centered on the Lao experience in the theatre community.  She recently received a large grant from the Mellon fund that will fund her work as a full-time playwright.  In this episode, she also reads one of her personal poems.  You won't want to miss this memorable episode!    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment. Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride. Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a Lao writer. CNN’s “United Shades of America” host W. Kamau Bell called her work “revolutionary.” Governor Mark Dayton recognized her with a “Lao Artists Heritage Month” Proclamation. She’s a recipient of a Sally Award for Initiative from the Ordway Center for Performing Arts which “recognizes bold new steps and strategic leadership undertaken by an individual...in creating projects or artistic programs never before seen in Minnesota that will have a significant impact on strengthening Minnesota’s artistic/cultural community.” Her plays have been presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Theater Mu, and elsewhere.
1:21:34
May 10, 2020
No Longer Strangers to Each Other w / Sambath Meas
(S2, Ep 11)  For this week's episode of the podcast, Cambodian-American author Sambath Meas joins in as my guest.  She's 1.5 generation Cambodian-American who grew up in the Chicago Uptown neighborhood.  She is the author of two books, "The Governor's Daughter" and "The Immortal Seeds".  We chatted about her upbringing in Uptown and delved deep into her complicated relationship with her parents.  Sambath shared her experience writing her two books, and what she hoped to inspire for other fellow Southeast Asian writers.  Please check out this episode, and after you do, please pick up a copy of one of her books which is available now.   ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: "After having graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and having worked in the corporate world for many years, I have decided to continue to improve myself and to contribute to the richness that is Chicago literature. I love reading history, mystery, supernatural, and science-fiction books. Reading generates ideas, and story ideas are flowing out of me like the Tonle Sap River. I am moving forward to chase that sought-after dream of being a writer. That is why I am attending Northwestern University in Chicago to hone my writing skills and to obtain my master’s degree in creative nonfiction. Writing is my refuge. While I am currently investigating the brutal murders of my uncle, his wife, and their fellow villagers in 1995, I am also working on my debut science-fiction novel. I hope to finish it this year"---Sambath Meas  For more on her bio, please visit www.sambathmeas.com
1:46:48
May 3, 2020
Processing the "In-Between": My Hmong-American Journey w/ Kevin Yang
(S2, EP 10)  In continuing the 2nd season “1975" theme, I interviewed Kevin Yang, a 2nd generation Hmong American from the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  Kevin is a multi-discipline artist which includes being a spoken word artist and filmmaker. In this interview, Kevin shares his family’s migration journey from Laos to Minnesota.  He talks about his upbringing in Minnesota, and his relationship with the Hmong community there.  In discovering his family’s refugee journey, Kevin became inspired to write and perform as a spoken word artist as a way to document his family’s history, and his own personal challenges with assimilation.  He also shares a personal poem he wrote called “Come Home” for this episode.  Tune in, and listen to this wonderful conversation that we shared. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Kevin Yang is a Hmong American multidisciplinary artist from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Kevin creates in the mediums of spoken word and filmmaking. He is a board member with Street Stops and Mountain Tops, a team that connects the global Hmong diaspora together through the arts. He finds most of his inspiration unraveling his experience as a Hmong soul born in the United States.
1:00:23
April 26, 2020
Music to Keep Me Going w/ Punisa Pov
(S2, Ep 9) In this week's episode, Cambodian Artist and Musician, Punisa Pov joins me as my guest for the podcast. Punisa was born and raised in Cambodia.  She has been living in the US, first as a college student in Iowa, and currently working as a resident musician and artist for the National Cambodian Heritage Museum the past few years.  Punisa has been singing and playing music nearly her entire life, devoting her craft to honor Cambodian traditional music which was nearly destroyed during the time of the Khmer Rouge.  In this interview, she talks about her music, as well coming to terms with the loss of her mother, and the importance of how her art has helped to teach and heal both elder and younger Cambodian Americans.   Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. Bio: Punisa Pov is a Cambodian musician, who is currently a full-time musician with the National Cambodian Heritage Museum & Killing Fields Memorial, where she teaches and performs. The Khmer Rouge executed 90% of artists, whom they specifically targeted to kill.  Only a handful of master musicians survived the genocide. Punisa is one of the selective young musicians from Cambodia, who have been mentored by survived master musicians. She started learning the Pin Peat music and instruments at age of 12 in 2003 with the Cambodian Living Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Punisa has consistently performed Cambodian classical and traditional music in Cambodia and in the U.S. She has also collaborated with contemporary musicians from Cambodia as well as from Europe and the U.S. Her Cambodian classical and traditional music classes introduce the joy of music to local Cambodians of all ages as well as to non-Cambodians. Her performances to the museum visitors always brings a poignant moment to remember that the music she plays was almost abolished during the Cambodian genocide, thus to signify the unique role that Punisa plays in the Museum and Memorial.
