PrYSM Transitions and 2014 Fundraiser!

PrYSM haschanravyproeung transformed my way of thinking, doing, and healing. Through the work of PrYSM, I have learned that activism is an act of love and compassion, which is the social responsibility of every generation.   – Chanravy Proeung

Greetings PrYSM Fam! 

In November of 2001, we started with a vision: Improve the quality of life for Southeast Asian young people in Providence, RI through through community building and social justice. For the past 13 years, PrYSM has remained steadfast in our mission to confront and end state, street, and interpersonal violence affecting the Southeast Asian community in RI. Chanravy Proeung will be transitioning out of her role as Co-Director at PrYSM. For the past four years, Chanravy has done an incredible job developing PrYSM and refining our work. She has tightened our finances and administrative structures by implementing more solid internal processes. Chanravy has strengthened PrYSM’s national impact through her strong leadership in the Southeast Asian Freedom Network, Grassroots APIs Rising, Get Your Rights Network, the UN Human Rights Network, and many more. Locally, she paved the way for the state of Rhode Island to critically think about police violence, especially in communities of color struggling with poverty and state repression. As a Khmer woman from Providence, Chanravy has gracefully modeled what it means to be strong, powerful leader fighting for social justice. We love her dearly. PrYSM2014FundraiserSTD

Happy 13th Birthday, PrYSM!

PrYSM’s birthday party is always exciting, but this year we need your help to celebrate Chanravy’s incredible contributions to the movement and to surround Sarath Suong with love and good wishes as he becomes Executive Director. From Co-Founder to staff to Board member to Co-Director, Sarath has been an invaluable member of the PrYSM family. PrYSM is excited for our next chapter as we move forward under his leadership. Help us build the current generation of Southeast Asian youth leaders and develop the next! You can do so in the following ways: Attend the Peace, Love, Power fundraiser!  Tickets can be purchased at www.prysm13.eventbrite.com. They are $25 per person. Save money by bringing a friend (two tickets are just $40) or purchasing a table (ten tickets for $200).  If you can’t attend, feel free to donate a ticket to a young person or community member. Purchase an ad!  We are selling ads for the program books at Peace, Love, Power. You can also go to www.prysm13.eventbrite.com to purchase ads. Give a shout out to PrYSM and publicize your service or business! Donate!  You can donate electronically through PayPal at our website, www.prysm.us or you can send a check to the above address. Thank you for your love. With your continued support, PrYSM will be able to fulfill our dream of a more just world for Southeast Asian youth and families.

We hope you join us on November 22nd!

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Join us for the PrYSM Unity BBQ on August 23!

Join Us! Enjoy the last few days of summer and catch up with PrYSM at our Unity BBQ!

Unity BBQ 2014

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014, 12pm-6pm
Lincoln Woods State Park, Site 20


Yes, the Unity BBQ is back! Remember the eating contests? Game stations? Raffle Prizes? Well they’re all coming back too! Here’s what you can expect this year:

Eating Contests!
– Hot Dog – Spicy Papaya Salad – FEAR FACTOR –

Game Stations! Raffle Prizes!
– Ball Toss – Balloon Pop – Apple Bobbing –

Design PrYSM’s New Logo Contest!
(Youths under 18 eligible to apply)
– $300 Top Prize – 

It’s gonna be a blast!

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Introduction: On APIA Solidarity

Hi PrYSM friends and fam! My name is Franny Choi, and I’m absolutely thrilled to come on as the new SOUL Program Director! I’ve had a great time so far getting settled, learning a ton about PrYSM, sweating my brains out in the hot-as-balls office, and getting to know the amazing staff and youth. PrYSM is such a unique and inspiring space, and I’m honored to be part of it.

I recently graduated from Brown University, where I majored in Ethnic Studies and Literary Arts (brownspeak for creative writing). I was also involved in Brown’s Third World Center as a Minority Peer Counselor. Unlike the “diversity” or “multicultural” centers that a lot of other schools have, the Third World Center tries to carry on a legacy of actively fighting the system, and not just peacefully integrating into it. The center gets its name from the Third World Movement, in which African, Asian, and Latin American nations banded together in solidarity to fight against colonialism and oppression.

It was in the TWC that I began to understand this idea of solidarity and feel a sense of a common struggle with people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Of course, I feel a special connection to APIA people; at the same time, I understand that, as a Korean-American, I carry a certain amount of privilege into this space. My parents were not refugees, but immigrated to the U.S. so that my father could attend school. Like many other Koreans, they started out poor but had the cultural capital to climb the socioeconomic ladder and eventually join the middle class.

But we shouldn’t let the successes of South Korea and Korean America make us forget that Korea is also a postcolonial country, that it also experienced a brutal, divisive Cold War, and that half of its people are still struggling under oppressive rule. I’m definitely not trying to say that this means I understand the Southeast Asian American experience, or that Korean Americans have struggled as much as SEAAs have. But I want to point out that the model minority myth is very good at hiding this common history and preventing us as APIAs from forming solidarity. This fight is far from over. In joining PrYSM, I hope to take a step toward rebuilding a coalition between Southeast Asians and East Asians in the movement for justice and love.

I’m coming in excited to learn about the Southeast Asian American struggle and to share what I know. I can’t wait to see everything that PrYSM will teach Providence, Asian America, and the world about what it means to fight for change.

“so please, my fellow silent news blips,
my fellow ghosts, please know
that it is no small gesture
to hold the rotting pieces of violence bleedingly between your fingers,
raise them above the frame this station has labeled ugly
history that this network has called second-hand,
and say: we have always been here.
and in the end, we will call each of our own by name.”
–from my piece, “The Other 97%”

 

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