No Mud. No Lotus.

February 1, 2022

“If you know how to make good use of the mud, you can grow beautiful lotuses.” -Thích Nhất Hạnh

This Lunar New year we honor elder Thích Nhất Hạnh, whose boundless legacy continues to breathe peace into our world and our work.  
As we continue to navigate systemic barriers while grieving complex loss–we also have an opportunity to learn in community and build equitable futures. 
That is why now more than ever—a sacred space held for critical reflection and the cultivation of our stories as our power is critical. Uncertain times call for certain stillness—we welcome the year of the Tiger with steadfast purpose as we weave intergenerational and intersectional change. Liberation and culture must continue to drive our presence in this work as we cultivate transformative seeds of community and leadership. We must take care of each other.  
We must be present. 
We must continue to fortify Asian American leadership, narrative plentitude, and civic change anchored in intersectionality, authenticity, solidarity, and radical joy. 
As elder Grace Lee Boggs once said, “Change occurs through critical consciousness. Not critical mass.”  
We are not here as allies.  
We are here to lead. 
We are here to build—together. 
We are here as accomplices for a better New Orleans and a more just tomorrow.

We have so much to share with you this coming year as we expand mutual aid efforts and continue to deepen our connections into community. The year of the Tiger ushers in Spring mindfulness offerings alongside our AAPI centered civic engagement organizing and education, Earth Rising environmental justice programming, as well as the revitalization of our Ginger Roots reproductive justice storytelling initiatives.

With your continued support, VAYLA continues to build an expansive, intersectional, shared, and liberated future. Join us here for updates.

May your new year be filled with health, happiness, and community.
Chúc mừng năm mới!

Jacqueline V. Thanh, MSW  
Executive Director