1:05:55
April 19, 2020
Discovering My Voice and Its Impact w/ Khemarey Khoeun
(S2 Ep 8) In continuing the theme, “1975” for this 2nd season,  Khemarey Khoeun joins me as my guest for this week's episode. Khemarey is a 1.5 generation Cambodian American from the Chicagoland area.  Back in 2017, she became the first Cambodian American woman elected into public office for the Skokie Park District.  Khem also serves as the board president for the National Cambodian Heritage Museum in the Chicago Lincoln Square neighborhood.  In this interview, she talks about the difficulties in navigating through her Cambodian American identity growing up, her motivation to get involved in community and civic engagement, her recent lessons she’s learned from running and being an elected official, and what she hopes to impart to women of color and to her own children.   ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or on Instagram @lawrenceandargyle or on their Facebook page. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Khemarey received her BS in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. She formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Cambodian Association of Illinois and is currently President of the National Cambodian Heritage Museum & Killing Fields Memorial. In 2017, she became the first Cambodian American woman to be elected to any public office position in the U.S
1:12:55
April 12, 2020
I Took A DNA Test And It Turns Out... w/ Tony Ho Tran
(S2, EP 7) For this week's episode for the podcast's Season 2 theme, "1975", Tony Ho Tran, 2nd generation mixed Viet American writer / storyteller and genealogist, spoke about his journey to learn who his grandfather was through a DNA test he took through 23nme. Along the journey, he learned more about his mother and grandmother's difficult past during the time of the Vietnam War and their resettlement into the US. He talked about the impact of discovering his family DNA, and reflected back on his challenges he faced as a mixed race child in Sioux City, Iowa.  Check out this interview!  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Tony Ho Tran is a writer living in Chicago, Illinois. His work has been seen in Playboy, Huff Post, Narratively, The Chicago Defender, and many other places where fine writing is published.
1:25:16
April 5, 2020
Cambodian Roots of the American Deep South w / Simone Cottrell
(S2, EP 6) Simone Cottrell, an independent multi disciplinarian theatre maker, shares her experience growing up as a mixed Khmer American in Bayou La Batre, Alabama and Mississippi before moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  She reflects deeply on how art & theater can be important agencies that empower marginalized communities, specifically in rural communities, and how this has been put into practice to support anti-ICE raids that have affected undocumented Latinx communities, but also the Southeast Asian communities in Arkansas.  She spoke about her recent trip to the National Cambodian Heritage Museum in Chicago last Fall, and how it helped to better understand her Cambodian-American roots.   ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: The daughter of a Cambodian refugee and a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, Simone Cottrell (B.A., Mississippi State University) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre-maker in Fayetteville, Arkansas. As the former Director of Outreach with The Artist's Laboratory Theatre, Simone led theatre programs with the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, Marshallese Educational Initiative, A+ Residency, Teen Action Support Center, and many other regional partners. Simone interned at Lexington Children’s Theatre and then continued her artistic education at MSU, where she received funding to study at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing (Summer 2015). Simone has held positions with MSU’s College of Arts & Sciences, Trike Theatre (Bentonville, AR), and served as a teaching artist and director for various youth theatre projects. Simone has received the Interchange Grant 2019 (Mid-America Arts Alliance and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Artist 3 60 2019 (M-AAA and Walton Family Foundation), and is an Artist Inc 2019 Fellow.
