On Saturday, February 25, 2017, the Khmer Parent Association, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (70th District), Councilmember Jeannine Pearce (2nd District), and AOC7 Neighborhood Association co-hosted the 2nd Annual Mother and Daughter Conference (MDC) in Long Beach, CA. Diverse community members came together to celebrate mothers and daughters, to learn, laugh, and connect with each other. As I walked into the Parr Health Enhancement Center at St. Mary Medical Center on Saturday morning the room was filled with energy and excitement. I saw many familiar faces from last year’s conference as well as new conference attendees. People were getting breakfast, greeting each other, and preparing for the start of the program.
Mr. Charles Song and Dr. Christina Lee, co-MCs of the conference, did a wonderful job welcoming the conference attendees. Mrs. Chan Hopson came up to share a few words about the late Long Beach Detective Kimberly Maddox and the contributions she made to the community. We had a moment of silence to honor her. Destiny Vong beautifully sang the National Anthem. During the program, the audience had the opportunity to meet and hear from several strong women: Councilmember Jeannine Pearce who gave the opening remarks, Keynote Speaker Sunny Nash, Herlinda Chico, Field Deputy of 4th District Supervisor Janice Hann, and Mayor of Signal Hill Lori Woods who gave the closing remarks. We heard about their experiences as women and mothers.
I had the great opportunity to facilitate the Mother and Daughter Discussion Panel for the second time. Before the conference started I briefly chatted with each mother and daughter pair who were on the discussion panel. They all seem excited and some noted that they were a little bit nervous talking in front of the crowd. The mother-daughter pairs and aunt-niece pair took opportunities to be vulnerable with the conference attendees by being open and honest, and sharing their relationships with each other. We all got to see them connect with and support each other as they laughed, cried and shared their life experiences with us. Many thanks to the panel for allowing me to ask them questions so that the audience can get to know them.
I also had the opportunity to take photos during the remainder of the conference and check-out the Zumba and traditional Khmer Dancing workshops in the afternoon. People were active, dancing, laughing and learning the dance moves. I loved seeing Khmer, African American, Latino, and Caucasian community members learning how to dance the Khmer Saravann and Madison.. There were many information tables for the attendees to visit and pickup useful information. Diverse members of the community were able to spend a day connecting, building relationships, and learning from each other. Toward the end of the day, we all put on our conference t-shirts and gathered for a big group picture. There was a raffle with great prizes. Conference attendees were able to get prizes such as 5 autographed books donated by author Sunny Nash and beautiful jewelry from Candace Yamagawa and many more. What a wonderful day spent being in community with each other. Thank you to everyone who worked hard to put together this conference! I look forward to next year’s conference.
Leakhena Heng Tappero, PhD.
Before I start, I'd like to give my thanks for being invited as a panelist at the Mother & Daughter Conference. It was a pleasure and great honor to represent the Khmer people and to meet other mothers and daughters as well. Attending this event and answering the panelist questions really opened up my mind towards other cultures. I learned that no matter where our background lies, no matter where our origins are rooted, the bond between a mother and daughter remains the same and is very powerful regardless. Love, care, communication, compassion, honesty, and open mindedness are the factors of establishing a healthy, strong relationship with anyone and not just mothers and daughters alone. Through this valuable experience, I learned that different cultures/ethnic groups express their love differently. In Khmer culture, love is expressed usually through a person's actions. We don't really say "I love you" nor do we hug often. But in American culture, hugging, kissing, and saying phrases such as "I love you" are completely natural and they are forms of expressing love towards one another. Having said all that, I would like to give my thanks not just to Om Chan, but to everyone else that made this conference possible. This was a memorable learning experience that I was able to participate in, and I will cherish it dearly. Finally, I want to give one last thanks to the other mother and daughter panelists who I was able to learn from.
