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Circles of Conversation:
young cambodian american dialogues

04/24/11circles of conversation

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

April 30th, 2011!!! Mark your calenders!!

Yours truly, the Berkeley Cambodian Student Association, in part with Stanford Student Khmer Association, has generously offered to host the education-focused Khmer American forum Circles of Conversation: Young Cambodian American Dialogues.

Get excited!!
This program will be a great opportunity to engage young Cambodian Americans in a series of conversations about issues that affect our generation with a special focus on the educational journey.  Education in our holistic interpretation includes various facets of education, such as the sense of belonging, the support or lack thereof at home and at school, the challenges encountered in daily life that impact the ability to learn and progress, and that may include violence at home, in the schools, racism, and/or poverty.  This is in addition to trying to get a sense of how well prepared academically our generation feels to access higher education.  We will be participating in an open discussion about our personal experiences, perceptions, and expectations.

The Program:
April 30th @ UC Berkeley, 554 Barrows, 5th Floor at Barbara Christian Conference Room.
Introductions and Discussion will begin at 10am. Lunch will be provided 12-1. Further discussion and conclusions 1pm-3pm. 

The Bigger Picture:
a) To create a resource on Khmer-American youth
a) To replicate these circles of conversations in Chicago, St. Paul, Philadelphia, and Lowell.
b) To use these circles as resources for policy change, beginning with sharing findings with national and local advocacy groups, the APA Congressional Caucus, the National Asian American Justice Center in DC.

Thursday. April 28th: Last chance to RSVP to Circles @ UC Berkeley
Sun. April 30th: Circles of Conversation program @ UC Berkeley.


Facebook Event.

Guest Speaker:

Bouy Te
Professor Um

Please forward this email to any students or organizations in the bay area that may have interest in attending.


Best Regards,
Circles of Conversation CORE



Transcending Day Zero Memorial Week 2011.

04/16/11 12:30AMbcsa tdz2011

The Berkeley Cambodian Student Association is proud to present "Transcending Day Zero Week" in commemoration of the Cambodian Genocide.

On April 17, 1975, also known as Day Zero in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge took over the capital city of Phnom Penh and began a brutal genocide lasting until 1979 that resulted in the deaths of over 1.7 million people. Transcending Day Zero Week aims to explore the history and raise awareness of the Cambodian genocide while providing the opportunity for reflection and healing. The series of events will offer unforgettable educational experiences as well as celebrate the resilience of the Cambodian community and culture here in the United States.

This is the second year that BCSA has organized a week's worth of events related to this important period in history. Please come and show your support!

For information about each event, read below:

************************** ************************** ***

MONDAY | April 18, 2011

Day Zero Candlelight Vigil

6:00-8:00pm, Campanile Esplanade (area next to the campanile)

Learn about the history of the Cambodian genocide and help honor the memories of victims and survivors in our annual candlelight vigil. enemies of the people bcsa

WEDNESDAY | April 20, 2011

"Enemies of the People" Film Screening

7:00-9:00pm , 112 Wurster, *Free Admission*

Watch the award-winning documentary and culmination of a decade of work by one of Cambodia's best investigative journalists, Thet Sambath. The film is his journey to discover not how but why his family died in the Killing Fields. In doing so, he hears and understands for the first time the real story of his country's tragedy through testimonies by those who perpetrated of the massacres. Sambath's work represents a watershed both in Cambodian historiography and in the country's quest for closure on one of the world's darkest episodes.

View the trailer:

Enemies of the People Movie Trailer from Rob Lemkin on Vimeo.

THURSDAY | April 21, 2011

"Witnessing History" Genocide Survivor Panel

6:00-8:00pm, 554 Barrows

Participate in an intimate discussion with genocide survivors about their life experiences.

FRIDAY | April 22, 2011

BCSA Culture Showcase

6:00pm-8:00pm, 2040 VLSB, *Free Admission*

Join us for an evening of performances displaying both traditional and modern Cambodian culture.

facebook event




3rd General Meeting: Khmer Games

04/10/11 11:00PM

From our Public Relations:

Hey BCSA-ers!

