What is “community organizing”? When a solid team of passionate people come together and identify a problem, and then plan and organize a way to solve it by using their own power, influence, and resources in their own community, across generations, families, and neighborhoods.
“We needed to support the elders, and strengthen our small, divided community. We had to do something so we could have a place of worship and a place for the elders to hang out.” Baysy, Redding Community Organizer
In this case, it was the Lao community in Redding, California. They had been living without a temple for the last 4 years after it had been foreclosed on. Six months ago they came together and committed to raising funds to buy a plot of land and build a new one to bring their community back together, and create a community space to keep them strong and united through culture and love. They organized a raffle fundraiser and sold over 1500 tickets all over Northern California and as far away as Philadelphia, Kansas City, and San Diego. On Saturday, June 7th they had their big event with live bands, food, drink, a photobooth, and performances, and raised a total of $34,620 to buy their land. Now that is true community hustle.
“Community means coming together and helping each other, we have to do it. I’m most excited about having an actual temple for our community again and celebrating it together.” Yai, Redding Community Organizer
Major props, love and respect to Redding and FoSho Entertainment for all your heart and commitment to the future of y’alls community. You’re inspiring people way beyond your city. We can’t wait to come see the temple when it’s built!
Be sure to keep up with FoSho Entertainment on Facebook for updates on the temple, their music and community work! And check out more photos from their event below!
_Mia-lia Kiernan is National Organizer and Co-Founder of 1Love Movement. 1Love was born out of deportation crisis in the Cambodian-American community in Philly in 2010, and has now grown into a national network of Southeast Asian and Asian American organizers that fight mass incarceration and mass deportation with a vision of keeping families together in our communities.