1:46:09
March 29, 2020
Scars and Stripes w/ Silong Chhun
(S2, EP 5) It has been an emotionally difficult ordeal for all of us as we are grappling with the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.  It has been a challenge to continue the 2nd season of the podcast, but I also realize how important it is to spend time shifting part of my focus away from the ongoing bad news that's happening now as part of my way of coping, and to also have an outlet for those who are seeking a temporary distraction.  I thank you for your support for this podcast as always, and wishing you all the love and protection that everyone here deserves.   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A month ago, I interviewed  Silong Chhun.  He's a 1.5 generation Khmer-American from Tacoma, WA.  He is an artist, a father of two, and a social justice / community leader.  His work includes highlighting important local artists in Tacoma, to being an outspoken community leader for the Khmer community, and most recently with his anti-deportation work that's been affecting the Southeast Asian community there.  We spoke about his recent exhibition called "Scars and Stripes" which centers on the Cambodian genocide, the US refugee resettlement and the growing deportation of Khmer Americans.  We talked about the meaning behind his work through "The Red Scarf Revolution", and so much more in this interview.  You won't want to miss this interview! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. ----------- Bio: Silong is a multimedia artist, entrepreneur, and social justice advocate from Tacoma, Wa. Currently, the Communications Associate at Tacoma Community House, co-founder of the Khmer Anti-Deportation Advocacy Group, serves on the Arts & Heritage Advisory Council of Metro Parks Tacoma and the board of directors of Alchemy Skateboards. An experienced creative director with a demonstrated history of working in media production, content creation, and marketing strategy with skills in videography, film-making, photography, audio editing and post-production, graphic design, and social media/marketing strategy. Links: www.silongchhun.com www.redscarfrevolution.com www.Khaagwa.org www.TacomaCommunityHouse.org www.alchemyskateboarding.org/about
1:36:18
March 22, 2020
Sioux Falls to Denver: Rolling Up My Sleeve w/ Tung Nguyen
(S2, EP 4) Tung Nguyen joined me as a guest for this episode.  Tung and I connected on Instagram when we discovered each other's podcast. Tung is a Vietnamese-American podcaster, engineer, and musician.  He currently runs a podcast called Worksleeve which can be found on streaming services. In our conversation, Tung talked about the complexities of his own upbringing in rural South Dakota where his family's struggle to survive as refugees and navigating life in a mostly white community collided.  He talked about the time he left home at age 16, working odd jobs and would eventually attend college to pursue engineering. He talked about his recent move to Denver, and his hopes to find community in other Asian-American spaces.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Tung Nguyen is the son of Vietnamese refugees who immigrated to South Dakota in the early 90s. While studying for Mechanical Engineering in college, Tung was heavily involved in the local music scene where he was able to perform in various acts and organize local concerts and benefits. Aside from his studies, Tung was a Station Manager at a community radio station where he developed a passion for broadcasting and communications. After completing his degree, Tung moved to Denver, CO in 2017 to begin his career in engineering and created Worksleeve, a podcast production company .Through Worksleeve, Tung has worked with companies to address their podcasting needs and also produced, engineered, and recorded several podcast shows. These shows vary into pics such as engineering career training, music production and recording, and Vietnamese American studies. For more information about Worksleeve and Tung’s work, visit worksleeve.com and connect on IG and Twitter @worksleeve
1:10:47
March 15, 2020
CORONAVIRUS INTERRUPTED
I decided to do an impromptu episode, breaking away from my normal podcast routine, and spend some time talking about my own feelings in regards to the Coronavirus scare that has affected many folks across the globe, but more specifically, the dangers that Asian folks in non Asian countries face with racism and xenophobia. Episode aired live from Chicago O'Hare airport as I'm preparing to leave for Los Angeles tonight.
18:30
March 9, 2020
Understanding My Journey and Fight w/ Vân Huynh
(S2, EP 3) I chatted with Vân Huynh , a queer Viet-American immigration attorney who splits her time between Atlanta and Chicago.  In this conversation, Vân shared her struggles with assimilation and expectations that are set for 2nd generation Asian-Americans. She talked about her experience in the immigration movements, and her work with her clients who are facing deportation. She shared insight about what the deportation process looks like, and the current climate for immigrants today.  Be sure to listen to this episode!  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Vân Huynh (she/her) is a queer Vietnamese American, born in Saigon, Vietnam. She is an immigration attorney whose legal and advocacy work strives to build movements with organizers in order to effectively address root causes of criminalization. She splits her time between Atlanta and Chicago, and frequently visits family in Philadelphia and Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has been involved with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago and Atlanta, PASO-West Suburban Action Project, Dope AAPI, the Resist, Reimagine, Rebuild (R3) Coalition, and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights - all working to build relationships among immigrant communities with Black-led organizing. Some of her self-care activities are reading fiction, making mini-covers of fiction books, and unabashedly brewing kombucha and pickling veggies.
