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New Exhibit Highlights Project Ngoc's Humanitarian Activism

The UCI Libraries' spring exhibit, Hope of Freedom: Project Ngoc's Decade of Dedication chronicles the history and wide-reaching impact of Project Ngoc (Project Pearl), a UCI student-led humanitarian organization whose decade of activism raised awareness and support for the plight of Vietnamese MGrefugees detained in camps in Asia after the Vietnam War.

The opening night event will be held on Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 5:30pm in Langson Library and will feature a talk by Manuel N. Gómez, Ph.D (Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Student Affairs), titled Student Activism and Social Justice: A History of Social Change. The program will include introductions by Interim University Librarian Lorelei Tanji and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Thomas Parham.

Conceived in 1987 by graduate student Tom Wilson as a class at UCI, Project Ngoc grew into a remarkable humanitarian effort that made a difference in the lives of many Vietnam War refugees. Hope of Freedom traces Project Ngoc's impressive accomplishments, including sending student volunteers to camps in Hong Kong, Thailand, and the Philippines to teach classes and deliver gifts, supplies and financial donations. Featured prominently in the exhibit are photographs of the camps, and paintings the refugees made, many with powerful images of their desperate yearning for freedom. The exhibit highlights Project Ngoc's influence at the local, national, and international level through newsletters, student journals, and program materials that reveal the group's tireless efforts on behalf of the refugees.

inviteProject Ngoc donated their rich materials to the Southeast Asian Archive, which is part of the UCI Libraries Special Collections & Archives, where they are available for research. The nationally recognized Southeast Asian Archive documents the experiences of refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam who came to the United States – many to California – beginning in 1975.

Hope of Freedom, curated by the Special Collections and Archives staff, will be on display through October 2012 in the Langson Library Muriel Ansley Reynolds Gallery during regular library hours.



For more information, please contact Michelle Light, Head of Special Collections, Archives, and Digital Scholarship (x47193 or michelle.light@uci.edu).


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