March 4, 2017
I am very fortunate to have been invited to be on the Mother & Daughter Panel. I enjoyed representing our Khmer community on 02/25/17. Thanks to the immense efforts of KPA, the cohosts and others who advocate for and support the community’s wellbeing. It has always been a great honor and privilege to be part of the many events you have hosted, especially the Mother & Daughter events. Through this very event, I learned that loving, caring, communication and understanding are common ground, and they are critical to breach the gaps and enrich the relationships between mothers, daughters, sons or any relationship in general, regardless of differences or culture. And, I am glad that I was part of this sharing and learning experience. With that being said, thanks tremendously to KPA for initiating this idea, community leaders, and activists plus volunteers for their time and effort to help organize this event, and parents and daughters from different ethnicities and backgrounds to share their views, experiences, and give back to the community.
The 2nd Annual Mother and Daughter Conference on February 25th, 2017 was an awesome event! It was a pleasure to participate in the event for the second time, and learn new things about the relationships of mothers and daughters from the new group. I had a chance to meet new people at the event and learn new things about different cultures. I really enjoyed the hands-on activities at the workshops, especially tasting papaya salad from Sophy’s and fruit smoothies from the Healthy Active Long Beach, a program of the Long Beach Health Department. I feel that it’s so important that we continue to provide events like this in the future to get our community to engage in learning about mother and daughter values, relationships in different families, as well as values in other cultures. I am so thankful that Ms. Chan Hopson made the event come alive, and that she continues to cherish this important event so that the community can come together as a melting pot to learn about what’s behind the story of Mother and Daughter relationships. I am hoping that there will be a 3rd Annual Mother and Daughter Conference which I am definitely looking forward to participate in!
Khmer Traditional Dance Class
Know Your Rights Workshop
On Saturday, February 25th, I attended and volunteered for the Mother-Daughter Conference held at St. Mary’s Medical Center. It was hosted by the Khmer Parents Association and cohosted by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell, 70th District, Councilmember Jeannine Pearce, 2nd District, and AOC7 Neighborhood Association. It was also supported by many local organizations and individuals.
The event started with an inspiring opening remark by Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, 2nd District, who talked about the relationship between her adoptive mom, her biological mom and her own daughter.
The highlight of the conference for me was the panel session which emphasized the rich diversity of the community. There were 4 mother and daughter pairs. They were Latina, Cambodian, African American and Caucasian, representing the diversity of our community. Despite cultural differences, the responses from each mother-daughter were very similar. For example, when asked “how does your mother show love to you?” all four daughters mentioned that their mothers showed their love by cooking, spending quality time with them and asking questions about their day.
Furthermore, from the perspective of a volunteer I noticed that a large number of the attendees found the “Know Your Rights” (KYR) workshop beneficial. When I and other volunteers invited everyone from the workshops back to the main conference room to listen to our keynote speaker, author Sunny Nash, there were still attendees at the KYR workshop gathering information from Jonathan Solorzano, the workshop facilitator. The other workshops included Khmer dance, Zumba, Khmer dish demo, tasty smoothie demo from Healthy Active Long Beach and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) information session.
Overall, the Mother-Daughter Conference was a great success at emphasizing the value of the bond between mothers and daughters. Both the keynote speech by author Sunny Nash and the closing remarks from the Signal Hill Mayor, Lori Woods, emphasized the importance of the bond between mother and daughter. They also reminded the audience not to forget about the bond of mothers and sons. Ever since the Mother-Daughter Conference, I have been more appreciative of the care, support and love that my mother, aunts, and mentors have provided to me.
March 4, 2017
“My mother’s mantra was, ‘Do not tell me what you cannot do! Tell me what you are going to do!'” Sunny Nash began her address at the Long Beach, California, Second Annual Khmer Parent Association Mother-Daughter Conference, where she also exhibited a selection of her mother’s artifacts.
