1994 Vietnamese American Student Conference

It has been almost 20 years since the first Vietnamese refugees arrived in the United States after the Vietnam War. With the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam, Orange County's Vietnamese population is well over 100,000. Many Vietnamese students are in Southern California's universities and colleges; UC Irvine's Vietnamese student population numbers approximately 2,000. Now, for the first time, college campuses include Vietnamese American students who were born in the United States, as well as the "1.5 generation" (young people who were born in Vietnam but have grown up in the United States). Culturally, politically, and personally, Vietnamese American students have reached a crossroads.

In 1990 a group of young Vietnamese American students and professionals organized the first Vietnamese American conference at Stanford University with the theme "Building Our Future." Other conferences have followed, and Southern California's first Vietnamese American Student Conference was held last year at UCLA with the theme, "Reflecting Our Past." This year UC Irvine will host the 1994 conference, which will take place on Saturday, April 23, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, at the UCI Student Center. Its theme will be "The Crossroads."

Workshop topics are:

Political Issues and Community Action, The Search for Self, In Quest of an Identity in America, Family Structure, The Struggle of the Vietnamese Immigrants, and "End the Silence." In addition, there will be an exhibition of modern and traditional arts, and entertainment. The UCI Library Southeast Asian Archive will be open to visitors 12:00-2:00 and 3:30-4:30.

Registration fee for students is $15, non-students $35. Prices include breakfast, lunch, entertainment and concessions.

Call Ky Pham, (714) 509-7421; Phong Nguyen Le (714) 854-5477; Anthony Tran (714) 856-1449 for further information about the conference.

Two items in the Archive's collection particularly relevant to the conference are the proceedings of the 1990 Stanford conference (see "Selected Recent Acquisitions,") and an article about the 1.5 generation:

"No more looking homeward," Los Angeles Times 4 April 1994, A1.