Bridging the Communications Gap for Immigrants and Refugees in Minnesota

Ntsib Peb Cov Tswv Cuab Tshaj Xov Xwm

ECHO cov tswv cuab tshaj xov xwm pub dag zog dawb tshaj lawm 1,000 teev rau lawv cov zej zog txhua txhua xyoo. Ntxiv rau txoj kev uas lawv siv rab peev xwm los ua cov tswv cuab tshaj xov xwm rau ECHO TV, lawv puav leej ua cov suab lus rau hauv ECHO Phone (ECHO Xov Tooj) thiab pub dag zog dawb ua cov sawv cev rau ECHO cov tsoom fwv nyob rau hauv zej zog cov koom txoos – muab ECHO cov kev pab pub rau cov pej xeem hais tsis tshua tau Lus Askiv uas muaj kev tu ncua tshaj plaws.

Thaum muaj ib txoj kev puas ntsoog rau pej xeem huab hwm txoj kev noj qab haus huv los yog kev nyab xeeb, ECHO cov tswv cuab tshaj xov xwm txhais cov lus tshaj tawm pub rau pej xeem huab hwm (PSA) rau visthaj nyub, TV, xov tooj thiab ua ntaub ntawv xov xwm.

Yuav ua tsis tau ECHO cov luag num yog tsis muaj cov neeg no txoj kev koom siab thiab hmov tshua.

 

Abdirahman Ali

Originally from Jamame, Somalia, Abdi Ali has been with ECHO for several years.  Abdi works as a medical interpreter as well as a high school teacher.  Abdi says that “ECHO helps people with limited-English proficiency know what is happening in their community, country, and their world.”

Fathia Absie

Fathia started working with ECHO in 2013. She is a former social worker turned broadcaster. She works as a filmmaker, story teller, and freelance writer. She thinks, “The services ECHO provides for the community is vital” and she is delighted to get involved.

Negassa Ayana

Negassa has been an ECHO host since 2011. He works in social service and became involved with ECHO through the Oromo Community of Minnesota. He thinks working with ECHO is important because he wants to help educate and inform community members about issues that affect the highly-populated Oromo community in the metro area.

Zuhur Ahmed

Originally from Burco, Somaliland, and now living in Minnesota, Zuhur is a pre-med student at Concordia University. She hosts a radio program on KFAI called Somali Community Link. She is planning to go to medical school to become a doctor. "ECHO is the only place where important information about health, safety, and emergency preparedness are all at the community's disposal in their own language. I'm very happy and proud to be a part of ECHO!"

Ericka Bergthold

A native of Mexico City, Ericka Bergthold started her journey with ECHO in 2005. She is an elementary school teacher and learning and teaching are among her primary interests. Her involvement with ECHO has been a life-changing experience and it has given her great pride in keeping the community safe and informed.

Vladimir Bronshteyn

Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimir has been with ECHO since 2009. He enjoys helping ECHO with voiceover recordings. “I’m happy to help those in my community whose English is limited.”

Henry Doeur

Henry currently works a registered nurse. He is originally from Cambodia and started working with ECHO in 2013.

Eh Taw Dwe

Eh Taw Dwe was born in Tavoy, Burma. In 1996, he was hired by Earth Rights International to document human rights abuses by the Burmese military junta. He served for 2 years as the leader of his village until being arrested and tortured by the military junta for his ethnicity and human rights work. In 2002, Eh Taw and his family fled to Thailand where he served as an interpreter for UNHCR, the United Nations’ Refugee Agency. Since arriving in Minnesota in 2004 as a political refugee, he has worked for St. Paul Ramsey County Department of Health, Karen Community of Minnesota, and as a Minnesota Roster Court Interpreter.  Eh Taw joined ECHO in 2009, and says, “I think ECHO is the first TV channel that opened my people's eyes. We feel such a warm welcome and inclusiveness seeing someone who speaks our language on TV and educating the community of significant news.”

