Infamous skull map that was on display in the former S-21 prison camp at Tuol Sleng, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Wikimedia Commons).

April 17 marks the anniversary of one of the most horrific chapters in human history. Nearly 2 million Cambodians were killed during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror from 1975 to 1979.

Below is an excerpt from my forthcoming memoir laying out a brief history of the rise of the Khmer Rouge.

I didn’t learn until later in life that when I was born, my mother, who was around 18 at the time, left me in the care of a Cambodian pastor and his family in San Diego. She didn’t exactly have the most pristine and peaceful life. Her childhood…


U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking with attendees at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People hosted by the Center for the American Progress Action Fund and the SEIU at the Enclave in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore.

With the first Democratic primaries and caucuses just weeks away, the 2020 presidential election will be one of the most consequential elections in my lifetime. The recent escalation of tensions with Iran, worries of World War III, climate change, and threats to American democracy both foreign and domestic, many of you feel the same, I am sure.

But who then is best equipped to undo the damage that President Donald J. Trump has inflicted? Who is best equipped to take America in a new and more positive direction? Who should I support?

I am gay. So should I support Mayor…


I was looking up Pride events when I suddenly stopped and a thought struck me: It’ been 9 years this month since I started coming out to my closest friends and family. I leaned back, hands behind my head, and stared at the ceiling as my life for the past 9 years flashed before my eyes.

When I came home from Bible college in May of 2010, I was coming home with a heavy heart. That particular year was a rollercoaster. I had stayed on campus over winter break and wrestled with God as that embodiment and meaning of Love.


Text:

I believe that we have, for too long, allowed those with more fundamentalist views to monopolize morality and what it means to be a moral human being. I believe morality exists as a universal concept to free humanity from our baser instincts, such as hate, fear, and violence; that morality should free us to contemplate, imagine, and dream of a world in which we live in peaceful coexistence. …


Photo from Portland, Maine, Rally. Credit: Lauren Kennedy Photography

My name is Marpheen Chann and I am a board member at the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center and organizer with Mainers for Accountable Leadership.

On June 30th, I helped organize and MC’d the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally at Portland City Hall. According to the Portland Press Herald, nearly 2,000 Mainers showed up to stand in solidarity with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

The rally would not have been a success without organizations like Mainers for Accountable Leadership, the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, ACLU of Maine, Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, and many others who jumped…


We cannot let what it means to be moral be monopolized by those with an agenda to oppress, suppress, and repress. Morality shouldn’t just be about what we CAN’T DO, but what we CAN DO together. A moral people keeps families together to the extent possible; helps feed the hungry and provide shelter to the homeless. A moral people will fight for a government that represents, defends, and lifts up the weak, the broken, and the downtrodden.

Speech at Maine Poor People’s Campaign Racism and Militarism event at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church (Portland, ME) on May 29, 2018

By…


ACTON, ME, 1999.

I fidgeted in my seat. As if I was feeling the seatbelt slowly transform into a shackle. A sort of feeling as if there was an impending doom. There was a churning like a sea of turbulence in my stomach. A tensing as the chords in my shoulders and neck began to draw tight — as if my body was trying to cut itself off from my mind. But in actuality, I was losing breath and, with every passing minute, the glimmer of life began to fade as I was overcome with feelings of unwanted change.

I didn’t look out…


All of our individual lives are always colliding with the lives of others. Mixing and molding and changing and transforming in the melting pot of our collective existence. Our individual lives are like ripples which, when combined with all the ripples of the rest of us, turns into waves that push and pull the tides of what becomes our shared experience.

An Introduction

I first heard the word “intersectionality” in my senior year at the University of Southern Maine.

But up until that point, I did not know that there was an actual word for what I have experienced throughout my life…


All of our individual lives are always colliding with the lives of others. Mixing and molding and changing and transforming in the melting pot of our collective existence. Our individual lives are like ripples which, when combined with all the ripples of the rest of us, turns into waves that push and pull the tides of what becomes our shared experience.

I first heard the word “intersectionality” in my senior year at the University of Southern Maine.

But up until that point, I did not know that there was an actual word for what I have experienced throughout my life…


If a friend or loved one developed a drinking problem or substance abuse disorder, would you stand by without saying a word? If your child refused to do their homework or if they bullied another kid in class, would you stay silent? When you love somebody, it sometimes requires uncomfortable confrontations, honesty, and self-reflection. The same goes for love of country.

Love is never a one-and-done deal. True, endless love is an endless and eternal effort towards the understanding of each other and the betterment and improvement of one another. Without that endless striving toward a more perfect union, to…

Marpheen Chann

Gay, second-generation Asian American living in Portland, Maine, and a human rights educator at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine.

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