Hear Their Stories

The city of Stockton has the distinction of having the fifth-largest population of Cambodians in the nation and the second-largest in California. Beginning in 1975, when Cambodia fell to the communist Khmer Rouge and as many as 2 million perished in the killing fields, Cambodian refugees began relocating here in larger numbers. Once here, they forged a close community of a rich and compelling people. The stories are horrifying and heartbreaking, but also full of heart and perseverance, a window into the human spirit that fights against even the most unspeakable evil, not just to go on, but to triumph.

Be A Storyteller

Tell your story and help us document Cambodian history.

Be An Interviewer

Interview Cambodian elders and document their invaluable stories.

Be A Translator

Help translate the stories of the Cambodian elders.

Beyond The Killing Fields

Our mission with this project is not just to highlight the sufferings of their past but to show the Khmer people’s remarkable strength, will and resilience – the affirmative, empowering, redemptive story of their history and their present here.

A public domain oral history project, as well as a documentary, exhibit of artifacts and photos and a complete multimedia website will help preserve these personal narratives and allow them to be used for further education and research.

A Short Film

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October 13th, 11:59 pm

Stockton Cambodian Oral History Project shared Davin Kaing's photo. ...

#KSCCSpeakers In attendance: Kelley Pheng Poetry "Kelley Pheng is a Cambodian-American spoken word artist & community activist born in Modesto, CA and currently residing in Long Beach, CA. She is also a 4th year Psychology undergraduate at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) as well as the current Treasurer for the Cambodian Student Society of CSULB, the oldest Cambodian student organization in the US. Kelley has been writing as a means of expression since she was young, but it was only within the past 7 years or so that she started realizing her writing could do more after she became involved with community work. She eventually started performing her work in public arenas following her first performance in 2011 for the screening of the documentary "Rice Field of Dreams" in Stockton, CA. Since then, she has been a featured artist for many events and benefits, most notably performing for Common Ground in Santa Ana, CA and the Long Beach Khmer New Year Festival at El Dorado Park. She was also featured at Tuesday Night Cafe in Little Tokyo, LA, Sunday Jump in Filipinotown, LA for AAPI Heritage Month. More recently, she was a special guest artist performing for the first ever Cambodian Music Festival in Hollywood, CA in August of this year. She uses spoken word as a way of telling her story of struggle growing up as a young Cambodian-American with refugee parents, as well as telling the stories of her family's struggles coming to and surviving in America. She sees it as a way to not only be a voice for herself, but also for the Cambodian community. Along with performing, she volunteers her time as a mentor & public speaker for the youth, often facilitating her “Identity” workshop - a workshop she developed in 2010 for a program close to her heart, the Southeast Asian Student Coalition Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. She has facilitated this workshop and many others like it, often relating to personal and cultural identity, for youth organizations and programs across California: from Sacramento, to Stockton, Long Beach, and San Diego. She also just recently completed a cultural exchange program in Cambodia working with the street children along with the YMCA of Greater Long Beach and Khmerican, Inc. Her work can be found at: www.facebook.com/kelleyphengpoetry www.youtube.com/kayphunk"

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logoThis project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit www.calhum.org.
1806512327-2The Stockton Cambodian Oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Stockton Arts Commission. For more information, visit www.stocktongov.com.