Fresno City College Speakers Forum presents Princess Soma Norodom and her fight for freedom of expression in Cambodia. Princess Soma will speak on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 11:00 am in the Old Administration Building Auditorium. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
Soma Norodom, a Fresno State graduate, is an author, philanthropist, and Princess of the Cambodian Royal House of Norodom. She and her family arrived in the U.S. as refugees from war-torn Cambodia in 1975 and lived in Long Beach. Her family and many of the first refugees established the Cambodian Community of Long Beach, the Cambodian Community of Seattle, Washington, and the Cambodian Community of Fresno.
Soma earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Telecommunications and a Master's degree in Mass Communication from Fresno State. Eventually her career in Television/Broadcasting & Journalism led her to Atlanta, Georgia where she studied at Nick Conti's Professional Actors studio and was featured multiple movies and commercials.
In the midst of her career, she moved to Cambodia in June 2010 to care for her sick father. Princess Soma spent her time in Cambodia to establish the first English-Speaking radio talk show in the country and to become a Columnist for the Phnom Penh Post. Her column quickly became the #1 most read section in the paper in Southeast Asia in just three months. Her strong efforts to address social issues and promote freedom of expression caught the attention from the government. After she returned to California, Princess Soma wrote a book called "Royal Rebel," which unfolds her difficult decision to stay true to herself in Cambodia despite many who opposed her, including her Royal Family.
Proceeds from her book sale go towards scholarships for education to underprivileged students under her own non-profit, Soma Norodom Foundation.