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Cultural Engagement – LACM encourages full community engagement in civics, proactively addressing disparities and gender inequities. We facilitate community forums, listening sessions, arts performances and exhibits to advise federal, state, and local agencies and stakeholders on Lao refugee perspectives.

The Lao Assistance Center has been engaged in community development for 28 years, and is distinctive for its work in integrating and incorporating women’s leadership in its staff, board and volunteers. 

Youth voice has been a particularly vital aspect of advancing social, economic, and racial equity as they are often on the front-lines of emerging issues and access to mainstream perspectives. 

The Lao Assistance Center has been responsible for working closely with Harrison Neighborhood Association and North Minneapolis stakeholders to bring Lao elders, adults, youth and others with limited mobility and difficulties with linguistic access to community meetings with Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials, emerging and elected politicians, as well as local and national non-profits and educational institutions. 

When necessary staff, board, and volunteers serve as advocates and representatives for projects such as the Harrison neighborhood initiative Undoing Racism, and development of the light rail.

We concentrate heavily on enabling Lao refugees to be able to speak and approach officials and organizations themselves to promote independence and create a reflective democracy. 

Recent key projects were the national Lao Writers Summit and bringing Refugee Nation and Legacies of War to the Twin Cities, an interdisciplinary exhibition and performance piece that examines the history and contribution of Laotian Americans to the world. 
"This activity was made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.”

Special exhibits, readings and other events will be held throughout the coming months ahead.

  • Community Forums
  • Arts Performances
  • Public Hearings and Testimony
  • Engaged Voting and Civics
  • Resources

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