by Ronnie Estoque
The Cham are an ethnic group in Cambodia and Vietnam, tracing their ancestry back to the historic Kingdom of Champa, dating back to the second century CE. Many Cham people became refugees during the time of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge and the Vietnam War.
In 1977, the Toulas family became the first Cham family to arrive in Seattle. They settled in Holly Park, which is currently the New Holly neighborhood in South Seattle. In the early 1980s, more Cham families began to arrive in Seattle, which led to the establishment of the Cham Refugee Community (CRC) of Seattle in 1982.
Over the years, the CRC has expanded its programming to serve more community members and has acquired several properties in South Seattle that serve as their community space.
The following video profile offers an inside look into their upcoming capital campaign toward the construction of a new community center.
As reported by the Emerald in 2021, the CRC is currently running a capital fundraising campaign to secure funds to begin construction of their new community center space. Those interested in supporting the development of a new CRC community center building can contact CRC project coordinator Slayman Appadolo via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CRC is also accepting financial donations for their redevelopment via PayPal (CCC@crcseattle.org).
This series is supported by the City of Seattle’s Generational Wealth Initiative. The South Seattle Emerald and its contributors maintain full editorial control over all its coverage.
Ronnie Estoque is a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.
📸 Featured Image: The Cham celebrated Eid-al-Fitr as a community for the first time in the United States in 1982. (Photo courtesy of the Cham Refugee Community.)
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