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The Vietnam War is one of the most controversial events in American history that still haunts many today. For the Vietnamese tragedy continued for many years after the war ended in 1975. Those that were from south Vietnam were sent to 'reeducation camps' where conditions were life threatening and torturous. Farm lands, personal possessions, and private commerce were all eradicated and regulated under the communist regime. And after a century of foreign domination and decades at war, the country’s land and infrastructure was severely damaged and industries underdeveloped. Thus, people were unemployed, millions starved, neighbors looted, economic depression spread and the country was left in despair.

Despite the horrible living conditions, leaving Vietnam was considered an illegal act by the government. Not giving up hope, some Vietnamese began to form underground groups to organize escapes in makeshift boats that sailed into the treacherous seas. This generation of Vietnamese refugees are known as the "Boat People". They risked their lives so their children could have a chance at freedom and a future. Their stories are ones of loss, separation, survival and resiliency. 

 

The mass exodus of Vietnamese refugees started in 1975 thru to the early 1990s, with the peak between 1979-1985. There are no clear statistics on how many people attempted the escapes or exact figures on how many died along the journey. Estimates of deaths have ranged from 200,000 to 600,000, from pirate attacks, rape, torture, prosecution, drowning and starvation. The Vietnamese Boat People generation is an aging population with stories of courage and hope and refugee experiences that need to be preserved as part of the Vietnam War history.

OUR MISSION

Vietnamese Boat People (VBP) is a podcast and non-profit with the mission to preserve and carry forward the stories of the Vietnamese diaspora. We aim to educate and inspire listeners on the diaspora history of the Vietnamese community and connect people through stories of the human spirit. In addition to the podcast, our public programs empower people to preserve their own stories through storytelling workshops and events, story slams, community blogs, conversation kits and journey mapping. The work of VBP helps to lift up marginalized voices and shine a light on untold stories. Click here for an overview of our programs. 

preserve our stories
in our voices

Empower families to document their stories

 

Encourage intergenerational dialogue 

 

Instill pride in our history and culture

Raise awareness
educate and
Elevate

Share our lived experiences as part of world history

Profile marginalized voices and untold stories

Take part in shaping the Asian American narrative

evoke compassion and empathy

Connect people through stories of the human spirit

Build greater understanding of the overall migrant experience

Inspire the community to support today’s refugees

MY STORY

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Hi, my name is Tracey Nguyễn Mang, and I was a boat person.

 

I was born Nguyễn Quán Trường Anh, the youngest of seven children, in Nha Trang Vietnam in 1977. When I was only one, my father and oldest brother fled our country by boat. After that, my three older brothers made the same risky escape. And in 1981, my mother braved the journey with three girls under the age of 10.

We were one of the lucky ones that survived. Three separate escapes, three different refugee camps and three years later, reunited in America as one family. This statement oversimplifies the journey. But the story of how we got here, is anything but simple. 

Join me on the journey of preserving my family's story and the stories of hundreds of thousands of other Vietnamese Boat People.

OUR TEAM

We are a team of passionate volunteers and contributors, from students to experienced professionals. We are proud to contribute our skills and free time to this mission and are always looking for volunteers to join our growing family.
If you are interested in volunteering, let us know by completing this form. 

About: TeamMember
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Tracey Nguyn Mang

Founder

My family calls me 'Bo' named after 'bo bo' a type of grain in Vietnam.
LinkedIn
Blog Post

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Nancy (Le) Blair

Fundraising

I’ve traveled to all the continents except for Antarctica. 

LinkedIn
 

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Matt Young

Production

I really like to snorkel, scuba dive, and film underwater. I've done dives in the Great Barrier reef and in Hawaii!
LinkedIn
Blog Post

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Richard Luong

Development 

Growing up I was called đầu bự.
LinkedIn
Blog Post

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Ben Nguyn

Social Media

I sang at the 2014 Laulupidu, the renowned Estonian Song Festival.

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Bella Nguyn

Content Support

I survived living in 2 separate homes that both got struck by lightning.
LinkedIn
Blog Post

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Saoli Nguyn

Production

I learned to swim in the waters of Cuba.
LinkedIn

Blog Post


 

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Tricia Vuong

Production

I love tomatoes!
LinkedIn
Blog Post

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Lauren Thi Nguyn

Finance 

I LOVE playing Scrabble - so much that once I played it every day, multiple times a day for a week straight
LinkedIn

Blog
 

Interested in contributing?
Explore our volunteer opportunities or job postings
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