Resistance Rooted in Community

Lan Dinh

Lan Dinh (she/her) comes from a family of Vietnamese refugees, farmers, and fisherfolk who resettled in West Philadelphia. Her upbringing has inspired her journey as an activist. She is now the Co-founder and Farm and Food Sovereignty Director at VietLead  — a non-profit on a mission to empower Asian-Philadelphians to heal, resist, and grow. Her activism extends into her everyday life as she rallies efforts to culturally, economically, socially, and politically improve the lives of everyone. Lan has a long-term commitment to the community expressed through her work on self-determination, social justice, and cultural resilience.

"I think knowing the historical forces ... the root of the problem .. allows us to better organize to create change."
- Lan Dinh

q & A with lan

Mask group (11)

What themes come across in your exhibition?

Cultivation and inter-communal solidarity as acts of resistance in Philadelphia’s Southeast Asian history, Washington Ave and its struggle against displacement.
How has archival research informed your activism?
I have uncovered documentaries, newspaper clippings, and agricultural items that highlight themes of displacement, rerooting, and planting seeds.
I’ve been most inspired by the journey of refugees and how they adapted homeland cultural farming techniques here–guerilla farming, food sovereignty, homestead gardening.
What do you hope people get from your exhibition?
I hope it helps people in their journey to knowledge and self, as my archival research has done for me.

Interested in more stories about displacement and resilience? Check out the work below:

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