Our Work

Harrisburg Pennsylvania Youth Center and Leadership CAMP for Emerging Leaders

Started in 2023, ARU's Youth Center serves refugee and immigrant youth and families in the greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area.

CAMP is an immersion experience for personal transformation and social transformation. CAMP for Emerging Leaders is a leadership training program of ARU designed to build a network of vibrant Bhutanese refugee community leaders, organizers, artists and activists by training emerging leaders to become agents of change. 

Our training goals are to: explore what it means to be a Bhutanese CommunityLeader in America; learn the skills required to be an impactful leader; build a network of like minded circles; become part of the network of emerging leaders, community organizers, artists, activists, scholars and mentors; engage in building a strong foundation(s) for community healing and empowerment; learn to create and advance peace through dialogue and reconciliation.

Connect, Reflect, Enact (CRE) 

A multi-part project integrating body knowledge and art creation to hold space for deep reflection on wounds both suffered and inflicted through systemic oppression existing in Asian communities here and the homeland. 

Through 6 sessions, developed and facilitated by Dohee Lee, an artistic director, cultural practitioner, performer, ritualist, and educator, participants will engage in art practices that connect and explore the body as land, a site of deep holding and transformation. Along with reflection, dialogue and learning from local farmers and Indigenous and Black leaders, this project will culminate in a community land ritual with a goal of building community power and unity.

Justice + Belonging is a multi-year collaboration with CRE  and the Asian Prisoner Support Committee to engage currently and formerly incarcerated and detained community members in movement, storytelling and other arts practices, to help them heal from trauma, re-connect to their Oakland communities, and envision non-carceral approaches to increase safety and justice for all people.

CRE: Justine's Testimonial 

Justine CRE.mov

QTViệt Cafe Collective is a creative cultural hub dedicated to Queer and Trans Việt (QTViệt) liberation through ancestral practices, the arts, and intergenerational connection. 

We strive to nourish, heal, and uplift Queer and Trans Việt (QTViệt) narratives through ancestral practices, the arts, and intergenerational connections. These practices and rituals, art expressions, and intergenerational healing is more than what we do - we embody them because these are who we are and want to be. We create culture by healing from the hurt, nourishing our souls with purpose and meaning, and uplifting and centering our lives and those we love and love us.

What we've been able to build - all the projects, events, and ways in which we've moved as a hub - interweaves the three elements of how we do the cultural work that we do. Our ancestral practices continue on because our elders support and affirm the younger generations. Our art forward can't live without the honoring of our hystories and engagement with our elders. And our intergenerational connections attempt to align, clarify, restore hurt, and manifest love. These three elements are intended to interconnect with one another towards our path and vision for queer and trans liberation.

In partnership with Oakland United School District, we invite and gather Asian American/Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+*-identifying students who are committed to better understanding themselves, storytelling, meeting other LGBTQIA+-identifying youth and adults, and building their creative artistry.  Students will learn from community artists and prospective mentors through sessions focused on topics including intergenerational healing, sexuality & gender.

Mero Geet Mero Yatra: Bhutanese-Refugee Storytellers

Mero Geet Mero Yatra is a storytelling performance of Bhutanese-Refugee youth. The youth explore their personal and collective community journey of their displacement, identity, re-connection to their body and home-land, and ancestors through the mediums of singing, body movements, stories, traditional dances, drawings, memories, poems, and other forms of art and connection. 

In Spring 2022, youth meet with Lead artists Manose Singh and Dohee Lee, virtually to share and explore their and their ancestors’ stories, and in the Summer time, they come together in-person to score a storytelling performance to share with the community. This performance is the story of healing through owning our stories through art. This is ongoing project and will be premiered in 2022.

Celebration of ARU's 5th Anniversary!

ARU celebrated our 5th anniversary in January 2021. We look forward to many more opportunities to help our community.

Check out the following slides from our 5th Anniversary Celebration

Year Book: 2021