The Evolution of My Name, My Identity

Bich Ngoc My parents gave me the name Bich-Ngoc after a beautiful greenish jade stone when I was born. They wanted people to know that I was as precious as jade. To them, I was a gem in the midst of a life filled with limited opportunities. My dad, a prisoner of war, was trying … Continue reading The Evolution of My Name, My Identity

For Those Who Didn’t Get Into 8 Ivy League Schools

Acceptance letter season is once again upon us. This means that, inevitably, countless stories will be shared on our timelines and through news outlets that highlight the exceptionally gifted students who have overcome insurmountable barriers to be accepted into highly competitive, top-ranked schools across the nation. It is important that we share the success stories of … Continue reading For Those Who Didn’t Get Into 8 Ivy League Schools

The Night Before I Left Home

This story was shared by a Project Ava Storyteller. Learn more about the Storyteller Program.     Like hundreds of thousands of people, my mother escaped a war-torn Vietnam, risking her life to come to America, where the roads are paved with cheese (or something like that). She was jailed twice during her first two … Continue reading The Night Before I Left Home

What I Learned Walking Down The Aisle Without My Mother

It was quite the dilemma when it came time to send out wedding invites. Do I be the bigger person and invite her or do I avoid the risk of potential disappointment on what would be one the happiest moments of my life?

What Even Is An “Asian American”

A piece originally published on Down Like JTown, republished on Project Ava with permission of the author. What Even Is An "Asian American" And Why Do We Have Our Own Month And I Just Have So Many Questions It's Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and I'm going to be real for a minute. I've had a … Continue reading What Even Is An “Asian American”

Why BuzzFeed’s “People Try Durian (The Smelliest Fruit in The World)” is Racist

If you’ve spent any time on social media, I can bet that you might have come across a BuzzFeed piece or two. Originator of the iconic listicle, with over 200 million audience members worldwide, BuzzFeed continues to dominate media in the millennial era. I happen to know first-hand how pervasive this content is to my … Continue reading Why BuzzFeed’s “People Try Durian (The Smelliest Fruit in The World)” is Racist

Butter & Sugar Sandwiches: Navigating the Vietnamese, Chinese, Immigrant, Refugee Identity & History

This is an abridged version of a piece originally published on Project Yellow Dress.

A Letter from Songkhla Refugee Camp

An art piece originally published on Project Yellow Dress and republished on Project Ava with permission of the contributor.   A few years ago, my family was cleaning out the garage and we stumbled upon a bag of faded letters and photos that my mom’s family had exchanged while and after they fled Vietnam as Vietnamese … Continue reading A Letter from Songkhla Refugee Camp

A #MyAsianAmericanStory Collection and Why You Need to Listen

#MyAsianAmericanStory, the brainchild of Californian Jason Fong, was inspired by #BlackLivesMatter and is looking to reclaim the Asian-American narrative after statements from U.S. Republican Candidates Jeb Bush and Donald Trump that tag Asian people to the term "anchor babies". Regardless of which side you stand on immigration and other matters of politics, I would like to take a moment to … Continue reading A #MyAsianAmericanStory Collection and Why You Need to Listen

What It’s Like as a White Woman to Love a Black Man in America

Originally published on Bows, Bottles, and a Briefcase. I’ve worked on this post for a while now, and have hesitated to post it publicly. I’m not sure if I was fearful of the backlash from those who read it and disagree, or more concerned that my words may become misconstrued.  While I am solely speaking … Continue reading What It’s Like as a White Woman to Love a Black Man in America