Happy early Cambodian New Year!! In celebration of this special week, we're devoting our 3rd General Meeting to learning/playing popular Cambodian games. Come join us in playing two cultural games: sva dondaem sluk chur and tuort sei (excuse the romanized Khmer!). You'll get a chance to experience what Khmer people, both past and present, have played to pass the time and have fun! Come and play! Have fun! Learn! EMBRACE!

We'll also be giving updates on Transcending Day Zero Week which is April 18th-22nd. Don't miss out!!

What: BCSA 3rd General Meeting: Khmer Games
When: 6:30pm (earlier than usual so we can enjoy the sunshine!)
Where: Memorial Glade
(Look out for the flag/banner)

Much Love,
BCSA Board



"Who Killed Chea Vichea?" Screening.

3:30 PM

This Wednesday at 7:30 pm, there will be a screening of the documentary "Who Killed Chea Vichea" in room 2040 Valley Life Science Building. The screening is free to all audiences and is sponsored by the Center of Southeast Asian Studies. The trailer and more information about the film can be found below under University Events.



Oakland Cambodian New Year 2011


oakland cambodian new year 2011



BCSA will be tabling at this event along with CCDI to fundraise for YCCL and CCDI. Members that want to come to this event email us at to rvsp a ride from Berkeley to Oakland Cesar Chavez Center.

BCSA as a part of CCDI's Cultural Movement for a New Beginning.

cultural movementcultural movement

3/23/11 2:00AM

Yesterday's event brought to you by Oakland's CCDI was a welcoming one to start out the newly represented YCCL, Young Cambodian Community Leaders, into the heart of Oakland's city street to pave ways and opportunities for the younger generations. Our club are very grateful t volunteer and be a part of the event that aimed to not only fundraise for YCCL and CCDI, but to bring much needed awareness about the social problems that YCCL and CCDI hope to mend. Many BCSA members, current and alumnis, came to help out on Saturday morning in the midst of rain and provided the service necessary to put on a great show. The connection, aptly place by our Co-President Julie, open may doors for our own, including me, to opportunities and projects that would otherwise be harder to attain on our own. For this, I, personally want to say thank you to Julie for introducing me to RJ, to CCDI, to YCCL and eventually to many interesting people who share the same interest in helping and providing opportunities for the Oakland community. It was a very engaging process altogether on how an event was placed together and essentially became a close-nit family as everyone provided their best effort collectively through the nervousness and tension for our performers and logistical setbacks. But at the end, the first ever "Cultural Movement for a New Beginning" came to connect people of old, people of new, with shared interest and support for a part of Oakland that entitles to much more than what is given.

-- More on this article at Commentary Events.

Resident Alien: part of SFIAAF'11.

Words from our Public Relations.

Hey All!

If you're interested in deportation and how it affects the Cambodian community, join BCSA in attending the world premier of the documentary, Resident Aliens, at the 29th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival! Please RSVP by THIS FRIDAY, 3/11 by responding to this email ( so you can receive a discounted group ticket ($10 instead of $12). A group will leave Berkeley for SF at 5:00pm on bus to grab dinner before the film. Hope to see you there!

Day & Time

Sat 03.12 7:30pm
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Film Description

After spending nearly their entire adult lives in the United States, three former Cambodian refugees are deported back to Cambodia, where they must find a way to survive, or end up on the streets. With short FUMIKO HAYASHIDA: THE WOMAN BEHIND THE SYMBOL. Filmmakers in Attendance.


Festival Info

The Center for Asian America Media presents the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) every March. The SFIAAFF is the largest and most prestigious showcase for new Asian American and Asian films in North America, annually presenting approximately 120 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. SFIAAFF also features the best in Asian American music and digital and interactive media. Since 1982, the SFIAAFF has been an important launching point for Asian American independent filmmakers as well as a vital source for new Asian cinema.

Much Love,



BCSA/LASR's First Collaboration.