So begins the blog of author Sunny Nash. To learn more about Sunny Nash and her mother's artifacts go to:
In a time of increasing uncertainty, a semblance of hope was found in a room filled with a diverse group of people ready to tackle the forgotten narratives in our community. That hope came in the form of the 2017 Mother Daughter Conference (MDC), which marked not only a tremendous advancement for the exposure of the often overlooked female narrative, but also the stark realization that women across all ages are still living in a world that has yet to fully grasp their lives and experiences. Whether the issues be something as simple as dating or something as difficult as career choices, our community constantly fails to acknowledge that these issues, among others, deserve to be talked about, especially since these conversations are the foundation of a stronger tomorrow, a future where women can rival and even exceed men. This is where the MDC truly stood out, for it addressed these complex issues and much more.
The mother-daughter panel embraced diversity, not only through the inclusion of mother-daughter pairs from four different ethnic groups, but also by having these pairs being representative of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. With such a diverse panel one is lead to believe the answers would be just as diverse. Although some answers differed, there was a resounding agreement when it came to the issues that mattered most, such as family relations and relationships, technology, and sex—particularly the signs and avoidance of sexual predators, something that is not talked about openly or often. This similarity showed that no matter what your race, gender, or socioeconomic status people are still people—people are the same.
Keynote speaker, author Sunny Nash, captivated the audience with her wit, humor, and truthfulness. The result was a lively audience that responded well to her impressionable words and stories. Nash said that we must come together in these dark times. And that is exactly what the MDC did; it brought together a wide-ranging group of people that would not have crossed paths otherwise. More importantly, through this meeting, attendees were able to make lifetime connections and learn priceless lessons. The MDC might not be the answer to world peace, but it is a foot in the right direction.
My 2 sons and I were delighted to participate in the 2nd Annual Mother & Daughter Conference on 2/25/17. We were so impressed to see how well your event was organized. There were many amazing testimonials from people, and there were a lot of people in the audience, along with plenty of volunteers and the planning committee, many community leaders, elected officials, a good number of organizations with information tables, good food, prizes and fun activities. Indeed, your event was engaging, vibrant and successful as always.
I feel grateful for your endless efforts to create many fantastic & beneficial programs & activities to serve the community, especially your helping hand to the young bright scholars who are the backbone of the next generation in our community who need encouragement and financial support for their long academic journey.
The 2nd Annual Mother and Daughter Conference on Saturday, February 25th wouldn't be possible without all generous support from our co-hosts Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell, 70th District, Councilmember Jeannine Pearce, 2nd District, our grassroot AOC7 Neighborhood Association and our long term sponsors: Dignity Health, St. Mary Medical Center and the Port of Long Beach and our other supporters such as Dr. Visal Nga Medical Office, Majestic Medical Clinic of Dr. Christina Lee, Blue Shield of California, A3PCON, Cambodian Advocacy Collaborative (CAA, UCC and Families In Good Health), Cambodian Family Center of Santa Ana, Long Beach Building Healthy Community, Latinos In Action, Long Beach Immigration Rights Coalition, Orange County Credit Union, Long Beach YMCA, Healthy Active Long Beach, Sophy's restaurant and Joseph Tappero. The wonderful program of the conference wouldn't be so smooth and beautiful without the hard work of our Planning Committee: Dr. Leakhena Heng Tappero, Lillian Herrera, Lindsay Gervacio, Jocelin Padilla, Karla Estupinian, Candace Yamagawa, Susana Sngiem, Sochetra Hong, Sinara Sagn, Mary Simmons, Roth Prom, Maribel Cruz, Vattana Peong, Martha Cota, Astrid Bashmakian, and Mark Anthony Paredes.
The program wouldn't be that exciting without our energetic Co-MCs, Charles Song and Dr. Christina Lee. It started off strong with our fantastic National Anthem singer, Destiny Vong, followed by the moving opening remarks of the Honorable Jeannine Pearce. The audience learned a lot from our awesome and articulate panelists: Jackie and Jacqueline Ramirez, Sophia and Angelina Tran, Sherry Martinez and Naliah Anderson. and Samantha Churxhill and Carol Churchill, then from our inspirational keynote speaker, Sunny Nash. They were followed by Herlinda Chico, Field Deputy of Supervisor Janice Hahn, 4th District and Signal Hill Mayor Lori Woods.
