Growing up, speaking or being Vietnamese wasn’t considered “cool”. As I translated for my grandparents and sometimes my own parents, I, like many children of immigrants quickly learned which language was considered valuable in American society and which wasn’t. The US education system affirmed this as the start of my academic journey marked the end of the development of my Vietnamese language skills.
As a FLAS fellow, I have the opportunity to use the very institution that undervalued my heritage language to reclaim my mother tongue and decolonize my identity. As a future clinical social worker and anti racist advocate, I aim to one day speak Vietnamese with clients and community members alike. My ultimate goal is to work toward healing the intergenerational trauma rampant in my community.