3/09/11 12:00PM

BCSA/LASR First Collaboration went pretty well. Thanks again to all the people that came and shared their thoughts about the issue on Borders as Julie and Khane (LASR's President) break down the history and influences of borders representation in southeast Asia along with contemporary urban parallels rooted in asian gang affiliations. The highlights of the workshop were Julie and Khane's indepth research elaborating on the historical, causal factors that constructed and deconstructed the "fluid" and "arbitrary" lines European colonization had on Cambodia, Laos, and other Southeast Asian countries and the personal anecdotes shared by students that attended.

The meeting started with a group activity where people were randomly placed into sections according to ascending numbers and then later separated with yarns (borders) that forced sections (countries) to mesh with the other cultures in terms of handshakes and country's name. This activitiy was followed by a discussion of the reason for the activity and progressed further with a short history lesson on how borders came about for SEA countries. With Julie explaining the mandala effect of monarchy power on the computer projector and Khane showcasing his artistic skills in mapping out the controversial Ho Chi Minh Trail US bombings, the night ended with personal statements and experiences shared by students and alumnis.

As 8:30 marked the end of the meeting, there was a still a lingering effect of genuine emotions on the social problems of how borders, primarily gang affiliations, are still a prevalent issue for many ethnic enclaves. While gangs themselves has always been a part of american history, many of southeast asian gangs are, in some aspect, a byproduct of past ideologies past down from the previous generations. The night was concluded with a sharing bond of suggestive and empowering ideas to not only raise awareness, but conceive further applications on how to eliminate and reconstruct a future state of mind that aims to erase the remnants of our past differences and to unify us in solidarity unbounded by the physical and mental borders created by past conflicts.

Videos and picture gallery will be up soon for the meeting.

LASR and BCSA's 2nd General Collaborative Meeting.

Monday, March 7 · 7:00pm - 8:30pm @ 56B Hildebrand

TOPIC: The history of border issues in Southeast Asia and how it may effect the modern society or ethnic conflict today.

The Berkeley Cambodian Student Association (BCSA)
- BCSA was founded by a small group of Khmer students in a member's apartment. Today, BCSA contains about 20 active members who come together to form one identifiable body of people on campus interested in Cambodia and Cambodian culture, as well as to provide both academic and social support for people interested in Cambodian culture.

The Laotian American Student Representatives
- Our mission is to establish an organization that will facilitate interaction and strengthen solidarity among peoples of Laos and those interested in our cultures, histories, and communities. We aim to provide a space to share our stories while building a support system that will further bring our members closer together.

This is a campus organization that seeks to provide a space for people with Laotian, Hmong, Mien, Khmu, Lahu, Lue, Thai Dam, and every other Laos minority in between! We are neighbors, where are you on campus?! We want to meet, connect, and learn about our histories and more importantly our present.

- Neither my parents or I am from Laos or Cambodia. Can I still get involved?
OF COURSE. We welcome all that are interested in learning and becoming a part of our community on campuus.

* There will be snacks and drinks provided! (:

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Due to schedule conflict caused by last week's President's Day, tomorrow's 2nd General Meeting is cancelled.

Our 2nd General Meeting will be schedule for the week after on March 7th.

2/27/11 6:30PM

There will be an officer meeting in conjunction with LASR officers for next week's collaborative general meeting.


**Cancelled** BCSA's 2nd General Meeting Monday February 28th 7-8pm @ Hildebrand B56.

2/27/11 1:00PM

Tomorrow's meeting will be in colloboration with LASR (Laos Students Representative) with a workshop dealing with Higher Education faciliated by Anira and Khane. More info on this later.


Cambodian New Year Survey Training.

2/21/11 3:30PM

A word from our Co-President Julie.

Hi all,

I contacted you about volunteering to help administer a survey at a Cambodian New Year celebration in Oakland on April 2nd. The first survey training took place yesterday, Feb. 20th, at 1995 University Ave. (intersection of University and Milvia) but since many people could not make it we'll try to organize another training.  The training is meant to familiarize everyone with the purpose of the survey and how to administer it and is about 2 hours long.

