The Empathy Effect


Lessons for LGBTQ+ Youth and Allies on How to Have Conversations That Lead to Change

From 5.00 pm until 6.00 pm

In a time of great division and anger nationwide, how do we go about changing hearts and minds when it comes to issues like LGBTQ+ rights?  In a 40 minute presentation followed by Q+A discussion, Maine politician, author and civil rights advocate Marpheen Chann shares his personal story of growing up in Maine, coming out to his religious adoptive family, and the lessons he’s learned about how change can happen. 
This program is provided in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council Maine Speaks program. 
Marpheen Chann is the author of an upcoming memoir titled Moon in Full: A Modern Coming-of-Age Story (Islandport Press, June 2022). A Maine politician, activist, writer, speaker, community organizer, and gay man of color, he helped found the Cambodian Community Association of Maine in 2018, and serves as its president. In 2014, Chann became the first of his biological or adoptive families to graduate college, studying political science, philosophy, and economics at the University of Southern Maine, where he helped start the University of Southern Maine’s Queer Straight Alliance. He later earned a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law. Chann has devoted his career to civil rights and advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in education, politics, and municipal government. His service to Portland and the Cambodian community is his way of giving back and connecting to his roots. Marpheen lives in Portland and he hopes to someday foster and adopt his own children. Until then, he’s content being an uncle to upwards of ten nieces and nephews (including dogs and cats). 

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