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STORY // Lynn L.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — "I had the balls to ask, 'Are there any boxing gloves for women?' Beyond bubble-gum pink gloves, there wasn’t. The business idea was revealed to me because of my students and the women I trained with, and I figured, 'What do I have to lose?' That’s always been my mindset when starting my business. It’s been four years since..."

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STORY // Kavi V.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — "One time there was a bad storm, and my dad woke us up to check on the farm. There always has to be electricity because chickens need ventilation and little chicks need a lot of heat. On that night, the power went out and the generator didn't kick on. Usually when you walk into a chicken house, the chickens are...

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STORY // Evyn L. E.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — "We usually think of history as something that is state organized—you need a nation state that has archives as institutions, they write the history books, and distribute them through schools. But history-writing has never been a neutral project. Because the state of South Vietnam does not exist after 1975, the question becomes: how do stateless communities continue to organize their history?"...

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STORY // Tien V. part 2

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — “Before we [could] get into Philippine waters…we [had] to lower our South Vietnam flag, and put up the American flag on our ship…We [sang] our South Vietnamese anthem—for the last time—to lower it down. Everybody was very emotional. It [was] no longer our country."

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STORY // Kelly P.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — "As a kid, I was surrounded by American culture six out of seven days in the week—but every Sunday, I was back in touch with my Vietnamese roots. At church, I was around Vietnamese people, I ate our street foods after mass, and I took classes to learn how to read and write in Vietnamese."

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STORY // Tien V.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — "Resettling in America was the third time my parents started from nothing. They were grateful for this country and the freedom it provides. Nothing was too big or too small or beneath them. They did anything to provide us a better life, and sacrificed their own ambitions for our education."

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STORY // John N.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — "My mom was pregnant with me when they came to America. I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1992—the youngest of nine siblings and tie-breaker between four brothers and four sisters. My dad was in the South Vietnamese army, and was sent to prison after the war. My parents told me things were so bad at that time, they were...

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STORY // Tinh N.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — "I was born in a poor family. My family lived in the North. And then, after the treaty in 1954, my parents left North Vietnam with our family to start a new life in South Vietnam. Almost the same as when I left the country and then went to the United States in 1975. Had I ever thought that one...

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STORY // Paulina T.

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — Paulina and I know each other from college—we were members of a hip-hop/cultural dance team at North Carolina State University. Since then, she was crowned Miss Vietnam of the Carolinas, she served in the Peace Corps, and she recently started graduate school. I got the chance to catch up with her in Durham, and we’re honored to share her stories....

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Token Logo and Heritage Cycle Explained

Jimmy Patel-Nguyen :: — The REFUGENE Token is our reminder of the connection between generations. The six sides of the Token represent the six steps of the heritage cycle. This symbol is our way of honoring our past, our cultural identity, and the potential of future generations.

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