A Call to Service and Leadership

Invitation to National Summit of Vietnamese American Leaders

Washington, DC | July 2nd, 2011

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Fellow Vietnamese American leaders,

We are inviting you to take part in a movement that will change the dynamics of our community, elevate its levels of being and performance, and lay the foundation for progress for generations to come.  After 35 years of struggle and sacrifices, the Vietnamese American community has come of age, with abundant individual success stories like yours.  Vietnamese Americans have been known to be resilient, hard-working, and determined to overcome challenges, to achieve success, and to excel.

As a community we, however, remain under-organized, under-studied, under-served and under-represented. There are so many needs left unmet in our own backyard, from the youth without role models, to adults left out of work, to the elderly facing a bleak future, to the struggling small businesses… As a community, we have had no plan to capitalize on the talents, the passion, and the resources of our own and reinvest them to help our community address its own needs, grow strong, and contribute to a more united and prosperous America. Without a plan for the future, we cannot adequately prepare for the great challenges of our time and fulfill our destiny.

 

Since April 30 of last year many of us have traveled through big cities and small towns, from college campuses to community centers, to share the message of hope and responsibility and to listen. We have met so many talented, accomplished and passionate individuals who deeply care about our community, about America, and about Vietnam. We have met many young Vietnamese Americans interested in serving the community in different capacities—a new phenomenon that was practically non-existent some five years ago. There has been excitement, shared by young and old alike, at the possibility—the possibility of a community born out of misfortune to be a model of political empowerment, economic development, and civic engagement. The people we have met on our tour across the country, and many of you are among them, shared with us their pride in our heritage and their dream of a strong and healthy community in which generations work together to discuss issues and provide solutions. With such pride, hope, and dream, let us answer the call for service and leadership.

On July 2nd of this year, hundreds of accomplished and emerging Vietnamese American leaders will convene in Washington DC to share visions, to exchange ideas, and to plan for the next decade. From the common areas of interest identified, we will develop overarching national initiatives and specific local projects to unleash our community’s full potentials in all sectors: public, business, and social. Topics will range from fielding candidates to run for public offices to building community infrastructure, from developing small businesses to incubating new non-profits, from forming professional associations to advocating for policy changes… The summit will launch “Vietnamese American Research Institute,” an effort to study and understand our own community, and “500 in 5 years,” an ambitious initiative to cultivate the next generation of Vietnamese-American leaders—they will be the prime force behind the aforementioned national initiatives and local projects.

We have selected the Independence Day weekend for one reason: it marks the birth of America, the great and beautiful nation founded on the ideals of freedom and individual liberty that has become our homeland.  The summit will offer a collective development platform from which to launch a decade-long common effort to build a great community.  Together we will make history.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we look forward to having you among the Vietnamese American outstanding and passionate leaders who will come together to create positive changes for our community, for America and for Vietnam.

Let the movement begin.

Nguyen Dinh Thang, PhD Shandon Phan, Esq.
BPSOS Executive Director Summit Chair

 

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