Laotian American National Alliance

Laotian American National Alliance

Established in 1999, LANA works to advance the social and economic well-being of Lao Americans and people from ethnic groups with roots in Laos. Partnering with Laotian-led organizations nationwide, we amplify underrepresented voices and empower our multi-ethnic community through programs that focus on our values of: education, visibility, and collaboration.

Laotian American National Alliance

Established in 1999, LANA works to advance the social and economic well-being of Lao Americans and people from ethnic groups with roots in Laos. Partnering with Laotian-led organizations nationwide, we amplify underrepresented voices and empower our multi-ethnic community through programs that focus on our values of: education, visibility, and collaboration. To make our vision a reality, over the past twenty years we have established and developed programs that reach our communities, affecting change at the grassroots level and then connecting them to a nationwide effort. In the last three years, we have experienced some growth and have transitioned from a volunteer working board to an organization with part time staff. We promote civic engagement, exemplified through the LANA Votes program initiatives for voter education and engagement, the first iteration of which we conducted in fall 2022 with four partner organizations based in Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, and Texas. We conduct original research on disinformation and gender justice; and we advocate at the federal level for data equity, language access, and immigrant justice. We were also critical in outreaching to our communities for Census 2020 and informing our communities on preventing covid and accessing vaccines. LANA also continuously builds power and develops a pipeline of leaders with our communities by providing sub-grants and technical support to our grassroots partners to empower them to increase their capacity.

About the Organization:

Established in 1999, LANA works to advance the social and economic well-being of Lao Americans and people from ethnic groups with roots in Laos. Partnering with Laotian-led organizations nationwide, we amplify underrepresented voices and empower our multi-ethnic community through programs that focus on our values of: education, visibility, and collaboration. To make our vision a reality, over the past twenty years we have established and developed programs that reach our communities, affecting change at the grassroots level and then connecting them to a nationwide effort. In the last three years, we have experienced some growth and have transitioned from a volunteer working board to an organization with part time staff. We promote civic engagement, exemplified through the LANA Votes program initiatives for voter education and engagement, the first iteration of which we conducted in fall 2022 with four partner organizations based in Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, and Texas. We conduct original research on disinformation and gender justice; and we advocate at the federal level for data equity, language access, and immigrant justice. We were also critical in outreaching to our communities for Census 2020 and informing our communities on preventing covid and accessing vaccines. LANA also continuously builds power and develops a pipeline of leaders with our communities by providing sub-grants and technical support to our grassroots partners to empower them to increase their capacity.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

21-25 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • District of Columbia • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Puerto Rico • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

21-25 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • District of Columbia • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Puerto Rico • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

The Issue:

In today's rapidly advancing technological landscape, there is a growing need for technology classes specifically designed for elders. Despite the ubiquity of technology in various aspects of daily life, a significant portion of the elderly population faces numerous challenges in adopting and effectively utilizing these technologies. This knowledge gap not only hinders their ability to engage with modern society but also exacerbates feelings of isolation and dependency on others. From our community dinners and research focus groups, we have been repeatedly asked by both elders and children of elders if we could have programming that will teach elders how to use their smart devices and navigate the internet safely. Without the necessary knowledge and skills, they struggle to access online medical resources, manage online banking services, communicate with distant relatives via video calls, or engage in online social activities. Elders not only face the challenge of learning to use devices, but also of distinguishing what sources to trust online from which they seek news about current events or issues that are important to them. This limited access to digital tools and services not only hampers their quality of life but also restricts their opportunities for personal growth and engagement. We have found that our elders tend to live with or near their adult children, and depend on their adult children for their transportation and mobility needs. This means they often miss out on opportunities to socialize during the work week. Learning how to use ride-share apps will allow them the agency to move freely at any time of the day and ease the caregiving burden. In terms of navigating physical spaces, elders also need to be able to use practical tools like digital maps and GPS and would benefit from knowing how to use translation tools for posted signage around spaces and similar situations.

The Solution:

Having identified a need for the elders in Lao communities to participate in technology classes, our solution is to continue and build upon a pilot program, hosted by Laos In The House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in February 2023. We aim to help elders live full and active lives as they age, recognizing that the ability to understand and use technology is a critical part of achieving that goal. The pilot program included 3 facilitators and 18 participants. Classes were 3 hours long and held weekly over the span of a month with educational material building upon skills learned in classes prior. Participants put into practice what they learned on field trips and outings with the facilitators and their peers. The class size was 8-10. Limited class sizes will help each participant receive individual assistance as needed from facilitators. We aim to develop this initial model into a formalized program that is easy for partner organizations to implement. Organizations will receive training materials for their program facilitators and a course outline/syllabus detailing curriculum and activities that can be taken to community centers where multigenerational engagement (Gen Z and millennial facilitators, elder students participants) will benefit all parties and help build relationships of mutual understanding and care to strengthen our communities. Our short-term goal is to provide direct launch and support of this program to 4-8 of our partner organizations and their community centers; our long-term goal is to be able to share this programming and technical support with our directory of over 100+ Lao community centers.

Get Updates about the Gold Futures Challenge

Join our email list to receive challenge updates!