Enhancing the quality of life for all refugees from Burma in Minnesota

News and Events Archive: 2012


Thank you for supporting KOM at our Second Annual Gala and Karen Unity Celebration

Ta blut doe mah (Thank you so much) to everyone who supported KOM by attending one (or all!) of our events in October. It was a fun and inspiring month thanks to you!

More than 160 people attended KOM's Second Annual Gala on October 11, 2012. Michelle Tran of the Twin Cities Daily Planet interviewed KOM founders Eh Taw Dwe and Priscilla Aung at the gala and also captured video of the keynote address with KOM board members Hsajune Dyan and Pastor Bill Englund. Watch the video below and read the full story in the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

In October, KOM also hosted the First Annual Karen Unity Celebration sports tournaments and benefit concert, attended by more than 300 people. Thank you to all of the participating sports teams, musicians, and fans for supporting KOM in this inaugural event!

See photos from both events in our website gallery or on Facebook.

Thank you again to everyone who helped make our events a success! Your presence and ongoing support for refugees from Burma mean so much to us.

KAREN UNITY CELEBRATION CO-HOST:

  • First Baptist Church of St. Paul

KAREN UNITY CELEBRATION SPONSORS:

  • Karen Culture Organization of Minnesota
  • Golden Karen Grocery, Inc.
  • Karen Market & Deli
  • Karen Home Day Care
  • Family Day Care
  • Minnesota American Karen Society
  • Karen Community of Minnesota

ANNUAL GALA CO-HOST:

  • McVay Youth Partnership
  • Wesley Center Hamline University

ANNUAL GALA SPONSORS:

Gold:

  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
  • UCare

Silver:

  • International Institute of Minnesota
  • World Relief Minnesota

Bronze:

  • Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. - Prosperity

October 2012

11. Thursday, October 11, 6:00pm to 9:00pm - 2nd Annual KOM Gala
Location: Hamline University, Klas Center
West Taylor Ave, St. Paul

2012 KOM Gala flyer


KOM Vice President promotes healing for victims of torture

KOM’s Board Vice President, Eh Taw Dwe, was highlighted in a video about Center for Victims of Torture for his role in promoting healing for torture survivors in the Karen community. Eh Taw was arrested and tortured by the military junta in Burma because of his ethnic background and human rights work. He has been a leader in the Karen community since his arrival in 2004. The Center for Victims of Torture is an international nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, MN, that is dedicated to healing survivors of torture and bringing an end to torture worldwide. Locally they serve the Karen, Bhutanese, Oromo, and Somali communities in St. Paul through their Healing In Partnership program. Learn more about Healing In Partnership and what Eh Taw is doing in this short video. Thanks to Minnesota Philanthropy Partners for producing this video as part of their “Nonprofits to Know” series.


Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony

Saturday, August 18th, 10:00am - Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony
Location: Johnson Senior High School, 1349 Arcade Street, St. Paul 55106
Wrist Tying Ceremony flyer

Thank you to the Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony sponsors:
UCare, Lexdan Automotive, and Kazoua Xiong, LLC.
UCare


Karen Martyr's Day

Saturday, August 11th, 10:00am
Location: 499 Wacouta Street, St. Paul 55101
Karen Martyr's Day flyer


“Twist of Fate”

http://kstp.com/article/stories/S2687186.shtml?cat=12196

‘Community members are invited to watch a story about young adults from diverse cultures learning to get along at Rosetown Playhouse’s upcoming summer performance.

“Twist of Fate” is the teen-only summer play produced by the Roseville-based community theater organization. It features teems from the Roseville area and teens from the Karen Organization of Minnesota, which provides resources to refugees from Burma and Thailand.

During rehearsals, the two groups of teens learned about each other’s histories, culture, languages, and future dreams.

The play was written and directed by Rosetown Arts Administrator Tyler Olsen.

“Twist of Fate” will be performed at 7 p.m. July 27-28 and 5 p.m. July 29 at Villa Park in Roseville. It will also be performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival at Mixed Blood Theatre Aug. 2-3, Aug. 5, Aug. 9 and Aug. 12.’


KOM Staff featured in Asian American Press

It has been more than 10 years since the first Karens from Burma arrived in Minnesota as refugees. KOM staff Marner Saw and Saw Morrison discuss a decade of successes, challenges, and lessons learned from other Southeast Asian communities. Read the full article of Karens in Minnesota at the Asian American Press.


Join the Asian New Year Celebration February 3

Whether you are celebrating the year 2012, 2751, or the Year of the Dragon, the New Year is an important holiday in many cultures around the world. Metropolitan State University’s Asian Student Organization invites you to join them for an Asian New Year Celebration on Friday, February 3. The event is free and open to the public.

This event will feature a diverse array of traditions celebrated in East, South, and Southeast Asia in forms of music, dance, games, activities, and delicious food. The Karen Cultural Organization’s Don Dance Group is honored to be one of the groups selected to perform at the celebration. Come watch their performance and ring in the New Year!

Download the flyer

Ethnic attire is encouraged.