1:12:30
March 8, 2020
Laughter Is Our Survival w/ Hella Chluy
(S2, EP 2) Meet Phanit Duong aka Hella Chluy for this week's episode.  In his first-ever interview, Phanit chatted about his early upbringing in Washington state after his parents arrived there after surviving the Khmer Rouge.  He reflected on his family's struggle in adapting to their new community, and learning to channel his own struggles through comedy, music, and martial arts.  Phanit and I discussed about how comedy plays an important part in Khmer traditions, and like music and dance, how it has also served as a healing outlet and as a bridge between elder and younger generations.  Phanit talks about what inspired his work through Hella Chluy, and what he has learned in connecting through various Khmer-American communities across the US through his comedy and music work.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Bio: Hella Chluy is a Cambodian American entertainer that specialize in musical parodies, comedy skits, as well as original music. Born as Phanit Duong, the second generation refugee began writing and recording music at the age of 15 in the Pacific Northwest. Duong’s stardom began in 2012 when he released the now legendary, “Shit Cambodian Folks Say” on YouTube that broke 100,000 views in 24 hours. “Chluy,” which loosely means “disrespectful” in the Khmer language, uses popular American music to depict stories of the Cambodian American experience. Today, Duong’s fan base has grown internationally and he performs regularly across America in the nation’s largest Khmer populated communities like Long Beach, Lowell, Seattle, and Philadelphia. Hella Chluy now has 6M channel views on YouTube. Hella Chluy is managed by Hella Chluy. For booking inquiries, call 253-778-6070 or info@hellachluy.com. Any other links and info you can find at my website: www.hellachluy.com
1:01:06
March 1, 2020
Writing the Vietnamese-American Journey w/ Thanhha Lai
(S2, EP 1) For the 1st episode for Season 2's "1975" theme, Viet-American bestselling author Thanhha Lai joined me as a guest for this episode.  Thanhha recently released her critically-acclaimed fiction book, Butterfly Yellow. In our discussion, she shares her experience writing her latest book, as well as her upbringing growing up in Vietnam during the time of war before resettling with her 9 siblings and her mother in the American South.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to my sponsor, Lawrence and Argyle, a Viet-American owned merchandise line representing immigrant empowerment.  Get yourself a pin, hoodie or t-shirt and show off your immigrant pride.  Visit them at www.lawrenceandargyle.com or follow them on IG @LawrenceandArgyle or on Facebook.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bio: Thanhhà Lại is the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Inside Out & Back Again, Listen, Slowly and most recently Butterfly Yellow, a YA debut the New York Times called a “radiant pearl of a book.” She came to Alabama as a 10-year-old refugee after the Vietnam War ended in 1975. Before writing fiction, she was a journalist in California and taught writing at The New School. She lives in New York with her family and three dogs. Social media links: FB: Thanhha Lai Twitter: @ThanhhaLai IG: Thanhha_Lai Website: thanhhalai.com
53:55
February 23, 2020
"1975" - 2nd Season Preview Trailer
Welcome back everyone! To kick things off in the 2020 year, I decided to devote this second season revolving around the theme, "1975".  It marks the 45 year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam and Laos Civil War, and the end of the US intervention in both countries.  For Cambodia, it marked the beginning of the Khmer Rouge's ascension into power which led to the brutal terror in which over 2 million Cambodians were killed. 1975 represented a seismic shift in Southeast Asia where the first mass wave of refugees fled from these countries and stayed in refugee camps (I.E. Thailand / Malaysia) before they resettled into the US and other Western countries.   During the 45 years since the 1st wave of refugees arriving to their new homeland, Southeast Asian refugees experienced many hardships during the resettlement period. Many of them were relocated in poor, urban communities where gang violence, lack of educational / financial resources, poverty were prevalent.  Some were located in rural towns where there were little language and cultural access for them. Racism and xenophobia also played a part in the struggles that many refugees and their children faced as they were adapting to their environment.   The struggles never ended for the survivors. The trauma(s) from the war and refugee resettlement have never left them.  It is also being felt among the 1.5 / 2nd generation who either were too young to remember, or were not born during the time of the conflict.  For this 2nd season, I talked with fellow 1.5 / 2nd generation Southeast Asian folks from Chicago to places across the US to hear their experience of their upbringing, their struggles with assimilating to US culture and acceptance, the challenges they faced with their own communities and their families, their hopes and desires to write their own history so that they could pass it down to younger generations.  Hope you enjoy this new season! Also special thank you to Lawrence and Argyle for being a sponsor for the 2nd season!  Lawrence and Argyle is a Viet American owned merchandise line promoting immigrant and refugee empowerment.  Don't forget to check out their website www.lawrenceandargyle.com, or their Instagram @LawrenceandArgyle or their Facebook page and get yourself a t-shirt, hoodie, or pin
09:09
February 16, 2020
Season 1: It's A Wrap!
