About Us

What happens when we use our cultural assets and what we already have and know to reimagine community development and the solutions that we already own? It becomes an ecosystem for us, by us.

The SEAD Project started with the vision of a group of Southeast Asian young professionals who wanted to not only connect with their roots and heritage, but to think bigger and beyond preservation. We’re starting a diaspora movement. To rethink and reimagine and reshape what’s possible in sustainable community development and growth for a thriving community with a pivoted focus on empowering emerging Southeast Asian leaders, women and youth.


Started in 2010, The SEAD Project (Southeast Asian Diaspora Development) is a creative social organization on a mission to be an accessible community hub that provides streamlined cross cultural workshops, exchanges and knowledge-sharing for Khmer, Hmong, Lao and Vietnamese diaspora communities. Through safe and welcoming spaces, we hope to drive empowerment to plant the seeds of hope and possibility, locally and globally. Since 2015, SEAD is a legally recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Vientiane, Laos.


Empowering Southeast Asian diaspora communities, locally and globally.



Chanida Phaengdara Potter, Founding Executive Director + Community Architect

Ze Thao, Program Manager

Amanda Nguyen, Administrative Intern

Maikha Khang, Heritage Program/HR Intern

Tiffany Nguyen, Communications Intern

Tigana Van Le, Outreach & Community Relations Intern

Michael Sasorith, Creative Director

Tippi Lengsavath Goodwin, Lao Team

Jay Rattanavong, Lao Team

Bee Vang-Moua, Hmong Team

Yer Her, Hmong Team

Nathaniel Pheng, Khmer Team



Annie Aryavong, Chair

Michelle Tran Maryns, Co-Chair

Casey Skeide, Secretary

Chau Espenson, Treasurer

Saroeun Earm

Judie Narate Keys

Joy Manchan Nguyen



Kailey Jacomet, Attorney

Sophak Mom, Wilder Research

Ounprason Inthachith, VolunTour Laos