“Cambodia: 32 Years After the Killing Fields” is scheduled at the Student Union Ballroom from noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. The free event is sponsored by the Sociology Dept., Sociology Student Association (SSA), Cambodian Student Society and Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society.
The event will showcase a number of new short films and a panel discussion about present day Cambodia and the progress it is making three decades after the Khmer Rouge regime that devastated the Southeast Asian country during and after the Vietnam War, according to Kelly Wolfe, SSA president.
“Following a year of planning, we’re excited to offer such an important event,” said Wolfe. “We feel this ‘Focus on Cambodia’ can be instrumental in educating and enlightening the campus community about the current situation in this nation that is still recovering from the effects of genocide and civil war. There are widespread problems sociologically on many levels, and the United Nations is only now backing a tribunal to bring Khmer Rouge leaders to justice for crimes against humanity.”
In addition to the pre-release film screenings and panel discussion, “Cambodia: 32 Years After the Killing Fields” will also feature ethnic Khmer classical "pinpeat" music by the Pich Keo Sambath Family and the Ho Chan Ensemble, dances by The Spirit of Khmer Angkor, and a book signing by Navy Phim, author of the recently published Reflections of a Khmer Soul.
Panel discussion moderator and event producer is actor-activist Jack Ong, who has appeared in such movies as “Art School Confidential,” “Akeelah and the Bee” and “National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers, and such TV shows as “The Simpsons,” “Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” “ER” and “California Dreams.”
Ong is executive director of The Dr. Haing S. Ngor Foundation, which he co-founded with the Oscar-winning Cambodian star of “The Killing Fields.”
“With Long Beach being the home of America’s largest Cambodian population, Cal State Long Beach is the ideal setting for this upcoming event,” Ong said. “The Dr. Haing S. Ngor Foundation commends professors Leakhena Nou and Teri Yamada and their student leaders for their interest and efforts. Thanks to them, Cal State will have the distinction of putting the spotlight on a situation that deserves the world’s attention.”
CSULB student coordinators for the event are Wolfe, Mimi Acosta, Diana Chea, Stefani Clark, Sally Mounlasy and Samoeut Nak.