“Vietnamese American Oral History Project Announces Website Launch” -Asian Week (October 1, 2012)

Vietnamese American Oral History Project Announces Website Launch

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Published: OCTOBER 16, 2012
Original article: http://www.asianweek.com/2012/10/16/vietnamese-american-oral-history-project-announces-website-launch/

Irvine, Calif., October 1, 2012—The Vietnamese American Oral History Project at the University of California, Irvine (VAOHP) will host a community reception to announce the formal launch of its website where oral histories collected this past year will be made available to the public. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm in the Van Lang Community Hall (14861 Moran Street, Westminster, CA 92683).

VAOHP is a multi-year project that assembles, preserves, and digitally presents life stories of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California. The project contributes to the expanding archives on Vietnamese Americans with the urgent goal of capturing first generation stories while this group remains. The project is headed by Dr. Thuy Vo Dang, of the Department of Asian American Studies in the School of Humanities. VAOHP collaborates closely with the Southeast Asian Archive at UC Irvine Libraries, where the oral histories will be placed, and with community collaborators and student volunteers.


“These oral histories provide an incredible opportunity for Vietnamese Americans to speak directly to future generations and ensure their achievements, struggles, fears, and hopes are remembered and respected,” comments Michelle Light, Head of the UC Irvine Libraries Special Collections, Archives, and Digital Scholarship programs. “The Southeast Asian Archive is committed to preserving the life stories online for all to access and appreciate.”

Dr. Tam Nguyen, President of the Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, states, “we realize the importance of documenting our first generation experiences through this Oral History Project. I personally was able to learn things I had not previously known about my own family business through the interviews and look forward to discovering many other amazing Vietnamese American stories. The VAOHP Community Reception will be a wonderful opportunity for us to understand additional details of the project and we look forward to networking at the event as one of many community-based organizations supporting the VAOHP mission.”

In addition to presenting the website, the community reception celebrates the efforts of volunteers, narrators, students, and community supporters. “UC Irvine should be commended for the Vietnamese American Oral History Project,” says Ysa Le, Executive Director of the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association. “I hope after the unveiling, the VAOHP will continue to receive many stories from Vietnamese Americans.”

The evening’s program will include distinguished guest speakers, a spotlight presentation of the website, multi-media stations for guests to peruse the website, entertainment, and refreshments. Additionally, the reception features an exhibition of artwork by Trinh Mai, who layers family and community history in her visual art. This will be a great opportunity for community members, educators, researchers, and the media to learn about the project. The community reception is free and open to the public. Follow the VAOHP’s development on sites.uci.edu/vaohp or www.facebook.com/vaohp.

Co-organized by: UCI Department of Asian American Studies, UCI School of Humanities, UCI Libraries’ Southeast Asian Archive, Vietnamese American Community Ambassadors—a UCI alumnae chapter, and Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation.
Co-sponsored by: Asian American Studies Center (UCLA), Association for Asian American Studies, Asian Pacific Student Association (UCI), Boat People SOS, Center for Oral and Public History (CSUF), Center for Southeast Asian Studies (UCLA), Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, Delhi Community Center, Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, Go For Broke National Education Center, Hanashi Oral History Program, Institute of Vietnamese Studies, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Project MotiVATe, Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association, Southeast Asian Student Association (UCI), St. Anselm’s Cross-cultural Community Center, Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation, Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, Vietnamese American Coalition (UCI), and Vietnamese Student Association (UCI).