Season 1 of The Banh Mi Chronicles podcast has finally concluded!  Thank you to everyone who has followed and listened to the podcast.  In the past 3 months (October '19), I am thankful to have the opportunity to interview my incredible guests for these 12 episodes.  Back in early summer when I was planning for the podcast, I wanted to focus on uplifting API (Asian Pacific-Islander) locally in Chicago and beyond to hear their work they are doing for their community, .their family, and themselves. Oftentimes, the API narratives are often overlooked, neglected, erased, and forgotten in America.  As more of our API continues to emerge thanks to renewed research and digital access, it is important that we advance our own history so that we have a blueprint for our younger generations to continue the work that we are doing in elevating the visibility and platform of our community, and stand against the erasure and oppression that ethnic, racial, LGBTQ+ minorities face here.   Special thanks to my guests, my friend Huythang Tran for designing the podcast logo, and Chanho Kim for his additional audio editing assistance.  Be on the lookout for a special 2nd season soon!   Continue to uplift!
02:11
January 12, 2020
Storytelling: Recording Our History in Action w/ Dr. Ada Cheng
For the season 1 finale of the podcast, Dr. Ada Cheng joins me as a guest on the podcast.  I met Ada back in June 2016 at a queer storytelling show, a week after the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando.  At the time, she had resigned from her position as a tenured professor at DePaul University to pursue theatre and storytelling, and became a naturalized US citizen.  In this interview, she reflects back during that period, and goes into the creative and critical challenges that she experienced as a storyteller / storytelling producer.  She discusses the importance of developing new storytellers, specifically in the POC communities, and why telling our own stories do indeed matter to our history.  Check this episode out, and please follow her on Facebook or her website for upcoming events and workshops that she conducts.  Bio: Ada Cheng is a professor-turned-storyteller, solo performer, and storytelling show producer. She recently performed her solo show NOT QUITE as the keynote for Women and Girls in Georgia Conference at the University of Georgia. She is the producer and the host for four storytelling shows, including Pour One Out, Am I Man Enough?, Talk Stories (with Randy Kim), and Speaking Truths Series. She creates platforms for people to tell difficult and vulnerable stories as well as spaces for people and communities who may not have opportunities otherwise. Please check out her website: www.renegadeadacheng.com. or on Facebook at Renegade Ada Cheng.  Audio Editing Credit: Chanho Kim (www.chanho.kim)
1:35:30
January 5, 2020
Celebrating Resiliency Through Music w/ SuperKnova
For this week's season 1, episode 11, singer / musician SuperKnova chats with me and shares her journey as a Korean-American transgender musician.  She recently released her 2nd EP called "American Queers" which can be found on all streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Google). We talk about her process in making her latest album, her visibility as a trans artist in the Chicago music scene, and her recent live performances in the city with a future US tour in the works.   Bio: SuperKnova is a Chicago-based transgender musician who creates Queer Pop, a unique sound that incorporates hip-hop inspired drums, driving synths, and virtuosic guitar solos. She writes about identity, queerness and the struggle of being your authentic self.  You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SuperKnovaMusic or on Instagram @superknovamusic  Audio Editing Credit: Chanho Kim (www.chanho.kim)
43:41
December 29, 2019
The Layers of Community Organizing w/ Brandon Lee
For this week's Season 1, Episode 10,  Brandon Lee, Japanese-American and community activist from the Chicago Uptown neighborhood, joined me for "The Banh Mi Chronicles" podcast back in late October to discuss his experience over the years with Asians American Advancing Justice (AAAJC) in Chicago.  Brandon recently left AAAJC for a brief hiatus at that time. He looks back on the challenges of mobilzing the Asian-Pacific Islander (API) community here locally when factoring the difficult history that each community has with one another.  Recently, AAAJC-Los Angeles affiliate laid off a number of staff members in a controversial move that was due to "budget windfall."  This move has sparked concerns within the API community organizing movements, and he discussed the impact that it will have for the API communities in a critical 2020 election and census year.    Bio:  Brandon Lee is a born-and-raised Chicagoan who has lived in the Uptown neighborhood his whole life. He has spent some of that life working in Chicago organizing and nonprofit spaces, with a focus on the Asian American community, most recently with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. He got his start organizing while a student at University of Illinois-Chicago in the Asian American Coalition Committee. In his current quasi-sabbatical he’s doing his best to rest a little bit while also diving deep into the wider Star Wars universe and lamenting the Cubs’ September collapse Audio / Sound Credit: Chanho Kim (www.chanho.kim) 
