Past Projects




Whats Your Story? #VAOHP Storytelling Contest

WYS Contest

What’s Your Story?


You or someone you know is an important part of history! Please share with us an item from your or someone else’s family history in relation to the Vietnamese American experience. Record a video (1-2 mins) featuring the item, such as a photo, document, artwork, article of clothing, object, etc., that is of significance to the person being recorded. The focus will be on storytelling and the connection between the narrator and item of interest. Eligibility: all registered UCI students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Only current students are eligible for gift cards (please state if you are a current student, faculty or alumni and year of graduation in your video). Sponsored by Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History Project and funded by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts and Culture Initiative Prizes will be listed as financial assistance by OFAS. The best entries may be featured by VAOHP & UCI Illuminations.



Best Storytelling – $200 Amazon GC + More

The person with the most impactful and compelling video that tells something about themselves or the person sharing the artifact will receive a $200 gift certificate to Amazon (UCI students) or an autographed Vietnamese in Orange County book + VAOHP tote bag (staff, faculty, and UCI alumni).

Most Creative – $200 Amazon GC + More

The person with the most artistic talent in creating a video that surprises us will receive a $200 gift certificate to Amazon (UCI students) or an autographed Vietnamese in Orange County book + VAOHP tote bag (staff, faculty, and UCI alumni).

Most Innovative – $200 Amazon GC + More

The person that gives us something original that we’ve never seen before will receive a $200 gift certificate to Amazon (UCI students) or an autographed Vietnamese in Orange County book + VAOHP tote bag (staff, faculty, and UCI alumni).

First Place Buzz Winner – $400 Amazon GC + More

Generate the most Buzz and receive a $400 gift certificate to Amazon (UCI students) or an autographed Vietnamese in Orange County book + VIETNAMESE FOCUS T-shirt +VAOHP tote bag (staff, faculty, and UCI alumni).

Would you like to be Included in our exhibit?

Would you like to be included in our exhibit?  Here is your chance to potentially contribute to the upcoming art & history exhibition as part of an art installation, VIETNAMESE FOCUS: Generations of Stories. OC Parks in partnership with UCI’s Vietnamese American Oral History Project and Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center (OC&SEAA) present:

Vietnamese Focus: Generations of Stories
July 2015 – February 2016:
Old Orange County Courthouse Historic Gallery, Santa Ana, CA
March 2016:
Viewpoint Gallery, UC Irvine, CA

Submit a new or old, high-resolution photo of you/family/friend (with at least one person of Vietnamese descent) posing in an Orange County landmark, park, event, venue, etc. with distinguishing sign or symbol of location.  Share this opportunity with your networks!

For more info and to UPLOAD PHOTOS:

DEADLINE: June 15, 2015

Collecting Memories | Preserving History



Collecting Memories | Preserving History
Saturday, August 2, 2014
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Horizon Cross-Cultural Center
3707 W. Garden Grove Blvd
Orange, CA 92868

FREE event – FREE food & drinks

As refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, your family and organization’s photographs, letters, documents, and videos are an important part our community’s history.

LEARN about ways to preserve, scan, and archive your photographs and documents.

MEET educators, librarians, and archivists who can provide you with advice on the best practices for safeguarding your family, organization, and community records.

BRING in your photographs, letters, documents, and other materials and we can help you preserve them.

DONATE your photographs and documents to the UCI Southeast Asian Archive. We want to preserve your family stories, organizational materials, and community records for our children and for future generations!  Come learn what you can do.

VIEW Art Exhibit: “Symbolism of Self,” works by 40 students from the Bowers Museum Treasures Program. Curated by artist Trinh Mai.

Consultations on-going all day with a brief presentation at 12:15pm.

Interactive Histories

How can oral history be used to bridge the generational divide in the community?

Our objective for the Interactive History: Vietnamese American Elders’ Stories is to collect voluntary life narratives of Vietnamese American seniors over 55 years of age living in The Grove Senior Apartments (in Garden Grove, CA). Along with these audio-recorded narratives, photos and documents will also be archived along with their stories in the Southeast Asian Archive of Langston Library at the University of California, Irvine. The audio interviews, transcriptions, and photos will also be available for digital access via the UCI Libraries digital repository, UCI Space.

In order to accomplish this, our research team consisting of 5 UC Irvine students and Dr. Thuy Vo Dang will spend 6 weeks facilitating activities and “talk story” sessions among the Vietnamese American seniors followed by one-on-one interviews with pre-selected narrators. The life narratives will be gathered through the method of in-depth, semi-structured oral history interview guidelines of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). These workshops will establish relationships and interest among the narrators regarding the importance of oral history.

Partnering up with the nonprofit, EngAGE, we will bring this program to the residents of the Grove. EngAGE takes a whole-person approach to creative and healthy aging by providing arts, wellness, lifelong learning, via intergenerational programs to seniors living in affordable senior apartment communities in Southern California. Together, we will be able to promote cross-cultural exchange among the residents and encourage them to share their stories with not only with each other, but also with their community.

It is not only substantial, but also imperative that we celebrate the advances and hardships overcame by the generation that experienced the Vietnam War and the refugee exodus. This historical attribution is an effort by scholars and community members to document the life stories of Vietnamese Americans to preserve their legacy for future generations to learn from via first-person accounts.


Phase 1: July, August & September 2012

  • Develop ice breaker activities and design 20 minute oral history/talk story workshop presentations to present at the Grove.
  • Gather weekly at The Grove for 5 weeks to build rapport with the seniors
  • We will each interview 1 narrator at every gathering
  • Narrator will be provided a copy of his/her interview – we will also work together in transcription
  • While narrators transcribe interviews, we will create Time Log summaries to draft a profile to submit to the Vietnamese Language newspaper, Vien Dong Daily News
  • These profiles will be published in a weekly column called “Vietnamese American Elders’ Stories,” translated into Vietnamese
  • Original English language versions of the profiles will be published via the Vietnamese American Oral History Project’s (VAOHP) blog

Phase 2: Fall 2012

  • Continue the collaboration with our Narrators to work on the transcription of their interviews
  • Introduce them to transcription software and Vietnamese keys/fonts that they can download and use for free

Phase 3: Winter & Spring 2013

  • Under the supervision of our faculty mentors, we will co-author a scholarly article to submit to academic journals, focusing on the methodology of collecting oral histories in the senior apartments
  • Work on our poster for presenting at the May 2013 UROP Symposium at UC Irvine

*If you would like to learn more about our project or simply want to hear more, please shoot us an email! We would be happy to answer any questions!