SAN JOSE, Calif. (Nov. 3, 2015) — A reception to honors 40 years of the American Southeast Asian refugee experience
Hosted by the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), “40 & Forward: Southeast Asian Americans Rooted & Rising,” will be held Saturday, Nov 7, 2015 from, 5 to 8 p.m. at Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116.
Betty Duong will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The program will honor Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge My-Le Jacqueline Duong, community-based organization AACI – Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and Assemblyman Rob Bonta.
Entertainment will include Dance Troupe Far East Dragon Lion Dance Association, Lao Classical Performers Lao Traditions, Language & Cultures program at the Center for Lao Studies, and singer/rapper RJ Sin.
Food will be catered by Chef Tim Luym of Attic Restaurant. For more information, visit 40andforward.org.
SEARAC Executive Director Quyen Dinh said her name “Quyen” was named after the story of a bird in Viet Nam, who missed its country so much that it would call out for home.
“My mom brought me into this world two days after she turned 20,” Dinh wrote in an event invitation letter. “She gifted me with this name because she missed her Viet Nam — heart aching to see the faces of her parents whom she had left when she fled as a refugee at the age of 16. Her family’s hope was for her freedom.”
Dinh said that coming back to San Jose is a visit to her second home, the place where she graduated from Gunderson High School, where she returned home on weekends during her undergraduate years at UC Berkeley, and getting to know her father during the 45-minute car ride.
“Today, I get to come home to honor my family, as well as a community that has empowered me to become SEARAC’s first second-generation executive director,” she said. “When, just 40 years ago, my parents didn’t know if they would live or die in war-torn Viet Nam. And that is why coming home is a gift, a blessing.”
Sinh invites the public to visit the 40 and Forward blog, which hosts a multitude of personal, unique narratives, including her own at http://www.40andforward.org/blog.