Lillyanne Pham is a cultural organizer and artist facilitator living in East Portland. At the time of this interview, they worked as a Youth Program Coordinator with the Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative. Their projects center racial equity work, place-based justice, and the question: What is a neighborhood? She is originally from Columbus, Indiana and moved to Portland to attend Reed College in 2016. They graduated with a B.A. in sociology from Reed in 2020 and are currently in the MFA program for art and social practice at Portland State University.
In this interview, they describe how they grew up feeling disconnected from their history, language, and culture because of discrimination and pressure to assimilate in school. It wasn’t until she moved to Reed College and connected with other Vietnamese Americans that she began to have a deeper understanding of their identity. They continue to appreciate and explore their roots by participating in the Atabey Medicine BIPOC Apprenticeship where they learn about traditional Vietnamese medicine and herbs. LP’s work as a youth organizer contributes to this exploration as well by supporting children and teenagers of similar backgrounds. LP’s current and past projects can be viewed at