Activities

Cambodia Town

CAMBODIA TOWN Cambodia Town is located along the business corridor of Anaheim Street between Atlantic and Junipero Avenues in Long Beach, Calif. Long Beach has the largest concentration of Cambodians outside of Cambodia. CAMBODIA TOWN INC. About Cambodia Town Inc. is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that spearheaded the campaign to designate a 1.2-mile stretch in Long Beach as “ Cambodia Town ”. This energetic volunteer organization seeks to revitalize the neighborhood by attracting more businesses, visitors and tourists to the area. Mission To use Cambodian cultural customs and traditions to change the social and economic well-being of residents and business owners in Central Long Beach. By preserving the Cambodian heritage, we give hope and a strengthened identity to our children, and by empowering the community we promote the revitalization of our neighborhoods.
Cambodia Town
Cambodia Town
Friday, November 18th, Board and Advisory Council members attended the completely sold out CHPAA fundraising dinner. Our board member, Mariko Kahn was their keynote speaker. Here is a copy of her speech and some photos from the event.

SPEECH from Mariko

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for inviting me to share some of my thoughts about my work in mental health and my connection to the Cambodian community especially Dan Durke and Phillip Thong. When I began as the executive director of Pacific Asian Counseling Services in 2004, the mental health services we provided were limited to Western treatments that combined talk therapy with psychotropic medication.

My perception of Cambodians was based primarily from the RAND study that depicted a community heavily traumatized by the Khmer Rouge genocide and suffering from high incidences of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders.

In 2005, I was introduced to board members of Cambodia Town and through my interactions with them, I saw many resilient, successful, and well-adjusted Cambodians. At that time, I wasn’t aware of the richness of Cambodian civilization and its accomplishments. My knowledge was based on the Killing Fields.

That one-dimensional image of Cambodians was the prevalent one, not only for me, a non-Cambodian but also for many young Cambodian Americans who suffered from a lack of identity.

I became a board member of Cambodia Town because of its mission. It promotes Khmer culture, customs, and traditions to advance the social and economic well-being of low- and moderate-income communities. It creates a thriving and peaceful community by increasing health access, revitalizing neighborhoods, promoting local businesses, and educating youth.

One of its most significant accomplishments occurred in 2007 when the Long Beach City Council finally approved the designation of Cambodia Town. This achievement was the culmination of seven years of determination by the founders of the CT Initiative Task Force and the board.

Now Cambodia Town is a recognized entity in the United States and abroad. It acknowledges the existence of Cambodians in America. It would not have happened without the dedication of people like Phillip Thong, Sithea and Richer San, and Pasin Chanou. And I am proud to say that I was part of the group who testified in favor of it in 2006.

Through my board activities, I was motivated to find funding for more culturally appropriate services. In 2012, Pacific Asian Counseling Services received a grant of over $1 million from the LAC Dept. of Mental Health. We started INC, the Integrated Network for Cambodians.
This program provides mental, medical and substance abuse services using a wholistic approach that melds spiritual practices such as the Buddhist Blessing ceremony, cooking classes, social activities, and acupressure with Western style therapy.

Its outcomes have repeatedly shown that culturally and linguistically appropriate treatment yields better recovery results. And it recognizes that for Cambodians and other Asian communities, mental health cannot be treated separately from medical needs or practical support for better housing, benefits and activities to combat loneliness.

I travelled to Cambodia in 2007 and 2010. I was struck by the entrepreneurial force of the people who were trying to recover from the devastating effects of the hidden wars and decades of poverty. It was on these trips that I saw how impactful the NGOs are to the recovery of the country.

While CT works on improving the community here, NGOs like the Cambodian Health Professionals Association of America (CHPAA) saves hundreds of lives in Cambodia through their medical mission.

I was glad to hear that CHPAA’s work is provided directly by the volunteer force of medical staff and not through the Cambodian government. I want to acknowledge CHPAA’s volunteers for their dedication. I hope many of you will make a donation towards their efforts tonight.

Here in Long Beach, there is a strong collaboration between CT and CHPAA. They support one another such as providing emergency care if needed at the parade or sharing COVID funds to ensure that Cambodians know about vaccination programs and protective equipment.

I hope there will be more work to help reduce the stigma against mental illness. It will take the partnership of medical professionals with mental health professionals to reduce the barriers that prevent Cambodians from accessing care.

Last, I hope that someday the community will develop a collective acceptance of the trauma inflicted by the Khmer Rouge genocide and the forced immigration to the U.S. As these experiences are discussed openly, hopefully treatment of any kind will no longer be seen as shameful and a sign of weakness. Thank you.
Cambodia Town
Cambodia Town
Late posted - Attended MacArthur Park Unvieling The Imptovement Plan.
Cambodia Town
Cambodia Town
Boards and Family are attending the 12th Annual CHPAA’s Fundraising Gala in Lakewood, California. We are so proud to have one of our boards…Mariko Kahn, as the Keynote Speaker for the event today.
Cambodia Town
Cambodia Town
Last night, our team at a breakout session about Cambodian American Cultural Center at MacBrite Park in Long Beach.
Cambodia Town
Cambodia Town
Looking back for the last 14 years of the Annual Cambodia Town Parade abd Culture Festival in Long Beach.