“I don’t believe in anything that supports segregation; that supports single filing out any one race or anything that doesn’t promote togetherness” – Tamie Tran
Tamie Tran was born and raised in Torrance, California – close by to the neighboring suburbs of Carson, Compton, South Central, Watts and Hawthorne. Born into a humble Vietnamese family, Tamie learned early on of her immigrant parents journey to the USA and of the harsh realities of why they had left (i.e. the Vietnam war, 1955 – 1975). At the time and for Tamie’s family, the USA promised a better life – and it did. However, from a very young age (circa 5 – 6 years old) Tamie had already begun developing a social consciousness and awareness towards some of the living conditions of her peers in the surrounding neighborhoods, but couldn’t fathom why there was such disparity, poverty and unjust in these communities – inside this “first world” country of ours, being the USA.
“We live in a world of abundance, there should be no reason any child or any human goes without food to starve. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat that day, but teach a man to fish he can feed himself forever” – Tamie Tran
A graduate from the University of California, Berkeley (in Environmental Economics and Finance), throughout her academic years, Tamie undertook mentoring in east Oakland and was deeply moved by the several injustices many of the students faced in that region alone. She had also been heavily influenced by cultural films, such as Boyz N The Hood and Menace II Society that depict some of the cyclical struggles these communities have faced, and still very much face today. This background, experience and high touch exposure informed Tamie’s passionate journey as a humanitarian and “impact engineer” – steering social cause in a direction that serves the mission of bringing about awareness, action and change; greater equality, stronger community and more empowered, self sufficient kids + families.
“We’re strengthening each other through coming together. Team work makes the dream work” – Tamie Tran
As the Executive Director of both the Koya Project and the Irving Morris Foundation, Tamie is carving a critical career path as a social impact entrepreneur. The Koya Project is an aquaponics initiative that teaches children and families how to grow organic fruits and vegetables with unprecedented efficiency. The Irving Morris Foundation has a mission to provide the basic necessities of food, shelter, water and education to those in need. Tamie also played a critical role in launching her friend, Sanaa Lathan’s Foundation whose mission is to empower young women in the foster care system to successfully transition into adult independence through active mentorship and access to higher education:
“50% of foster children become homeless or incarcerated within the first year of emancipation. There after they get caught up in the system that put them there in the first place. 70% of foster girls in California alone go into sex trafficking just because they’re already looked at as a check. I have a girlfriend that came from the foster care system and her foster family were feeding her cat and dog food for the first two years before social workers knew” – Tamie Tran
The Sanaa Lathan Foundation:
The Koya Project | @koyaproject
“I always come back to love. That is literally the base behind everything I do: Love, compassion and gratitude. If you practice those three through everything you are giving back – you’re healing yourself” – Tamie Tran
I really encourage you to find some time to listen in to my conversation with Tamie via the Soundcloud link above or per below. We really encourage you to share this blog post / interview; to raise awareness and encourage all / any individual to take action in any which way you, and they can. We want to continue bringing like minded individuals together in an effort to raise consciousness, bring about stronger and more positive collaborative change, and really make the impossible more than possible. Thanks so much for your support and we look forward to hearing from you!
Hosted and Written by Georgii Speakman
Recorded at Dash Radio
Filmed by URBN247