The Struggle for Vietnamese in Biloxi-Language Access Project-staying connected at the grassroots

Biloxi or Bust Beginings

My journey began with a vision to volunteer in New Orleans. After many conversations with community folks who had gone to the Gulf Coast to volunteer and talking with community folks in the Gulf Coast. It became clearer that New Orleans had much more resources in terms of volunteers, visibiltiy to the struggles, and financial backing and that in comparssion the INVISIBILITY of Biloxi, MS post Katrina was having profound impact on already marginalized communities, such as the Vietnamese Community.

Personal statement for the intial trip:

Since the first days of the unveiling of the incompetence’s of our own government in aiding Hurricane Katrina Survivors, I have felt compelled and strongly driven to go to the Gulf coast to volunteer in any capacity possible. Almost a year later now not much has changed for those who were most impacted by the Katrina, poor folks of color.

There is a strange familiarity with this calling for me that I can not even begin to explain other then that I know in my heart and in my skin that I somehow need to get my butt to The Gulf Coast… and now is the time and there is sooo much left to do. This will be the first time that I will be working with my peeps – the Vietnamese community. As a queer Vietnamese American, I strongly believe that the work that I have been needing to do ally work with my community, even at the likely hood of facing other “isms” with my community. I feel excited, hopeful and anxious with this opportunity to not only be working with the Viet Community to be yet another droplet in the bucket of change work that brings us that much closer to the tipping point. ~Truc Thanh Nguyenimg_1162.JPG


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