Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas P. Kim

Reader 2

Mark Golub

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© 2015 Laiseng Saechao


Untold Narratives: A Refugee Experience from Laos to Richmond, California is focused on the Mien refugee experience from Laos to Richmond, California. This thesis highlights the ways Cold War politics, the Secret War, and heavy industrialization have impacted Mien communities who have been displaced from their homelands into refugee camps, and again through sponsorship into the United States. This thesis looks at political theories that discuss inequalities that exist, particularly through environmental degradation and negative health impacts that Mien refugees are experiencing in their resettlement into Richmond, California. Due to the limited scholarly articles and documented narratives that are available in regards to Mien experiences, interviews were conducted to highlight the stories and experiences of Mien refugees paired with a historical background of their journey from China, to Laos, and to Richmond. Even in the face of so much struggle and hardship, many Mien people have been resilient and been successful in building community and fighting for justice.