Who is Anh Tran?
I love children’s books. I love the short, exciting stories and colorful worlds that accompany the pages. I want to one day have the opportunity to illustrate my very own book. But I’m often distracted by other things, like teaching kids art, teaching seniors art, painting murals, entering art shows, learning new skills, making crepes… Life is messy! It’s ok, I’m confident it will all make sense some day.
On our theme of “Teachers,” Anh had this to say:
"Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach." This is a terrible quote and you should definitely not teach something you can’t do.
Christian’s thoughts on our theme, “Teachers”:
My English teacher taught me to find my voice in writing and share it to the world. Music taught me to create my own dance moves with my wheelchair as an attachment of my body. My wheelchair taught me that I can do anything and go anywhere I want to go. And if I have to run over people’s feet along the way, then so be it.
OC Human Relations Board Member. I was born in the Philippines. I am 21 born with a disability. I’m a Motivational Speaker. I share my story of living with a disability and how I do the same things “normal” people do but just a little different. I’m a write. I write from experience. One day I’ll write a best seller and speak in front of tens of thousands of people.
A little bit more about our Community Spotlight:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles is the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice - LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice - LA seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of the AANHPI community while also building a strong AANHPI voice for civil rights and social justice. Since our founding, Advancing Justice - LA has served more than 250,000 individuals and organizations.
Who are The Black Noise?
We are a soul influenced indie rock band from long beach. We love the arts and try to improve the music scene where ever we go. We’ve played all over long beach, hollywood, LA, irvine etc. We intend to gradually build an international audience.
What do dreams mean to them?
What is a dream but the driving force for every ambition. The reason I can wake up and write another song despite there being no guarantee of another pay check. But the feeling one gets from making another believe in your passion to follow your dream is priceless. My dreams are dangerous because according to a realist, it defies the common mans logic. I once read from a wise poet,"hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go life is a barren field frozen with snow. - Langston hughes
As for what DJ 2-one would like to share about dreams:
by Mary Oliver
There is, all around us,
of original fire.
You know what I mean.
The sky, after all, stops at nothing, so something
has to be holding
in its rich and timeless stables or else
we would fly away.
off the Cape,
the humpbacks rise. Carrying their tonnage
of barnacles and joy
they leap through the water, they nuzzle back under it
They sing, too.
And not for any reason
you can’t imagine.
Three of them
rise to the surface near the bow of the boat,
deeply, their huge scarred flukes
tipped to the air.
We wait, not knowing
just where it will happen; suddenly
they smash through the surface, someone begins
shouting for joy and you realize
it is yourself as they surge
upward and you see for the first time
how huge they are, as they breach,
and dive, and breach again
through the shining blue flowers
of the split water and you see them
for some unbelievable
part of a moment against the sky–
like nothing you’ve ever imagined–
like the myth of the fifth morning galloping
out of darkness, pouring
heavenward, spinning; then
they crash back under those black silks
and we all fall back
together into that wet fire, you
know what I mean.
I know a captain who has seen them
playing with seaweed, swimming
through the green islands, tossing
the slippery branches into the air.
I know a whale that will come to the boat whenever
she can, and nudge it gently along the bow
with her long flipper.
I know several lives worth living.
Listen, whatever it is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body,
longing to fly while the dead-weight bones
toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire
even the great whale,
throbs with song.
Bio: thuan nguyen is the youngest of 11 children, with 22 nieces and nephews. Both of his parents did community work for most of their lives, which is the foundation for his commitment to youth and community work. He’s played different roles (as organizer, coordinator, facilitator, case worker, advocate, mentor, etc.) in various social justice efforts and organizations over the years, including youth organizing, education reform, affordable housing, immigrant and refugee rights, LGBTQ justice, and multi-racial coalition-building. He has coordinated an Asian and Pacific Islander network in Oregon, a youth organizing network in the Los Angeles region and throughout California, and is currently involved in building progressive/radical organizing work in the Vietnamese community. thuan is also a DJ and aspiring film-maker.
Joe Thomas, our spoken word feature for our dreams show, had this to say about our theme:
If you’re chasing your dreams, you’re not running fast enough. Run faster.
A dream is something that few remember. The lucky ones who recollect their dreams can incorporate a point of attack to execute their dreamt ambitions.
I write poems of fantasy to restore ones faith in humanity.
I’ve been writing for a number of years now. Over 11.
I grew up all over OC. Still growing up and still roaming in OC. Birth name is Alfred but have gone by Freddy most of my life, hence Alpha-Ready. I’m involved in the local community raising culture and Love awareness. Peace :)
What Alpha-Ready thinks about “Dreams”:
To me dreams are un manifested reality. One’s will power mixed with Love for their craft is what I believe to be the key factors in any dream
More info: https://www.facebook.com/salvajesOC
A little bit more about our spoken word artist, Kelley:
I am a 24 year old college student, currently attending Long Beach State. I am a 3rd year, majoring in Psychology, minoring in Marketing. I am Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese, but identify with being Cambodian/Khmer. I am originally from Northern California. I write and perform spoken/word poetry in conjunction with working in the community as a way to share my story, teach others, empower others, and as a way to give back. It is also my small way of repaying my parents, who are Cambodian refugees, for all of their sacrifices and struggles. I mainly work with youth, middle school to high school students, and have facilitated a workshop for the past 4 years pertaining to the topic of Identity.
In response to what “dreams” means to Kelley:
Dreams are what keep us alive. Without dreams, we have nothing to hope for, reach for, nothing to push us. Without dreams, it would not have been possible for my parents and my relatives to make it through the Khmer Rouge regime and get to the US alive. I wouldn’t have been born either if my parents didn’t dream about the potential of their first baby girl. I am privileged to have parents that suffered so much for their dreams and to have them teach me just exactly how important those dreams are to my life. They taught me how to dream and stay positive. It is what keeps me motivated and empowered on a daily basis.