Broadening her voice

Khou Lor

Khou Lor hopes to use her experience as a Hmong immigrant to help others

By Per Peterson

Few know how important it is to give minority populations a voice more than Khou Lor. And as a rural equity specialist with Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF), it’s Lor’s hope that she can be that voice for everyone.

“From a really early age, I remember so many times where I had to be the voice for my parents since language was a barrier,” said Lor. “My parents were young adults when they came to this country, and that made everything all the more challenging. As a young child, there were so many times I had to navigate systems in order to just achieve a simple task on their behalf. It was very often while sitting in a room at the clinic that I wondered how I could lift up their voices so life would be much easier for them.”

As the Rural Equity Specialist, a large part of Lor’s role will be supporting communities across the region in building and strengthening local Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders and organizations. It will also entail working with local partners and leaders to create more connected and resilient communities.

“Community has always been an important part of my life and work, so I look forward to connecting and building relationships across the region with partners, city officials and community members,” Lor said. “It’s important to me that conversations are had, to support communities in navigating their own journeys with diversity and inclusion.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.