Ahmed "Jahweyn" Farah

Originally from Somalia, Ahmed has been with ECHO since 2010 and currently resides in Roseville.  Ahmed works as a program host at Somali TV of Minnesota and attends the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis Community and Technical College studying Mass Communications.  Ahmed believes that, “ECHO offers a unique way to bring important information to non-English speaking communities that will help them make better decisions for their wellbeing.”

Abdillahi Hassan Ganey

Originally from Somalia, Abdillahi started working with ECHO in 2013. He thinks that ECHO “is the best source for people who do not speak English.”

Bounleuth Prayounkham Gowing

Bounleuth has been working with ECHO since 2004. She works as a elders specialist worker at the Lao Advancement Organization of America and heard of ECHO through her network. She says she is so happy to be a part of ECHO and believes that ECHO is important because most Lao elders don't speak or read English and watching ECHO programming in their own language is very helpful for them.

Khiem Q. Le

Originally from Saigon, Vietnam, Khiem has been an ECHO captioner since 2005. Khiem is employed at Wells Fargo in Investments and is also a radio host for KFAI in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Khiem believes that ECHO has been an important part of the Vietnamese community in Minnesota.

Cam Le

Cam Le was born in Saigon, Vietnam.  She received a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and started working with ECHO in 2012.  She says, “ECHO’s efforts to serve the minority community really shows their heart. Thanks to them, I have a chance to put my native language to good use.”

Ms. Elisa Le

Originally from Saigon, Vietnam, Elisa Le has been an ECHO host for over three years.  Elisa moved to the Twin Cities in 2000, and works as an Accounts Payable Supervisor for a private company.  Elisa is also a Board member for the Vietnamese Community of Minnesota, a news announcer/Board Operator for Viet Minnesota Radio, and a 5th grade Vietnamese teacher. “I like serving as a host for ECHO TV because health issues have an impact on everyone’s lives,” Elisa said. “To be able to deliver emergency health information to Vietnamese Community makes me feel like I have done a valuable and meaningful task, helping our people live a healthy life.”

Morgan Michilot

Originally from Perú, South América, Morgan has been with ECHO since 2004. He is a medical spanish interpreter and translator, web master, and former high school and community education teacher. Morgan says that, "Here at ECHO, we are part of a diverse growing community looking out for one another. As a TV co-host, I get to present up-to-date information, in a timely manner and in my own language, this is a lasting, heartfelt, and life-changing experience. At the end of the day… it matters."

Michael Nguyen

Originally from Vietnam, Michael started working with ECHO in 2013. He is currently a student. He said, “It’s a great program [ECHO] to get involved with and make a contribution to our community.”

Mitch Ogden

Mitch Ogden was born in St. Paul, and has spent most of his life in the Twin Cities. He has been working with ECHO since 2006 and he is an Assistant Professor in the English & Philosophy Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. His research focuses on forms of cultural production in Hmong diaspora and other refugee diasporas. He says, “To connect. To improve the lives of people around us. To celebrate and perpetuate live. Those are the vital forces that drive the best community-bolstering activities- and ECHO is one of them.”

Trinity Platz

Originally from Vietnam, Trinity now works as an interpreter. She started working with ECHO in 2013. She said, “It’s an honor for me to work with ECHO. ECHO’s programs help diversified communities succeed.”

Chamreun Tan

Originally from Battambang, Cambodia, Chamreun has been with ECHO since 2004. He is a supervisor in the Adult Case Management Unity at Ramsey County Human Services. Chamreun believes that ECHO is a good resource to help the Cambodian community understand a lot of health resources available to them.

Surraa Tolasa

Originally from Oromiyaa, Surraa has been an ECHO host since 2011. He is a student and became involved with ECHO through the Oromo Community of Minnesota. He thinks working with ECHO is important because he wants the experice of educating and informing the Oromo community of the Twin Cities.

Mang Troung

Originally from Xiangkhoang, Laos, Mang Moua Truong has lived in the Twin Cities since 1981, and has been with ECHO since 2007.  She has been a Telecommunicator/911 Operator for The St. Paul Police Dept and Ramsey County Emergency Communication Center (RCECC) since 2000. Mang says that “One of the greatest joys in life is being able to help those who are less fortunate.”

