In the vibrant tapestry of life, some threads hold a deeper significance than others. My personal journey, Joy Christine Ngaosivath, or “Miss Joy,” as I’m known in the Las Vegas music scene, is one woven with the melodies of my Lao heritage, a passion for music, and a heartfelt desire to give back. At the heart of this narrative lies my connection with Legacies of War, a profound chapter that resonates with the echoes of the past and the harmonies of the present.
As a second-generation Lao-American, I’ve always felt a strong connection to my family’s homeland. My parents’ tale of escape, a daring journey to find asylum in the United States on June 6, 1978, was an inspirational backdrop to my life. Their courage and sacrifice laid the foundation for my ambitions, which led me to become an International DJ, Tech House Music Producer, and Party Event Planner. Through the music that pulsates through my veins, I sought to bridge the gap between cultures and honor my roots.
It was during my endeavors that I stumbled upon the Legacies of War nonprofit organization. This serendipitous encounter occurred through my involvement with the Laotian American National Alliance (LANA), a nonprofit organization where I volunteered my DJ skills for special events. The connection was made, and it was through this alliance that I would be introduced to a life-changing experience.
The pivotal moment arrived on October 13, 2018, when I was invited to DJ for the Lao Now Event, “A Community Celebration to Support Legacies of War,” held in the heart of New York City. Little did I know that this event would be the gateway to a profound chapter in my life. There, amidst the vibrant energy of the city that never sleeps, I had the honor of meeting Channapha Khamvongsa, the visionary founder of Legacies of War, and her dedicated team.
The connection was instant, and our shared aspirations created an unbreakable bond. From that moment forward, my journey as a contributor to Legacies of War’s mission of raising awareness about unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos had begun. The multifaceted nature of my talents found a new purpose as I wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to lend my skills to such a noble cause.
The journey evolved with time, leading me to contribute to a series of impactful events. From the Midsummer Movie Night in August 2020 to the Legacies of War 16th Birthday Event in October 2020, each event became a vessel to amplify the message and vision of Legacies of War. The Trailblazer Campaign in November 2020 marked yet another milestone, showcasing the strength of collaboration in making a difference.
November 9, 2020 marked a crowning achievement in my journey—I was accepted as a Board Member of Legacies of War. This was a realization of a dream, a testament to the power of dedication and a deep-seated desire to serve a cause that resonated with my heart and heritage. This role allowed me to contribute not only my music and event planning skills but also my passion for advocacy.
In the months that followed, a symphony of events continued to unfold. The Giving Tuesday initiative, the Night Market Holiday Event, and the Legacies Library: The Most Secret Place on Earth Event in March 2021 – each was a brushstroke in the larger canvas of our collective efforts. The Sabaidee Pii Mai Event in April 2021 and the Make It Rain Challenge further reinforced our commitment to raising awareness and funds. Among these crescendos of impact, the Women In the Arts Panel Discussion in May 2021 showcased the diversity of voices that rallied behind Legacies of War’s mission. Through these events, we celebrated the richness of culture, art, and music, channeling them into a force for change.
Throughout this journey, the driving force behind my involvement with Legacies of War was their resolute vision: to remain “dedicated to bringing attention to UXO awareness, education, and removal in Laos.” Every beat I spun and every event I helped organize was a testament to this vision. It was a call to action, an anthem of hope that resonated deeply within me.
In closing, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported Legacies of War and embraced the vision we hold dear. To be part of a movement that bridges the past with the present, one that empowers a community and propels change, has been an honor beyond measure. As I continue to fuse my love for music with my dedication to advocacy, my journey with Legacies of War stands as a testament to the extraordinary impact that can be achieved when passion meets purpose.