Thank you for joining us to celebrate Karen New Year

Nearly 2,000 people from many states traveled to St. Paul to celebrate the Karen New Year on December 31 and January 1. The two-day event, held at Washington Technology Magnet School, was a joint effort between the Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM), the Karen Cultural Organization, and the Karen Celebration Days Committee (KCDC). Festivities included dance performances, speeches by Karen leaders, a formal Karen New Year ceremony, and volleyball and caneball tournaments. Guests on January 1 also enjoyed a traditional Karen meal.

Throughout both days of the event, more than 10 dance troupes from Minnesota, Nebraska, and California graced the stage with their performances of traditional Karen dances including Pe Pee Yaw and the Bamboo Dance, which are performed specifically at the Karen New Year. The ceremony on Sunday also featured traditional dances and songs as well as a storytelling group and speeches by Karen community leaders and St. Paul College President Rassoul Dastmozd. Another important piece of the ceremony was giving thanks to the elders in the community for their leadership and provision.

The Karen New Year is celebrated on the first day of Pyathoe, a month on the Karen calendar that corresponds to December/January. The event symbolizes Karen unity and harmony through the past year and the year ahead. These important cultural events allow the community to pass on their history and traditions to their youth. They are also important opportunities to introduce our neighbors to Karen culture and facilitate goodwill and mutual respect.

The members of KOM and KCDC wish to thank this year’s sponsors of the Karen New Year Celebration: St. Bernard’s Church, Golden Karen Grocery, Guadalupe Alternative Programs, Vietnamese Social Services, Wells Fargo Bank, and Children’s Dental Services, as well as St. Paul Public Schools, which provided us with the space to host this large event. We also thank members of the community for their financial support of this event. It would not have been possible if not for such dedicated community members. “Ta blut doe mah” (thank you very much) for your support, and thank you to everyone who joined us for this celebration!


Join the Karen New Year Celebration

Karen Celebration Days Committee (KCDC) and Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM) cordially invite you to be our guest at our Karen New Year Celebration events, which will take place from December 31, 2011-January 1, 2012 at the Washington Technology Magnet School.

Karen New Year Celebration is a time for the Karen to reflect on what has gotten us through this past year through challenges and successes. The event symbolizes of Karen unity and harmony through the year and the year ahead. These important cultural events allow the community to pass on their history and traditions to their youth. They are also important opportunities to raise awareness about the Karen and to facilitate goodwill and mutual respect with our new friends and neighbors. This year we anticipate that 4,000 people will attend the New Year Celebration events.

Download the poster.

31. Saturday, December 31 and Sunday, January 1 - Karen New Year Celebration
Location: Washington Technology Magnet School, 1495 Rice Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55117

Karen Celebration Days Committee (KCDC) and Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM) cordially invite you to be our guest at our Karen New Year Celebration events, which will take place from December 31, 2011-January 1, 2012 at the Washington Technology Magnet School.

Download the flyer

Karen New Year Celebration is a time for the Karen to reflect on what has gotten us through this past year through challenges and successes. The event symbolizes of Karen unity and harmony through the year and the year ahead. These important cultural events allow the community to pass on their history and traditions to their youth. They are also important opportunities to raise awareness about the Karen and to facilitate goodwill and mutual respect with our new friends and neighbors. This year we anticipate that 4,000 people will attend the New Year Celebration events.

Through your office all refugees including the Karen are looked after and their health needs are met. The work that you do with the Karen Community, your love to helping refugees, and the collaboration your office has with KOM we would like to invite your office to be an official sponsor of this year’s events. Sponsorship at the following levels offers these benefits:

  • Bronze: $200 - a table reserved for your business at the resource fair on Saturday and Sunday, December 31, 2011 and January 1, 2012. (number of tables limited to space available)
  • Silver: $500 - receive a table at the resource fair and business name on ceremony program schedule, KOM website, and official media release.
  • Gold: $1,000 - your name and business logo on the ceremony program schedule, KOM website, official media release, recognition at the opening and closing ceremony, and a table at the resource fair.
  • Platinum: $2,000 - your business name and logo printed on the official invitation and you are welcome to display your business banner on the stage, recognition at the opening and closing ceremony, in addition to benefits of all other levels of sponsorship.

This year the activities will include a Kengball and Volleyball tournament. All events will be free of charge, and free traditional Karen food will be provided on Sunday. In the past, the Karen community has taken donations from within the community to fund this important event. As the number of Karen and friends of Karen in Minnesota continues to grow, the financial burden of putting on such an event is beyond what the community can provide.

With the founding of the Karen Organization of Minnesota, the first Karen-led 501c3 nonprofit in the United States, you are now able to receive a tax-deductible receipt for your financial support of this event. Please make your checks payable to Karen Organization of Minnesota, memo stating Karen New Year Celebration. Mail check to:

1394 Jackson Street Suite 324
St. Paul, MN 55117

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Thank you for your consideration of generously supporting this year’s Karen New Year Celebration.

Sincerely,

Chong B. Vang
Executive Director
Karen Organization of Minnesota
651-788-7593 x306
cvang@mnkaren.org

Tun Naing
Chair
Karen Celebration Days Committee


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Flyers

Wrist Tying Ceremony flyer
KCO Fundraiser


Gala flyer


Wrist Tying Ceremony flyer


Karen Martyr's Day flyer


Asian New Year flyer


Karen New Year flyer


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