Kaying Thao

Kaying has been with ECHO since 2012

Mr. Henry Ung

Henry Ung joined ECHO’s hosting team in 2008. Originally from Kompot, Cambodia, Henry lives in the Twin Cities and works as an Ordinance Enforcement Supervisor at the Saint Paul Public Works Department. He was most recently involved with ECHO’s show on vaccinations. “I’m glad to be a part of it,” Henry said. “ECHO is an important resource for people with limited English language proficiency.”

Bee Vang

Originally from Laos, Bee Vang has been with ECHO since 2008. He is self employed and learned about ECHO from another ECHO host. Bee says, "It's a wonderful experience to be a part of a team whose objective is to help get vital information to the community."

Calvin Worthen

Chicago native, Calvin Worthen, joined the ECHO team in 2012. With a M.A. in Education from the University of Minnesota, he teaches radio broadcasting at KBEM, the Minneapolis Public Schools radio station. In addition, he has taught at Saint Paul College and community education courses in health and wellness and family values.  After helping with the “Recovering from the Storm” project, he says, “I think ECHO has been informative in giving understanding about our most recent emergency ‘The Tornado on the North side of Minneapolis’ and allowing a voice for this community to vent.”

Licho Xenexai

Originally from Laos, Licho has lives in Saint Paul and has been with ECHO since 2011. He is the Executive Director of Hmong Youth Education Service. Licho is excited to work with ECHO because he can contribute to the betterment of the community.

Silvia Galarza

Originally from Mexico City, Silvia arrived to MN in the year 2000 with her husband and son.  Although they came here with the support and guide of the company where her husband works, she wishes she had known about ECHO so she could get information about health and safety in the USA in her native language. Silvia does voiceovers for the Spanish program. "I feel welcomed at ECHO and I feel that the work I do with ECHO is meaningful." 

Sinuon Leiendecker

Sinuon Leiendecker was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and started working with ECHO in 2006. She has her MSM and works as a Mental Health Practitioner.  She says, “I am honored to be part of the Cambodian team and ECHO family. The updated information about health care is very important for our community.”

Cha Her

Originally from Laos, Cha lives in Saint Paul and has been with ECHO since 2011.  Cha enjoys helping ECHO with voiceover recordings.

Rev. Sokurt Suos

“I enjoy working to better people’s lives. ECHO TV's information is helping equip Cambodians to deal with some important issues.” Originally from Cambodia, Reverend Suos serves as pastor of a church.

Tzianeng Vang

Originally from Laos, Tzianeng currently lives in Maplewood and has been with ECHO since 2011.  He is a Language and Cultural Instructor at Long Tieng Academy and attends Concordia University - St. Paul studying Social Science. Tzianeng is excited to work with ECHO to help raise community awareness.

Ms. Mao Thao

Originally from Thailand, Mao works as a Hmong health coordinator for a local public health agency and has been with ECHO since the beginning of the organization.

Ms. Lasamy Mila

“I like to host the Lao ECHO TV because I believe that I am helping the Lao community have the right information to deal with health and safety issues they and their families face. I am proud that I can serve my community!” Originally from Laos, Ms. Mila migrated to the United State when she was 13 years old.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor in Psychology.  Ms. Mila completed training required by the State of Minnesota for Emergency Managers and became a certified Emergency Manager in March, 2009.

Ms. Khambay Sivongsay

Originally form Vientiane, Laos. Works as a high school bi-lingual consultant.

Mr. Leo Espinoza

“I believe that each member of our community has the moral responsibility to help those less fortunate, in this particular case folks that do not speak the English language. There is no greater reward in life then to utilize your skills and talents on behalf of human kind.” Community builder, TV and radio personality, business owner, cultural liaison, and public speaker. Originally from Ecuador.

Moo Zar

Moo is originally from Burma and works as an interpreter at St. Paul Public Schools. She has been with ECHO since 2011.