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).
“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.