May 18, 2012
Our group consisted of several previously unacquainted students and young professionals from around the nation who came together for one cause: to assist with planning and executing the 18th commemoration of Vietnam Human Rights Day. Working together, we managed to combine our strengths to make this event a success.
During our time in Washington, DC, we were asked to assist the organizers with a variety of tasks under the guidance of Dave Nguyen. Volunteers who arrived earlier to Washington, DC worked closely with Dr. Quan Nguyen on confirming speakers for the May 10th event, disseminating information to the press, and collecting pictures from past years to share on a PowerPoint slideshow that played throughout the event. Other volunteers spent significant time marketing the event on social media, creating a website (www.vnhrd.org), and designing printed material to be handed out at the event. We were also able to establish a live stream on our website, which allowed the viewing of the event by those who otherwise would not have been able to attend in person.
On the day of the event, we were trusted with ensuring the orderly execution of the event itself. The team was fortunate enough to have the right number and type of people available to balance the tasks that presented themselves simultaneously. This involved coordinating the check-in process, identifying and introducing the scheduled speakers, accommodating last minute speakers, and managing the overall flow of the program.
Through this experience, we not only had the opportunity to demonstrate our leadership skills, but we were also inspired by the dedicated community members from the surrounding area whose efforts made this event possible.
Working alongside Dr. Quan Nguyen and the community provided us with meaningful insight toward the significance behind the event, how the commemoration started eighteen years ago, and why it continues to mean so much to the community. The commemoration signifies the strides that have been made in the past eighteen years and also provides the vision and momentum for the progress to be made in the future.
Being able to interact with numerous human rights activists who gathered together for Vietnam Human Rights Day motivated us to continue serving in the Vietnamese community. Many of us came into this event unaware of the enormous scope of this event, but by the end of the day, we all walked away from the event empowered, inspired, and eager to educate others about the human rights issues currently affecting Vietnam.
As the younger generation, we hope that we may continue working with the committee members to learn more about their experiences and perspectives concerning human rights in Vietnam. We are confident as we continue learning of the community’s expectations for Vietnam Human Rights Day, that we will be able to impart the importance of this day to the Vietnamese youth across the nation and inspire new leaders to join us in making the movement for human rights in Vietnam even stronger.
- VNHRD Project Team 2012