Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

June 3, 2015

No Longer Invisible: Ly Huynh

This personal submission is a part of the “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” project, a story series established to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month at the UW.

Ly Huynh

Name: Ly Huynh

Identity: Vietnamese

Major: Public Health

Personal Interests: “Some of my fondest early memories find their roots in the Vietnamese New Year, Tết. The food, the dances, the music, and the celebrations of Tết never fail to inspire nostalgia and happiness and it continues to be my favorite holiday.”

“I want the AAPI community to finally bust out of the “bamboo ceiling” that often holds Asians from holding high positions of power. I want to see familiar faces in all sorts of industries, not just in the science and medical fields. I want young AAPI kids to have role models and superheroes who look like them no matter where their aspirations lie.”

“My father’s family immigrated after the Vietnam War. My paternal grandfather was a south Vietnamese military police officer and his family was specifically targeted after the war. My father had a troubling time in both the fields of Cambodia and a Malaysian refugee camp. Eventually, he got to the states and rejoined his family where he met my mother. My mother immigrated after the war as well. The war had devastating her hometown of Saigon and her family left for in search of safety and prosperity.

My parents always stress the importance of taking care of my friends. Vietnamese relationships are built on respect and dependence. I was taught to treat guests better than myself. The bonds of friends and family are strong and supportive.

It’s important that the AAPI community be visible because we are so often generalized. Asian, to the general public somehow always equates to East Asian: China, Japan, and Korea. This perception creates dangerous stereotypes, such as The Model Minority. Being visible is important.”

View mores stories from the “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” project.