Meet an Activist:
Chantavy Moon Angel
I am a first-generation Khmer American who has been through struggles of generational trauma. I grew up in an immigrant/refugee community in Santa Rosa on Santa Rosa Ave. My roots are deep in the West Side, Roseland area where I went to Roseland Elementary, Cook Middle School, and Elsie Allen High School. I have lived in multiple states, and now that I’m back in my hometown I’ve had the clarification needed to pursue the good work: community organizing. I am the founder and director of Love&Light SoCo, an organization that seeks to create systems-based changes through grassroots actions for restorative justice, to promote equitable representation for the Global Majority. I also serve as programs manager at SoCo LGBTQ Connection. Pronouns: she/they/srey
Who do you admire, and why?
I admire the youth and the elders in our SoCo community. I feel that there is great perspective to be learned when bridging the generational gap. We have knowledge, wisdom, visionaries and creators.
What was the last best thing you ate?
I live on a homestead in West Santa Rosa where we grow our own food. The best thing I have eaten so far has been a ratatouille of fresh produce which included zucchini, squash, and basil that I helped cultivate. Food just tastes different when you know how it was nurtured. Yes, I speak to the plants.
Name something you do or do not regret.
This is not something I focus on. Life is accountability. I am so grateful to be alive and who I am today, out of survival mode.
What 3 things bring you joy?
My son, knowing that I am a mentor to all that he will discover within himself. Community care. I’ve realized that the life I am choosing is that of service. I live in the light of sustainable change. Selfless but fulfilling work. Being present, knowing that I am ENOUGH.
Where else have you lived?
Utah, Chicago and Minnesota. The cold never phased me, and the perspectives gained were worth every freezing moment.
What are you good at making?
I’m a hyper-creative person and started off with illustration and doing signage in my 20s that evolved into metal and wood work, and then into cooking. What I am really good at making is community space.
Recall a time you changed your mind about something.
I moved to Chicago with $300 in my pocket and a one-way ticket at the age of 21. When I moved back to California, I changed my mind at how “progressive” Sonoma County is. Through working with other nonprofit organizations, I found that Sonoma County lacked equitable resources and representation of the Global Majority in city positions. I like being part of the work to change that.
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
I would practice self-care.
If you could instantly have one skill, what would it be?
Creating Peace. I know what y’all are thinking, but this Northern California being is a radical lover at heart.
You host an intimate dinner party with up to 4 guests, living or not. Who’s coming?
Me, my son, my mother, and my father. To be honest, I never really had stable parents so I just wonder sometimes what it’d be like to have that dynamic. I have not seen or spoken to my mother in over six years, and my father passed away in a car accident when I was young. Both my folks survived The Killing Fields. Generational trauma is real, and I’m a survivor, but it would be interesting to see what life would be like without that trauma.