1.15.2016

Angry Reader of the Week: Doua Thor

"I'm all about young people following their dreams."



Hello, internet. It is time, once again, to meet th Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Doua Thor.


Who are you?

I'm Doua Thor. In the Hmong language, the word Doua means a drum that you beat. In the Hmong culture, a drum is an instrument used in traditional ceremonies. My last name represents the clan that I belong to. During the refugee resettlement process, intake workers could not spell our last name and therefore interpreted it to be THOR. To this day I often get asked if I have a hammer with me.

What are you?

I am a Hmong American woman, an activist, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and an aunt.

Where are you?

I currently live in Washington, DC.

Where are you from?

I was born in Laos and came to the United States as a refugee. My family was resettled in Detroit, Michigan where I spent most of my youth. I consider Washington, DC my home now as I've lived here for almost 15 years.

What do you do?

I am the new Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. I've been on the job for two months (Follow me: @DouaThorAAPI). In my role, I'm responsible for leading a team of wonderful and passionate individuals committed to bettering the lives of all Americans, including the many Asian American and Pacific Islanders across this country. We do this through national and regional programming to ensure that federal programs are accessible to the entire community. In addition, I have the privilege of working with our President's Advisory Commission, twenty of the most inspiring and dedicated individuals from around the country. I have been incredibly blessed to have so much support in this new role. Over the holidays, my mother told me that she never imagined that her daughter would someday work for the President of the United States. I have these opportunities due to the sacrifice of my parents. They came to this country with so little and have given back so much to the community.

What are you all about?

I'm all about young people following their dreams. I grew in a time where my parents had less knowledge and very little financial means, so they only knew of one profession that would bring success for their children's future -- being a doctor. As much as I tried to follow that path, eventually I realized that social justice is my passion. While I do believe young people should make sound decisions and have a plan in place, I really hope they do what they love as a profession. In that spirit of following our dreams, I hope that young people will not forget the pioneers that came before them and to offer a hand to those yet to rise up behind them.

What makes you angry?

I'm incredibly passionate about treating people with dignity and giving back to society. I remember very vividly growing up and seeing my parents treated poorly or unjustly because they didn't speak English well. In addition, I worked with and watched so many young people in my community struggle to obtain educational success. It really influenced my life and still drives my work to this day. Overall, my passions have taught me that I need to be an active agent to impact society for the better.


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