To empower continuing generations of Karen and Karenni youth to connect, heal, and launch.
We believe connecting starts inward with self, then bravely grows outward into relationships that reach across divides. Our youth need opportunities to explore their cultural heritage, history, and homeland in order to understand their identity as they go out into the world as connectors and peacemakers.
Given the realities of violence and displacement our community has faced, we believe creating opportunities for youth to engage with and heal from past and present traumas/hurts/injustices are absolutely necessary for a more robust and sustainable launch.
This is our calling. Our village incubates dreams and future leaders. We don't stop at a nurturing environment, we intentionally carve out and engage opportunities that tactically allow youth to grow and thrive beyond our village.
How we share our space
We offer our culturally relevant community space to many different community led projects. We see The Urban Village as fertile soil for programs to grow. We currently provide space for multiple KOM programs, Asian Youth Outreach, SE Asian Poetry Slams, and food distributions.
Since August 2020, The Urban Village has been using its space and platform to empower Karen and Karenni artisans and entrepreneurs to sell their work. This online and physical marketplace promotes cultural preservation all while creating opportunity and revenue for its partners. Support our artists!
Our village is the only culturally relevant space for the Karen and Karenni communities in all of the US. We have over 100 pieces of art curated by over 25 Karen and Karenni artists. We also have historical and cultural artifacts and clothing. Come to our space and see for yourself!
"If you have come here to help me then you are wasting your time. But, if you have come because you LIBERATION is bound up with mine, then let us work together."
What we do outside of our Village.
In 2021, our team traveled to Kawthoolei (Eastern Myanmar) on two separate occasions to stand in solidarity with internally displaced people. Learn more about the military coup happening in Myanmar below.
01. Bethel University
A Humanitarian Crisis That Hits Close to Home