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In 2016, eight Cambodian Americans from Minnesota—collectively known as the MN8—were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without warning or chance to say goodbye to their families. They were going to be deported to Cambodia, a country where their families fled from genocide and war. Their families—primarily women, elders, & children—rallied around them and fought back. They mobilized community members and advocated to attorneys and Congress-members. At these rallies were babies, Khmer elders who have since passed away, community advocates, and more. The enormous efforts of the MN8, their loved ones, and community supporters sparked national attention and led to the eventual release of 3 of the 8 men. This started the #ReleaseMN8 grassroots campaign, a uniquely intergenerational movement led by family members who had never organized before. Our story begins with these eight remarkable individuals, their families, and the deep love that carried them through. However, we knew our fight was far from over. We vowed to never let another family be separated again and that we must reunite families. Since then, our campaign has bloomed into an abolitionist nonprofit organization that fights for the liberation of Southeast Asian communities. From the beginning, MN8’s origin was a love story about communities protecting their loved ones and fighting for freedom. MN8’s roots have always been grounded in community care, people power, and shared liberation. Since 2016, we have continued to dream of and build a world where our communities can live without fear and thrive for generations to come.
About the Organization:
$0 - $50,000
- Expand our tracking of AAPI advocacy groups in order to make their work more accessible to the public, including during the upcoming midterm elections and transition period;
- Monitor notable activity from AAPI elected officials, campaigns, and efforts to engage with AAPI communities politically;
- Fairly compensate journalists for their work;
- Invest significant resources into investigative projects and deep dives on issues including mental health, immigration, and Pacific Islander activism; and