Vietnamese pop singer, activist to speak at Baldwin

Mai Khoi will speak with both students from Baldwin and Shaler in the Light Initiative Program.


Mai Khoi will speak with both students from Baldwin and Shaler in the Light Initiative Program.

Izzy Swanson, News Editor

Vietnamese pop star Mai Khoi will be visiting Baldwin on Thursday to speak with students. 

Khoi has been called the Lady Gaga of Vietnam, because of her musical style and her willingness to address social issues. However, Khoi experienced much criticism, as she did not fit the traditional standards women are held to in Vietnam. 

Likewise, Khoi is not afraid to speak out against communism. As a result, she has been exiled from Vietnam. She currently lives at the City of Asylum, an organization in Pittsburgh for political refugees, and is attending the University of Pittsburgh’s Scholars at Risk program. 

Her appearance at Baldwin is sponsored by the Light Education initiative, a program in which students learn about injustice around the world. The Light Education initiative was created by Nick Haberman, a history teacher at Shaler Area High School, and it stands for Leadership through Innovation in Genocide and Human Rights Teaching.

Baldwin students who are a part of the Light initiative and National Honors Society students have been invited to watch the performance. Shaler students involved with the Light initiative will also attend the event, in which Khoi will share her story and speak on the dangers of a communist government. 

Daniel Shaner, middle school English teacher, will be overseeing the event. 

“I want students to realize the power that each one of us has to change the world. You don’t have to be a superhero; an artist can change the world,” Shaner said. 

Shaner also wants his students to acknowledge how lucky they are to live in a country where we have freedom. 

“The perfeormace should show students that even in the darkest times of America, we still have it better than others,” Shaner said.