The National Congress of Vietnamese Americans will hold its 25th National Convention from September 24-26, 2010 at the Best Western, 6633 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042. NCVA Executive President Nguyen Ngoc Bich, said this 25-year landmark is an opportunity to celebrate all that NCVA has accomplished since it was founded on the main campus of George Mason University in August 1986.
“Although it has had its ups and downs, NCVA’s presence and achievements have had a powerful impact on the life of Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans in this great country of ours, the United States of America,” said Nguyen.
An Occasion to Look Back and Project Into the Future
Nguyen said the convention is an occasion to review the distance that NCVA has traveled, studying the contemporary issues confronting Vietnamese Americans us, as well as those of compatriots in the old country.
“Especially, in the face of numerous challenges posed by China, Vietnam’s neighbor to the north, and the inevitable evolution of Vietnam towards a more open and democratic society,” he added.
NCVA relies on the collective wisdom of its members to find solutions to common problems and challenges. Nguyen said it is vital to widen this base geographically and to the next generation to broaden the knowledge and new expertise to develop the best possible solutions by better understanding the complex issues.
“As an open forum, NCVA welcomes all contributions that you would like to make – as speakers, presenters, publicists or advertisers – to make our Convention a success,” said Nguyen.
White House Briefing
This year, because the conference is held in the Washington area, the White House Office of Public Engagement has agreed to organize for NCVA a “White House Briefing” on the morning of Friday, September 24, on issues of interest to the participants. High-level speakers from the NSC (National Security Council) and various departments (such as the State Department) will give short presentations on priority thrusts in policy by the President’s team (such as the economic recovery program, Iraq and Afghanistan…) as well as on U.S. policy toward Vietnam and the South China Sea.
“Only those registered ahead of time,” said Nguyen, “will be admitted to the briefing. We will need from them their full names, DOBs (date of birth) and SS# (Social Security number). For we will have to submit this information ahead of time for security clearance.”
Impact on the Community and on Issues
The NCVA holds regular meetings and annual conventions to elect officers and hear reports from committee groups working on various projects. It has a long track record of impacting issues beginning with helping to bring the long imprisoned former soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam to America by supporting the H.O. Program through cooperation with the Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association.
The Vietnamese refugee resettlement work continued with the Amerasian and McCain Children Programs, and support for Boat People S.O.S., Legal Assistance to Vietnamese Asylum Seekers program, Buddhist Social Services and others.
NCVA lobbied for the creation of Radio Free Asia in 1983, by aligning itself with the Council for the Defense of Freedom, the World Federation of Free Vietnamese, the Indochinese Committee for Radio Free Asia, and the Vietnam Restoration Party. RFA was established in 1996 and its Vietnamese broadcast began in February 1997.
NCVA is the only Vietnamese American organization identified as a Census Information Center for the 2010 Census. This partnership came after successful collaborations in the 1990 and 2000 Census.
To link the American-born generation the NCVA established the Vietnamese American Youth Leadership Conference starting in 1999. Its Ninth Annual conference will be held this year.
NCVA also worked with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service on a Vietnamese art exhibit, “An Ocean Apart” (1995-1998), along with the “Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon” traveling exhibit (2007-2010).
NCVA works with the international Vietnamese refugee communities to build solidarity in pursuit of a free, multiparty and democratic Vietnam. The collaboration with the Vietnamese Canadian Federation and the Free Vietnamese Community in Australia led to forming the World Federation of Free Vietnamese in 1989. This led to the Free Vietnamese Solidarity Conference from 1995 to 2002.
The NCVA National Office is located at 6433 Northanna Drive, Springfield, VA 22150-1335. For more information on the conference contact Nguyen Ngoc Bich at 703-971-9178, email [email protected] and visit online at www.ncvaonline.org.