The Rapidian

Immigrant Heritage Month Profile: Meet Kavy Lenon

In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, this series features profiles of community members who have immigrated to Grand Rapids.
Kavy Lenon

Kavy Lenon

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For Immigrant Heritage Month, I asked several friends and connections who immigrated to Grand Rapids to share a little about their heritage. The goal of this endeavor is to help educate and inform myself and others in the community about the rich cultures of our neighbors. And, to celebrate the ways that these individuals have contributed to what we know as American culture today. I asked each of them the same questions and their responses are all featured here in the Profile section of The Rapidian. 

Kavy Lenon is a Senior Supplier Diversity Manager and strong advocate of diversity and inclusion—both in business and within the community. I met Kavy while working on the program for the Grand Rapids Asian Festival. She is part of the organizing committee for the Festival and was responsible for securing much of the funding for the event. Her excitement was truly contagious and I left our meeting feeling just as energized.

I asked Lenon: What is an important part of your culture/heritage that you want to preserve in your life and also want to share with American culture? And, what in American culture do you embrace?

Lenon said: "The part of my culture I embrace and want to share is family values. Coming from a large family, we uphold the traditions of caring for elders and teaching our youth the importance of relationships and obligations within the family. Our family was taught to suppress aggressive behavior and overt expressions of negative emotions—and to be strong and exercise self-control in order to maintain family harmony."

What in American culture do I embrace?  

Following the American Dream, because that freedom was taken from us when we fled our country.

My name is Kavy Lenon and I emigrated from Laos. In the late 1970s, in response to warfare and a communist takeover, my family had to escape our country in the middle of the night. We were accepted into the U.S. in February of 1981."


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