Vanessa S. Na (Vanessa Teck) is a PhD student in Higher Education and a Research Associate for the National Institute for Transformation and Equity (NITE) at Indiana University. A daughter of Cambodian refugees, she has always felt a deep commitment to addressing issues of access, equity, and inclusion through actionable storytelling and narrative. As a scholar-activist, her work centers students of color; Asian American and Pacific Islander students; Southeast Asian American students; intergenerational resilience; and the role of student activism in transforming higher education. A community organizer at heart, Vanessa is invested in cultivating liberating and inclusive campus environments for historically marginalized communities. She has spoken at institutions across the country about student activism and radical love, and been featured on prominent Asian American media outlets, such as Angry Asian Man, Reappropriate, and NBC Asian America. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Project Ava, the Education and Advocacy Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific American Network (APAN) of ACPA, and the Special Projects Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community (APIKC) of NASPA. She spends her free time learning how to be a good puppy mom to Taro and consuming shows on Netflix.
My name is Bolina (Like Thumbelina without the Thumb) Thach, but I go by Bo. I'm a 25 year old Cambodian-American from Orlando, Florida. I'm studying at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Character Animation.
I've been drawing my whole life. I'm a non-practicing Theravada Buddhist. I'd like to one day work for a video game company or an animation studio. My continual source of inspiration, love and energy is my significant other, Zabdiel Rivera.
Christina is a Vietnamese American residing in Hillsboro, Oregon. Her parents are Vietnamese immigrants and their experiences inspire her to fight for social justice. Christina is a resistance fighter at the ACLU of Oregon where she supports fundraising efforts and data management. Believing that food is a bridge that connects different generations and cultures, Christina is often found enjoying new restaurants or trying new new recipes in the kitchen.
When Bay Area native Jamie Balaoro graduated from SF State, equipped with a degree and experience in multimedia journalism, she was met with breaking news that many major publications across the nation laid off their staff photographers. Frustrated by the continuing belittling of her craft, Balaoro was determined to give visual storytelling the respect it deserved. With the grand vision of creating a platform dedicated solely to visual storytelling, coupled by the belief in its power and value, Balaoro founded The Golden Bullet Magazine. The name is inspired by "Balaoro," which means Golden Bullet in Spanish.
The Golden Bullet Magazine is a visual-driven lifestyle online magazine and creative storytelling space for the creative types. We at TGBM stand by the evolution of journalism. Photos, videos, illustrations, digital graphics and other creative outlets have allowed storytellers to bring every-day stories to new heights. We aim to take stories to a creative level to strengthen the connection between virtual experiences and reality. Creativity thrives on endless possibilities and here at TGBM, this is what we strive to capture. Life is full of many things; food, music, art, travel, people, culture and everything else in between – The Golden Bullet Magazine aims to cover it all through stunning visuals. We’re shooting photo & video around the world, telling one story at a time.
Teresa Tran is a Vietnamese American writer and feminist who tweets a lot about books, writing, Star Wars, Kelly Marie Tran, and Southeast Asian diaspora topics. When not tweeting about her passions, she is studying at the University of Georgia and writing in her spare time with hopes of being published one day!
Nancy Monteiro (maiden name Mongkhonvilay) was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. She is the oldest of three children. She lived her whole life in the Midwest until she got accepted at Marymount University, where she graduated as a honor student with a B.A. in Psychology. She started her career working for a Fortune 500 company in consulting, and it paid for her Masters in Human Resource Management at University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She is currently a small business owner and a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful children who are half-Laotian and half-Portuguese. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering at her children's school, and doing charity work in the community.
Malina Tea Tran is based in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees. After graduating from UCLA, she spent time in New York City where she gained experience in urban planning and web development. She loves cities, photography, and clean code. She is a software engineer. Catch her ramblings on twitter.com/malinatran or medium.com/@malina.
I am a daughter of Khmer refugees. I have inherited resilience, resistance, and resolve from my family. As a Khmer American emerging scholar, I am inspired to uplift the voices and stories of our Southeast Asian communities in academia. I aspire to use my positionality and platform to ensure that the stories of my family and community are never forgotten. Instead, our stories can empower change in our educational systems for the pursuit of a just and equitable society. We are here to stay and we have much to contribute.
I’m just your average college student living in beloved California. If I’m not outside with the trees or looking for food and fun, you can usually find me in my natural habitat: sleeping in bed with my laptop open from binge watching something--whether it be TV shows, anime, or Asian dramas. Occasionally, you’ll find me sticking my nose in a book, lost in another world. Other pastimes include listening to music and attempting to advance my amateur cooking :)
Follow @veganviets on Instagram to see delicious vegan recipes and hotspots! https://www.instagram.com/veganviets/
Shayne Nuesca is a Filipino-American who was raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She immigrated to the United States when she was six-years-old, and her experiences as an immigrant inspired her to become a journalist. She loves to travel, learn about other cultures, and meet new people. She is most passionate about documenting community and humanity as a whole. You can see some of her work at shaynenuesca.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@shaynenuesca).
Tori Huynh is the creator of Hai Bà Trưng, a Vietnamese legend reimagined as a modern revenge bike gang drama. Inspired by the emotional intimacy and sleek cinematography of Wong Kar Wai and Barry Jenkins, her work combines her love of art house cinema and the Vietnamese American experience to discuss the heartbreak of diaspora.
Trung Nguyen is the Youth Coordinator for BPSOS, Boat People S.O.S., an organization that serves the needs of Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans. We sat down to interview Trung about his parents’ refugee experience, his childhood growing up as a Vietnamese-American, and his work at BPSOS. For more information about BPSOS, please check out their website: http://www.bpsos.org/
Rose Xiong (pronounced like “song”), known by her friends as Rosie, is an 18-year-old Hmong-American from Kansas. She plans to major in Public Relations while attending a local community college to save money. She loves to travel and learn about different cultures. Her passions include music, film, and getting to know people, and she is a strong believer and follower of Christ. We met Rosie by coming across her beautiful and poignant YouTube video, “I am Hmong.” You can see her videos and subscribe to her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/wonderosie
Nancy Phu is 1.5 generation, someone who is born is one country and later immigrates to another country before or during his or her teenage years. Nancy herself was born in Vietnam, and immigrated to the United States when she was around 13 years old. Below is our interview with her in which she talks about her memories of Vietnam, and her experiences as a Vietnamese Boat Person and a new immigrant in America. She currently resides in California with her family.
***This interview was conducted in Cantonese, Vietnamese, and English, and was later transcribed into English by PYD.