Khmer Girls in Action strives to build a progressive and sustainable Long Beach community that works for racial, gender, and economic justice led by Southeast Asian women and youth.

The organization envisions a safe, healthy, and just world where all people are free from oppression and are able to determine their lives and communities.

Khmer Girls in Action was founded by 1.5 and second-generation Cambodian youth who rose up to lead in a time of compounded crises, being fed up and ready for change.

It was the late 1990s, and by the time the majority of the Cambodian diaspora resettled in Long Beach, it was clear that families who had to live through the horrors of genocide now had to survive the war on poverty and systemic neglect in the U.S. As young people, Khmer Girls in Action supported their parents and elders with translation and navigating housing, health, and financial disparities. Still, the community remained vulnerable to violence, poverty, gangs, and falling back in school.

Tough-on-crime policies and anti-immigration laws destabilized Cambodian families, and budget cuts in education and persistent threats to reproductive freedom created a need to fight back to defend individual rights. Because of cultural and gendered expectations, young women shouldered more responsibilities to protect their families and communities, in the deliberate absence of equitable support from institutions like schools, cities, and government.

Since 1997, Khmer Girls in Action has been and continues to be a political home and safe, brave space to build youth and community powered by Southeast Asian women and youth.