Cambodian Genocide Survivor, Activist, and Best-Selling Author
Author, activist, and lecturer Loung Ung was only 5 years old when the Khmer Rouge soldiers stormed into her native city of Phnom Penh. Four years later, in one of the bloodiest episodes of the 20th century, some two million Cambodians – out of a population of seven million – had died at the hands…
Author, activist, and lecturer Loung Ung was only 5 years old when the Khmer Rouge soldiers stormed into her native city of Phnom Penh. Four years later, in one of the bloodiest episodes of the 20th century, some two million Cambodians – out of a population of seven million – had died at the hands of the infamous Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regi me. Among the victims were both Loung’s parents, two sisters, and 20 other relatives.
In 1980, Loung and her older brother Meng escaped to the United States. Since 1995, Loung has made over thirty trips back to Cambodia and has devoted herself to helping her native land heal from the traumas of war. She has worked as an activist to end violence against women, child soldiers, and the Campaign for a Landmine Free World, and served as the s pokesperson for the campaign from 1997-2005. In 2013, Loung expanded her activism reach as one of the writers of ‘Girl Rising’, a groundbreaking film directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries and their stories of forced marriage, domesticsla very, sex trafficking, and gender violence and the power of education to change their worlds. Each girl’s story was written by a renowned writer from her native country, and then narrated by celebrated actresses including Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Meryl Streep, and Kerry Washington.
Loung’s books have allowed her to share her message about the costs of war and the need for reconciliation with a wider audience. Her national ly bestselling memoir, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, ( HarperCollins 2000 ) was the recipient of the 2001 Asian/Pacific American Librarians’ Association award for “Excellence in Adult Non-fiction Literature”, and has been selec ted for many school and university reading programs in the U.S. and internationally. It has been published in 14 countries and translated into German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French, Spanish, Italian, Cambodian, and Japanese. Loung’s other works includ e Lucky Child, and Lulu in the Sky, both of which are also taught in schools and universities.
In recognition of her work, The World Economic Forum selected Loung as one of the “100 Global Youth Leaders of Tomorrow.” She has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, London Sunday Times, Glamour, and more. Loung has also appeared on numerous televisions and radio shows, including CNN, the Diane Rheme Show, Talk of the Nation, Weekend Edition, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and The Today Show.
In addition, she has been the subject of an hour – long documentary for the German ARTE, Japanese NHK, and U.S. NECN, and has spoken widely at num erous forums , including Stanford University, Singapore American, Taipei American School, Mexico 1 Million Youth Summit , UN Conferences on Women in Beijing, UN Conference Against Racism and Discriminations in Durban, South Africa, and Child Soldiers Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal
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LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
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BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
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The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
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FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
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WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Loung Ung
Girl Rising: CNN clip with Sokha and Loung
Cambodian Genocide Survivor
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