A quick blurb:   The survey is being conducted by the Prevention Research Center, a nonprofit health agency, in Berkeley, along with Community Health for Asian Americans, Cambodian Community Development, Inc, and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (PRC, CHAA, CCDI, and CERI). The survey is a component of ongoing research on the Cambodian community in the East Bay. It seeks to find out who makes up the Cambodian community (i.e., demographics), what they view as issues facing the community, and their level of community involvement/connectedness. The ultimate goal is to publish the findings and to assist various agencies in developing programs that benefit the community and addresses its concerns. It is being funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (a Federal entity).

Why you should do it: 1) You get training and experience administering a research survey which looks good on your resume. 2) You get to find out from the source, i.e., Cambodian elders and young Cambodian Americans, what the prominent issues in the Cambodian community are. 3) You get to socialize and have fun while giving back to the community at the same time.

What you need to do: Let me know which Saturday or Sunday works best for you to set up a training. You need to commit to attending the Cambodian New Year event in Oakland on April 2, 2011 (a Saturday) which takes place from 11am-6pm. I can most likely give you a ride. You will be administering surveys in 2 hour shifts and won't be expected to stay for the entire event. Questions will be pre-recorded for an audio version so you don't have to worry about asking the questions yourself.  However, you need to understand enough Khmer to help people fill out a simple survey. 

Hope to hear from you soon,


P.S. Contact me if you have any additional questions.

Julie can be contacted at


3rd Annual Culture Show.

BCSA's 3rd Annual Culture Show is heading under way as the script and props has been finalized by our culture show directors Annie and Donna. With it, the process of finding people to play the roles and dancers is their focus at the moment with the script requiring about 15 characters total with 3 main characters that will require singing in English and Khmer ballads. The script, based on a classic Khmer film entitled "An Ey Srey An" will entail a love triangle between the main characters, with dialogues mostly in english and includes traditional khmer dancing along with fitted customs. In contrast to the two previous culture shows, Rising from Ruins and Reawakening Erased Memories, "An Ey Srey An" presents more of a romantic comedy invisioned with modernity and traditional elements.

Donna and Annie will have their first culture show meeting this Thursday at Donna's place. The address is located on Chi Phi House (ΧΦ), 2722 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA, 94704. To get in, call Donna (714) 697-0087 or Annie (310) 357-1581. Actors, singers, dancers, prop makers and stage and crew are all needed so if you're interested in being a part of this year culture show, drop by the address or msg Donna or Annie through facebook or email if you have questions.

Culture Show First Meeting.

Time and Date: Thursday, 2/17/11 @ 6-8pm [tentative]

Location: Chi Phi House (ΧΦ), 2722 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA, 94704 [map directions]

Contatc: Donna @ (714) 697-0087 or Annie (310) 357-1581.


Past Culture Shows:

rise from ruinsreawakened erased memories



An official thanks from our Co-President Julie.


Hi BCSA members!

We want to sincerely thank those of you who came out to BCSA's First General Meeting on Monday night. BCSA board had a great time despite the hard-to-find location and some technical difficulties (the video is attached btw) ! ;) It was great to see new faces in the space and we hope that you all join and continue to support BCSA this semester. Those who weren't able to make it, we hope to see you at our next meeting!

Some recaps:

Julie's Announcements and Community Involvement Opportunities:

1) Cambodian Community Development, Inc. (CCDI) is a nonprofit in Oakland, founded in 1997 and staffed by Cambodian Americans to provide services to Cambodian American refugees and immigrants and their families. Their services include, but are not limited to, a legal clinic that assists in immigration/deportation issues, translation/interpretation, cultural preservation, and health prevention and awareness. More info can be found at

As an intern for CCDI, my focus has been on developing a mentorship and academic support program for Cambodian American youth. Many of us are aware of the academic disparities that exist within the Southeast Asian community, but Cambodian youth today face many unique challenges that lead to low rates of high school graduation and entry/success in higher education. I'm seeking a group of motivated and passionate mentors to assist in starting this program (CARE: Cambodian Americans Reclaiming Education). What this would require is travelling to CCDI in Oakland on Saturdays and from 1pm-4pm engaging in bonding activities, facilitating educational workshops, and providing academic tutoring to Cambodian middle or high school youth. We're aiming for about 10 mentees for the program so that means we need 10+ mentors. Mentors can be of any ethnicity, but have to be interested in and sensitive to working with Cambodian American youth. I sincerely believe that if we can get a group together, there's the potential to make a real difference. The application is attached. I'm trying to get this started ASAP (meaning this semester/quarter) so please fill out if interested or shoot me an email with any questions.