59:47
December 22, 2019
Breaking Banh Mi and Pouring Nuoc Mam w/ Huy Nguyen and Mickael Van Pham
For this week's Season 1, Episode 9, Huy Nguyen and Mickael Van Pham sit down and chat about their different paths going into comedy and theater.  They perform together as a comedy improv duo called "Fish Sauce." As 2nd generation Viet-Americans, they navigated through the assimilation process growing up in communities unfamiliar to their family. They share their family's reaction when they decided to pursue their own career in the arts after spending time as corporate professionals. Through their recent journey into comedy and theater, they share their hopes and ambitions of breaking into a field that has long ignored Asian-Pacific Islander folks. Check this episode out Bio Huy Nguyen:  Huy is an actor/writer/director originally from the Pacific Northwest where he studied drama at the University of Washington before making Chicago his artistic home. He believes that art should be accessible to anyone with an open heart and free mind Mickael Van Pham: Michael Van Pham is an actor and improviser from Memphis, TN. You can see him performing with the all azn arts collective Club Asia, the unfiltered af Act Up, or at MINt Thursdays at the Annoyance with MINt Bizkit. Michael would like all theaters to participate in the #castPOCchallenge2020. When he’s not doing comedy, Michael is currently playing God of War and POKEMON Sword #sobblesquad #sushigang
1:07:09
December 15, 2019
Wearing the Hats of Intersectional Identities, Activism.....And Basketball Love w/ Joy Messinger
For this week's Season 1, Episode 8,  Joy Messinger sits down "The Banh Mi Chronicles" podcast and takes us on a journey as a queer Korean adoptee in Western NY.  She talks about her experiences in the racial, social, gender, LGBTQ, disability and reproductive justice movements, and the importance of understanding self-care and boundaries in this work.  Joy has been living in CHicago for the past decade continuing this important work, and she also shares her own passion for basketball and her hatred of another North Carolina college team.   Bio: Joy Messinger is a passionate community advocate whose personal & professional life have been guided by a commitment to reproductive & social justice. She is a Program Officer with Third Wave Fund overseeing a $1M grantmaking portfolio for youth-led gender justice activism and serving as Co-Chair of the Funders for Justice Healing Justice Strategy Group and Funders for Reproductive Equity Youth Engagement and Leadership Working Group. Prior to Third Wave, Joy was Deputy Director of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. Over her five-year tenure, she grew ICAH's training & education, oversaw the expansion of its youth development programs, established its monitoring & evaluation system, broadened its employment policies, and collaborated on the passage of Chicago Public Schools' Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Policy & Illinois' conversion therapy ban. When she's not working, Joy is active with Asian American, LGBTQ, and feminist organizations, serving as Board Treasurer with the Youth Empowerment Performance Project and volunteering with the Chicago chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and the Midwest Access Coalition. She previously served as a Treasurer of Invisible to Invincible (i2i): Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago, Co-Chair of the LBTQ Giving Council at the Chicago Foundation for Women, and Co-Chair of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Board of Directors. Joy holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
1:39:33
December 8, 2019
Revisiting Childhood Memories from a 2nd Generation Vietnamese American Lens w/ Jenn Ho from Lawrence & Argyle
For this week's S1, Ep 7, Jenn Ho, the creator of Lawrence & Argyle sits down with The Banh Mi Chronicles podcast as she reflects on her experience growing up as an American-born Viet-American and witnesses the challenges that her parents as refugees from the Vietnam War faced during the US refugee resettlement.  Originally born in Chicago, and spent her childhood to adulthood in San Diego, she moved to Chicago.  It was by living in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood that she created the "Lawrence & Argyle" merchandise (named after the Asia on Argyle intersection in Uptown) that reflects the immigrant / refugee experience.  She shares her inspiration behind the message and the importance of proudly identifying as an immigrant / refugee in a time where these communities have been under attack. Be sure to check out this episode and grab yourself a souvenir from the Lawrence & Argyle website below! Bio: Jenn Ho is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees. During the day, she is an archivist at CSU San Marcos. On the side, she runs Lawrence & Argyle, an apparel company that celebrates America's immigrant heritage. She lives in San Diego with her chihuahua, Olive. Follow Lawrence & Argyle on IG and Facebook at @lawrenceandargyle, or online at www.LawrenceAndArgyle.com.
