We first met Ming Holden in 2008, during a visit to Mongolia. At the time, Ming, a graduate of Brown University, was a Luce Scholar working on establishing a PEN chapter for Mongolian writers. If I remember correctly, she was the first poet to receive the prestigious award.
Since leaving Mongolia, Ming has continued with her advocacy work and activism on behalf of the disenfranchised. In 2011, she traveled to Kenya to work with refugee girls. At the end of her seven weeks there, she had founded the Survival Girls, a theater group comprised of six Congolese refugee women ages 18-23 living in a Nairobi slum. The Survival Girls have since stayed together as an independent and self-sustaining women's empowerment and artistic expression group. Their membership has doubled and they've competed in local competitions, and been contracted by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees to perform all over Nairobi about female genital mutilation and other social issues.
Ming has written an account of her experiences, which is now available for download to Kindle. You can buy a copy of The Survival Girls from Amazon. Read an exerpt of on Glimmer Train. Find out more about Ming Holden here. Follow her on twitter here and on The Huffington Post here.