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History Revealed: Somewhere in the Unknown World
January 7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Ramsey County Historical Society Presents
Somewhere in the Unknown World: A Collective Refugee Memoir
Kao Kalia Yang
History Revealed Series
January 7, 2021
Thursday, 7:00 pm
Youtube video recording: https://youtu.be/FzHJsrG6stY
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The presentation will be recorded.
In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library
As the country’s doors were closing and nativism was on the rise, Kao Kalia Yang—herself a refugee from Laos—set out to tell the stories of the refugees to whom University Avenue is now home. Here are people who have summoned the energy and determination to make a new life even as they carry an extraordinary burden of hardship, loss, and emotional damage. In Yang’s exquisite, poetic, and necessary telling, the voices of refugees from all over the world restore humanity to America’s strangers and redeem its long history of welcome.
Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers’ Choice, a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction, and the Asian Literary Award in Nonfiction. Her second book, The Song Poet won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Creative Nonfiction Memoir, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction, and the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize. The story has been commissioned as a youth opera by the Minnesota Opera and will premiere in the spring of 2021. She is now writing a series of children’s books.
For this event, before we open the virtual floor for questions and comments from audience members, Yang will be joined in conversation by four readers of her book:
Saymoukda Duanphouxay Vongsay is an award-winning Lao American poet, playwright, cultural producer, and social practice artist. She is the author of the children’s book WHEN EVERYTHING WAS EVERYTHING (Full Circle Publishing) and is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Theater Mu. Visit her at www.SaymoukdaTheRefugenius.com and follow her @refugenius.
Thet-Htar Thet (she/her/hers) is a writer, educator and activist originally from Yangon Myanmar. Now based in her home country, Thet-Htar is focused on education reform and identity-driven writing as a consultant for UNESCO and a freelance creative nonfiction writer.
Sangay Taythi is a Tibetan refugee born in India who with his family immigrated to the United States in 1998. He has been a community and labor organizer, including the Students for a Free Tibet chapter at the University of Minnesota, the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Minnesota, the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota, the Tibetan National Congress and Tibetans for Black Lives and SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.
Najaha Musse Najaha Musse is a 4th year medical student pursuing a doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine. Her family fled rural Ethiopia for a refugee camp in Nairobi Kenya, and then settled in Minnesota where she began formal education in the 3rd grade. As the oldest in a family of 8 children, she became the first in her family to graduate from high school and receive a college degree. While attending medical school, Najaha has focused on social justice issues pertaining to educational access for disadvantaged students and social medicine.