1:00:37
December 1, 2019
Inside the Political Activism Trenches w/ Loreen Targos
For S1 Episode 6, Loreen Targos shares her experience in the political activism / advocacy sphere.  She talks about mixed Asian identity experience and the environment she grew up in that helped to shape her political views, and her desire to get involved in civic engagement through theatre, grassroots organizing, and more recently, her husband Byron Sigcho Lopez's successful election as an alderman (city council member) in the Chicago 25th ward. She shares her word of wisdom for those who are interested in becoming civically engaged, and her thoughts about the current political landscape heading into 2020.  Here's her bio below: Bio:  Loreen Targos lives and works in the city of Chicago. Loreen serves as Political Director and Best Friend to Alderman Byron Sigcho Lopez who can be found on social media @sigchofor25. She also is the Board Chair of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, is an active member of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, and is a steward in her union, AFGE Local 704. You can follow her on twitter at @lotargos and on instagram @lohugswis.
1:00:55
November 24, 2019
Chicago Uptown--a Refuge for Southeast Asian folks, 2nd Gen Transition, and Gentrification w/ Hac Tran
Welcome to S1 Ep5 of "The Banh Mi Chronicles" podcast.  I bring to you Hac Tran, a 2nd generation Viet-American who speaks about his experience being involved in the Chicago Uptown community, specifically in the "Asia on Argyle" street neighborhood (also nicknamed as "Little VIetnam" or "New Chinatown").  In our conversation, he speaks about the Vietnamese diaspora, the gentrification issues in the Chicago Uptown neighborhood, and the Haibayo event (a Southeast Asian-American themed late night party held once a month in the Asia on Argyle neighborhood) that he and his partner Jennifer "Nuky" Pham co-founded and organized together.  Be sure to check more about the Haibayo event on Instagram @hai_bayo, and their website at www.haibayo.com Bio: Hac Tran is an urban planner, community development professional, and cultural producer born in Chicago. His experiences range from youth development with Americorps Jumpstart and capacity building in Vietnam with Save the Children and Global Village Foundation, to human services with various community-based organizations in Uptown and food & cultural focused event planning throughout Chicago. Hac holds a BA in Political Science from DePaul University and a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently the Diversity Business Outreach Manager for Business Partners, The Chamber for Uptown.
1:24:33
November 17, 2019
Discovering and Nurturing Our Khmer-American Roots w/ Sok Theary Nak and Lyk Yoeun
For this Season 1, Episode 4, I spoke with both Sok Theary Nak and Leakhena (Lyk) Yoeun.  We serve together as board members with The National Cambodian Heritage Museum (NCHM), currently the only museum outside of Cambodia that centers on the history of the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields era, and serves as a memorial space for survivors and the 2+ million lives that were lost during that 4 year period (1975-79).  In our discussion together, we spoke about our upbringing with our parents who came into the Chicago(land) area as refugees.  We shared our experiences with the Chicago Uptown neighborhood which serves as a the hub for many Southeast Asian refugees, and our role as board members with the museum.   Sok Theary shares her experience going to Cambodia for the first time with her family this past summer while Lyk shares her experience living in Cambodia soon after her father's stroke.  Sok Theary Bio: Sok Theary is a refugee immigrant whose family was sponsored to the United States from Khao I Dang refugee camp in the late 80.  She has been involved with the Cambodian community since moving to Chicago in 2000 as a teenager and became a participant in the after school Youth program of the Cambodian Association of Illinois.  Finally having the opportunity to immerse herself in the cultural arts of Cambodia, she dove right into the classes offered. Now a preschool teacher and mother of two, SokTheary and her children are currently enrolled in cultural music classes together at the museum, and her daughters are avid participants in the cultural dance program.  