VIET Fellows (2010-2012)

Vietnam Involvement and Engagement (VIET) Fellows was incubated by AAPIP from 2010-2012.  It was a multifaceted effort to invest in the leadership of young Vietnamese Americans in order to improve the quality of life of communities in the US and Vietnam. The VIET Fellows program is an example of how to engage Vietnamese Americans in civic participation and their drive to give back to the community.

Why Viet Fellows?

A generation of Vietnamese Americans has grown up in the U.S. as part of the largest Vietnamese diaspora community in the world. This generation is living proof of a community that has re-rooted and recreated their community in the U.S., while maintaining connections to their home country. An estimated $35 billion is sent to Vietnam in family remittances, charitable causes, business investment, and community development. For the younger generation, exploring a connection to Vietnam can mean many things, but the subject of the Vietnam War and Agent Orange/Dioxin (AO/D) is not always accessible. Yet, approximately 12 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over 18,000 square miles in Vietnam from 1961-1971 and that toxic legacy persists today in the environment and people of Vietnam. The lack of reconciliation for the Vietnamese people and its diaspora communities remains. Mirroring that disconnect is a lack of alignment between Vietnam and the U.S. philanthropic infrastructures. This is an issue that some may try to forget, but this is an issue that can inspire and activate change.

Community Partners

Active Voice uses film, television and digital media to spark social change. Make Agent Orange History (a project of Active Voice) is a collaborative effort to raise awareness of the long-term impact of Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam, a humanitarian concern that continues to affect millions of Vietnamese families, including children. Learn more about solutions to the problem and opportunities to get involved.

The Aspen Institute Advocacy and Exchange Program on Agent Orange/Dioxin is a multi-year project to help Americans and Vietnamese address the continuing health and environmental impact of herbicides sprayed in Vietnam during the war.

The Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC) is a public media center dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations use media and new technologies as tools for public education and policy change.

Renaissance Journalism Center:
  As the United States becomes more diverse and the media undergo revolutionary and unpredictable change, San Francisco State University’s Department of Journalism has created an interdisciplinary center to identify and spark promising new journalistic models and practices that serve, strengthen and empower communities.

War Legacies Project
  The War Legacies Project is a not-for-profit organization based in Vermont that focuses on the long-term impacts of war to develop a fuller understanding of the costs of war, increase public understanding of these costs, foster public dialogue about the impacts of war and conduct programs that help mitigate the impacts of war at home and abroad.

Philanthropic Partners

  • Ford Foundation
  • Southwest Airlines