Thirty years ago, the Fall of Saigon ended the Viet Nam War and led to the first wave of Vietnamese immigration to Boston and other cities in the United States. 130,000 refugees fled Vietnam in 1975, fearing reprisal from the Communist Party. The exodus continued and as of the 2000 census, there were nearly 1,220,000 Vietnamese Americans living in the US, the fifth largest Asian immigrant group in the country. Ten years after diplomatic relations between the US and Viet Nam were re-established, as many as 20,000 Vietnamese live and work in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. Panelists talk about generational issues, homeland politics, cultural barriers and challenges, and the contributions Vietnamese Americans have made to the City of Boston and the country as a whole.
Presented in partnership with Carney Hospital, Viet AID, City of Boston Office of Neighborhood Services, Office of New Bostonians, Dorchester Reporter.
BIO: Nam Pham
Nam Van Pham has been a community activist for more than 20 years. He has traveled to many states and countries to inform the American and international public about human right abuses in Vietnam by the current Vietnamese government.
In 2002 he co-founded the Massachusetts Commission for Human Rights in Vietnam, a coalition of Vietnamese American organizations and leading activists to advocate for respect of religious freedom and other individual rights for Vietnam. He has established the Next Vietnam Foundation, whose goal is to advocate for a democratic Vietnamese society.
BIO: Peter Kiang
Dr. Peter Nien-chu Kiang is Professor of Education and Director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he has taught since 1987.
Under his leadership, UMass Boston has developed the most Asian American Studies courses, faculty, and community linkages of any university in New England.
Peter currently serves as co-president of the Chinese Historical Society of New England and chair of the Massachusetts Advisory Committee for the US Commission on Civil Rights.