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Latest Press Release, April 6, 2010

Center for Lao Studies (CLS)
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
Contact: Vinya Sysamouth
(415) 874-5578 / vinya(at)laostudies.org

Center for Lao Studies Announces Grant from Henry Luce Foundation

San Francisco, CA, April 6, 2010 - The Center for Lao Studies (CLS) is pleased to announce a $30,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund an expansion of its organizational and programming capacity. Founded in 2006, CLS is a San Francisco-based nonprofit with the mission to advance knowledge and engagement in the field of Lao Studies through research, education, and information sharing.

“We’re thrilled and honored by the Luce Foundation’s generous support. It’s a difficult economic climate for nonprofits, especially newer ones like us, and the grant will enable us to develop both as an organization and in terms of program scope,” says CLS Executive Director Vinya Sysamouth, Ph.D.

Currently, CLS serves as liaison to a wide array of educational and cultural institutions and community organizations, as well as a resource center for the general public. The center’s pioneering activities include organizing the triennial International Conference on Lao Studies, an event that brings together Lao Studies scholars from around the world; launching the first-ever study abroad program to Laos; online publication of the only peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to Lao Studies, the Journal of Lao Studies (JLS); and creating the Lao Oral History Archive (LOHA), which documents the life stories of Lao refugees in the United States.

“There’s been a groundswell of interest in Laos recently,” Sysamouth reports. “Yet despite Laos’ and the Lao diaspora’s relevance to a wide range of academic disciplines, the field of Lao Studies remains underrepresented in the United States and abroad. With the Luce Foundation’s generous support, CLS aims to meet a clear need for greater understanding of this fascinating and complex country, not only within academia, but also within the societies in which contemporary Lao communities reside.”

About the Center for Lao Studies (CLS)
Founded in 2006 as an outcome of the First International Conference on Lao Studies, the Center for Lao Studies (CLS) is a nonprofit resource center for researchers and the public with the mission to advance knowledge and engagement in the field of Lao Studies through research, education, and information sharing. CLS programs and resources span scholarly conferences, peer-reviewed publications, an oral history archive, and educational exchanges between institutions in the United States and Southeast Asia. Visit CLS online at www.laostudies.org.

About the Henry Luce Foundation
The Luce Foundation's Asia Program works to strengthen American understanding of East and Southeast Asia through support for teaching and research initiatives, and for scholarly collaboration and exchange.  Visit the Luce Foundation online at http://www.hluce.org.

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