Big thanks to the interpretation team: Spanish & Khmer from the Language Access Department
and to Laura Merryfield (Spanish) from Long Beach Building Healthy Communities (LBBHC). Laura was actively involved since our 1st Annual Mother and Daughter Conference. She helped both years with flyers and survey translation on top of interpretation on the event day. Without the interpretation team many MDC attendees, Spanish and Khmer, wouldn't get information or enjoy themselves at the conference.
Here is feedback from Khmer speakers: "We are very appreciative to have Khmer interpreters because we can learn a lot from the panel discussion and workshops." "Workshops are very informative."
"We will build our mother and daughter relationships in our families." "We are happy to learn from other mothers and daughters from other cultures." "We had fun at Zumba and dancing workshops."
Feedback from Spanish speakers: "It is wonderful to have the Spanish interpreters because we can understand the answers of the mothers and daughters on the discussion panel and we will have a better relationship with our daughters and more understanding in daily life." "We can understand the great keynote speaker." "We love the panelists and breakout session." "Workshop on immigration was excellent." " We will attend the event again." "Thank You for inviting us."
Our amazing volunteers worked very hard to make the event from 9 am-3 pm flow very smoothly from setting up, arranging the long tables along the perimeter of the room, putting on table cloths, posting "Doctor Parking Signs" on many Physicians Only parking spots, greeting participants, leading them to the registration table and to their tables, picking up Breakfast from the Cafeteria, arranging lunch boxes, directing participants to the workshops of their choice, inviting them back to the room to hear our keynote speaker, Sunny Nash, to hear Herlinda Chico, Field Deputy from Supervisor Janice Hahn, 4th District and Mayor Lori Woods of Signal Hill, and cleaning up after the event. They committed to help out until the end. You all were so fantastic!
On the other hand, our wonderful workshop presenters provided vital information and taught them how to be active and, yet have a lot of fun. They learned how to prepare a healthy salad and make a healthy drink that is good for our bodies.
There are no words for me to express my gratitude to all of you for making this Mother and Daughter conference an enjoyable, meaningful and memorable one for mothers, daughters, fathers and everyone in attendance. I am looking forward to having your support again at our 3rd Annual Mother and Daughter Conference on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
With Heartfelt Appreciation,
Chan Hopson, Executive Director
2nd Annual Mother and Daughter Conference Chair
Fantastic Planning Committee members and dedicated volunteers. My Hat is off to all of You!
As a 2016 Woman Of The Year, I was so excited to attend the 2017 Women Of Distinction on Thursday, March 23, 2017 to celebrate 22 extraordinary women from different cities in the 70th District who dedicated and devoted their lives to helping others. They put the interests of others before their own. Among those 23 amazing women, I was so delighted to give congratulatory hugs to 2017 Woman Of The Year, Martha Beatriz Cota, 2017 Women Of Distinction: Dr. Christina Lee of Majestic Medical Clinic, Carol Churchill, Attorney and business owner, Katherine Mellquham of CCEJ, Mary Simmons of AOC7, Thary Ung, Ambassador to the 6th District, City of Long Beach, Lisa M. Connor, Attorney At Law and Zulmura Maria Teixeira de Lima. I was so happy to see other friends in attendance such as Sherry Martinez, Dr. Elisa Nicholas, Nimol Kuy and Margaret Madden.
Again, Congratulations to All 2017 Women of Distinction.
If you would like to see more pictures of the event, please check this link:
Very grateful to our Photographers: Joseph Tappero, Daniel Tran, Robin Lim, and Mark Hopson. Without your help, we wouldn't have all these beautiful pictures to share. Thank you so much for handling this important task.