Riding the Waves of the SEA
A SEA Change Lab Digital Zine
SEA Change Lab is a cohort-based program aimed at growing social empowerment and leadership development through creative storytelling in young people with heritage roots in Southeast Asia (Burmese, Cambodian, Hmong, Karen, Karenni, Lao, Vietnamese, etc); specifically youth and young adults ages 18-25. We center, support and guide our young people’s experiences using an interdisciplinary cross-cultural, cross-generational approach through arts advocacy (e.g. writing, theater, music and dance).
Angela So (she/her) is the daughter of Cambodian refugees and a writer based in Houston, Texas. She received her Bachelor's in English from the University of Houston and her MFA in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University. Her prose has been published in Glimmer Train, Day One, and The Pinch, and she's received writing fellowships from Kundiman, Vermont Studio Center, and the Houston Arts Alliance. She is currently working on a historical-speculative novel centering the love and losses of a Cambodian American family.
Alicia Thao (she/her), daughter of Hmong refugees, is a North American singer-songwriter who is Tulsa-raised and Saint Paul-based. Well-versed in a variety of genres, she identifies as being an experimental indie/folk/soul performing artist. Thao's music has been played on the popular Twin Cities music radio station, The Current, and been featured by Twin Cities PBS. Expanding her music endeavors, she is currently working on a track to accompany a documentary directed by Bao Vue and is focused on transitioning to become an independent, self-producing recording artist. Outside of music, Thao's life work has been dedicated to healing, SEA youth, and advocacy.
For the first time ever, we opened up our SEA Change Lab cohort to Southeast Asian youth across the country and went digital. A silver lining in the looming cloud that was 2020, we brought together over 20 of the diaspora's most promising, innovative and diverse artists, and watched them nurture each other and grow with one another. Together, they told their stories and created artwork that explores mental health, LGBTQ+ identity, collective liberation and education.