Mr. Hyphen 2011 finalist Rattana Yeang.
Rattana Yeang is a survivor and an agent of change.
His family came to the US after the American intervention that made Cambodia one of the most heavily bombed regions in the world, and the resulting genocide by the Khmer Rouge. It is this personal history that drives him to work towards positive change in our community with, in his own words, “compassion, a critical perspective, humility, love, and more importantly, in collaboration with other like minded people.”
At Mr. Hyphen 2011, Rattana will represent the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), where he currently serves as a board member. SEARAC is a national organization that serves Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans through advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building and envisions a socially just and equitable society.
On API stereotypes, Rattana says, “In reality, not all Asian Americans are high achievers in their educational or professional lives. This assumption overlooks the fact that a lot of Southeast Asian Americans are actually anything but a ‘model minority.’ For instance, Southeast Asian Americans are the least assimilated out of all immigrant groups in the United States. They are linguistically isolated, live in poor socio-economic communities, come from war torn countries that have either changed or destroyed the traditional family unit, do not do well in school or pursue degrees in higher education.”
Rattana, we can’t wait to learn more about you at Mr. Hyphen.
Mr. Hyphen 2011 is on Saturday, November 5, at the Brava! Theater in San Francisco. Click here for more info on the event and to get tickets.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!