2) CCDI is also hosting a fundraising event titled, "Cultural Movement for a New Beginning" (also on the CCDI website and facebook). The organization needs to fundraise in order to continue providing services, but this is also an opportunity to showcase young Cambodian American artists including CCDI's traditional Cambodian music class: youtube video. We are seeking volunteers to help out at the event which will take place March 19th (a Saturday) from 11am-3pm at the Eastside Arts Alliance in Oakland. Another way could help out would be to perform in the show. Specifically, I'm seeking individuals who'd like to learn and perform a traditional Cambodian dance. YAY!

Julie Tea
BCSA Co-President, Fall 2010-Spring 2011
CCDI Intern

CARE Mentor Application -- CCDI Volunteer -- [right click and save as..]

Mail applications to


First General Meeting Went Well.

first gen thmfirst gen thm 2


Our Co-Presidents Max and Julie would like to thank all the people for coming to our first general meeting for Spring 2011. It was a short but sweet introduction for the many members that are new to BCSA, including Buna and I. The meeting starts with introductions from our officers as well as introductions of people who came. It was followed by an icebreaker of Khmer Bingo followed by our agenda for the Spring semester and some snacks on the side. The evening was stamped by RJ rapping and Hathiya winning a BCSA T-shirt. Overall it was a cool experience and hope to see new faces in the next one. Below are some pics from the meeting for people who couldn't make it.

anirajuliehathiyafoodzonanora lakana

Gallery up soon!!!

Pictures were taken by our new photographer Lakana :)

Conflict between Thai-Cambodian border heightens.

by KV 02/06/11

Shots rang and military weaponries crosses each other on Friday when allegations of who shot first continues to take the lives of one civilian and three military men, while displacing 18,000 civilians from both sides. The battle for Preah Vihear Temple between Thailand and Cambodia made headlines in 2008, but has been an ongoing feud for the last 50 years, in which bitter resentment for the control of Preah Vihear Temple resurrected again this last weekend.

thai-cambodian conflictthai-cambodian conflictarmy

The longevity of this clash comes from the official ownership of Preah Vihear Temple by Cambodia from an International agreement, but the surrounding lands that occupies the World Heritage Site seems to be controlled, by the most part, of Thai military sanctions. Despite the political backlash deriving from such a skirmish, the cultural resentment embedded by history of wars between Thailand and Cambodia may have long been hidden, but tragically comes to life when military arms and weaponries position themselves eagerly across the thin red line. While we all hope no more deaths from either side succumbs from a military mistake, it is with some hope that leaders from both sides proactively strive to end this conflict as soon as possible.

You can read more about this at CIAA News Media Blogsite.

Free Kapok.

The Interactive Khmer Learning Software.

2/27/11 11:30PM

On the last day of KSCC held in Berkeley last November, Jory Horn, President of CSA of Sac. State introduced us to the Free Kapok Khmer Learning Software. With a very funny advertisement pda video that he showed, the learning software, developed by a Khmer Professor in Sac State, aims to teach Cambodian-Americans that have somehow almost lost the ability to communicate not only to their parents, but to any Khmer fluent speaking person in general. Below is a message from Jory Horn and further description of the software and website, including the video that Jory showed us at KSCC.

From Jory Horn:

"Dr. Ravin Pan (Professor at Sac State) created this Free Kaprok learning Khmer software. It's pretty awesome, I have been helping him with it since the beginning when we handed copies ourselves because we did not have a website. But that is changed. We have a website now! Please feel free to post this on your "wall" or talk about it at your club meetings. Dr. Pan is always looking for help. His e-mail is found on the website if you are interested.
Spread the word."