Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, PhD.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
The story of BPSOS embodies the aspirations, the courage, and the determination of over one million Vietnamese who fled Communism. As “boat people,” we once braved the high seas, piracy and other dangers to reach freedom – with many of us never making it to the shores. In our new homelands, we rebuilt our individual lives, our families and our communities with faith and liberty and human dignity serving as our internal compass.
Founded in 1980 originally as Boat People S.O.S Committee, we operated voluntary missions to rescue the boat people at sea and protect their refugee rights in asylum camps. Through those activities, we successfully brought to freedom some 25,000 Vietnamese boat people.
Since the end of the Vietnamese boat people saga in 1997, we have expanded our services to assist victims of persecution, torture, violence and exploitation in building their new lives in America. While we continue to rescue and protect Vietnamese victims of human trafficking and of persecution in Vietnam, Southeast Asia, and many other countries, we are taking equally bold initiatives to empower, organize and equip the Vietnamese community in America.
We offer services that are crucial to the Vietnamese American community – ranging from domestic violence prevention to citizenship education to small business development among others. At the same time we have formed new civic institutions and built strong communities across America. Our goal is to transform victims into survivors and active citizens who reach out and help others like them achieve liberty and dignity.
In the past fifteen years, BPSOS has grown from a one-staff organization to a national network of branch offices operating in 15 different locations nationwide and overseas, attracting hundreds of talented and passionate staffs and volunteers. Our team works to meet the unmet needs of refugees and immigrants, organize communities around important issues, and inspire community members of all walks of life to contribute and make a difference.
Greater challenges lie ahead as we embark on new initiatives to further our missions of defending and promoting liberty and human dignity. Our top priorities over the next ten years include mobilizing the entire Vietnamese American community around social justice issues such as business development, political empowerment, civic participation, and language access; engaging more talented and successful Vietnamese Americans to participate in community and public services; organizing Vietnamese community via civic organizations, non-profits, trade associations and professional institutions; and protecting the human rights of Vietnamese victims of persecution or modern-day slavery in Vietnam and overseas. Our achievements over the past 30 years would have been impossible without your trust and steadfast support along the way. Your generosity and encouragement inspire us to go farther and reach higher in the pursuit of our mission.
Nguyen Dinh Thang, PhD.
President & CEO