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) 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.


Growing empowerment ecosystems in Southeast Asian diaspora through the art of storytelling, locally and globally.


Chanida Phaengdara Potter,

Founding Executive Director + Community Architect

Katherine Nguyen,

Operations Manager

Tippi Lengsavath Goodwin, Lao Team Jay Rattanavong, Lao Team
Bee Vang-Moua, Hmong Team Yer Her, Hmong Team
Nathaniel Pheng, Khmer Team Nguyen Tran, Vietnamese Team


Annie Aryavong, Chair

Michelle Tran Maryns, Co-Chair

Chau Espenson, Treasurer

Casey Skeide

Saroeun Earm

Narate Judie Keys

Joy Manichan Nguyen


Kailey Jacomet, Attorney

Mysee Chang, Fundraising & Curriculum

Ounprason Inthachith, VolunTour Laos

Banlang Phommasouvanh, Language & Cultural Curriculum

Kongseng Sirivath, Village Focus International