As a unit, SokTheary and her family love the arts in all forms, theater, dance, music, visiting museums , and listening to poetry and storytelling. Leakhena Yoeun (LyK) bio: Lyk Yoeun is a second generation Cambodian American born and raised in Chicago. Both of Lyk's parents are Cambodian genocide survivors. She recently just return back to Chicago this Summer 2019, after living in Cambodia for about three years. Lyk's identifies herself as American Born Cambodian, or ABC. She’s had to overcome challenges, while learning to appreciate the identities of East meet West merging together. Through her parents’ mentorship and support, Lyk learned to live and survive identity crisis. One of these  accomplishments to overcome identity crisis is in her ability to navigate both worlds, being able to speak, read, and write in both English and Khmer. Lyk balances work and personal time by doing meditation, yoga, reading, creative writing, dancing, music, food, and traveling. For more on the Cambodian Museum, please visit www.cambodianmuseum.org or go to our Facebook page and "like" us at www.facebook.com/cambodianmuseum
1:41:23
November 3, 2019
Carrying a "Handful of Sand" with Anu Bhatt
For this season 1, episode 3, I welcome Anu Bhatt as our guest for this episode.  Anu is an actor, dancer, and playwright. She was originally raised in San Diego, CA before moving to Chicago to pursue theater.  She recently moved back to San Diego, and is currently promoting her solo show, "Hollow / Wave" in other cities. While speaking with her, she was in the midst of preparing for that show in New York on 10/29 .  Anu shares her experience on what it was like creating "Hollow / Wave" which takes the audience on her journey through dance, family, her experiences as a South Asian American woman, and her personal battles with mental health. We also chatted further about her difficult challenges in breaking through the theater / film scene as a South Asian American woman, and her own way of explaining what "the handful of sand" means in context to the lack of representation and visibility of POC (people of color) actors, writers, producers and directors in TV / film / theater/ media.  Recorded: 10/15/19 Bio: Anu Bhatt is an actor, dancer and playwright. Her one-woman show Hollow/Wave premiered at Chicago’s Silk Road Rising in May 2018 and is now touring, including off-Broadway at the 10th annual United Solo Festival. Anu received her B.A. in Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley and her M.F.A. in Acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She is an Indian classical dancer and loves speaking languages. She is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency. www.anubhatt.com.  You can also follow her play on Instagram at @hollowwavetheplay or on Facebook at Hollow / Wave. 
48:23
October 27, 2019
Processing Loss & Living w/ Joanna Leynes
Trigger warning:  Topic of suicide and mental health For Season 1, Episode 2, I chatted with Joanna Leynes who shares her personal experience with mental health as a suicide survivor, and has since been on a mission to advocate for suicide awareness and prevention.  We connected through the loss of our mutual friend Allen Lau who passed away on 8/16/2019.  We shared fond memories of him, and the importance of honoring his memory.  This episode is dedicated in his honor.  Here's Joanna Leyne's bio: "Joanna is a 36-year-old wife and working mother of 2 young boys. She is a second generation Filipina-American, born and raised in Chicago. She works as a Product Content Manager for a website. Outside of work, Joanna enjoys portrait and event photography and graphic design. She is an outspoken mental health advocate and writes about topics like family life, wellness and beauty on her new blog www.mamajley.com and on her Instagram @mama_jley. " For information on suicide awareness and prevention, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at www.afsp.org The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Suicide Hotline for Transgender folks:  www.translifeline.org; 1-877-565-8860
1:06:06
October 20, 2019
Navigating Love and Care through Music and for Our Loved Ones w/ Etzkorn Lewis Wong
For our 1st episode, Etzkorn Lewis Wong shares his upbringing as a mixed Asian-American in Chicago-Rogers Park, his new journey as a singer-songwriter-musician, and his experiences being a caregiver at the age of 17 after his mom's near-fatal aneurysm.  For more information on Etzkorn Wong, please check out his Instagram profile @etzkwng 
1:07:50
October 13, 2019
Intro to The Bánh Mì Chronicles Podcast
Welcome to The Bánh Mì Chronicles podcast.  In this preview, I'll share with you what prompted me to start this podcast, and how I came up with the title.  I am eager to share with you on what to expect for this 1st season as I'll be breaking "banh mi" ("bread" in Vietnamese) with fellow Asian Pacific American community folks in Chicago and beyond to learn and celebrate their experiences in uplifting their community and themselves. Stay tuned for the 1st season! Randy Kim--Host and Producer
03:07
October 5, 2019