VAR’s programs cover three key strategic issue areas: Community Building, Civic Engagement, and Cultural Learning.

Since its 2013 inception, VAR was built through the efforts of volunteers, who are bilingual Vietnamese Americans working and volunteering in a variety of different fields. As Vietnamese Americans spanning different generations and backgrounds, our programming is intentionally inclusive to bridge first- and second- generation Vietnamese constituencies with the larger Santa Clara County communities. VAR’s bilingual programs are broad, ranging from community festivals and fairs, to voter education forums and panels, to in-language and cultural outreach to connect government agencies and corporate responsibility programs.  

Community Building

Part of VAR’s mission is to advocate for our community. We do that through educating our community about the issues that impact us and through meaningful partnerships for civic and community engagement. These kinds of projects ensure that we are involved in the important decisions that are made on the national stage and down to the local level. We take on these kinds of projects because our apathy to issues involving immigration, housing, human rights, and other matters gives others the power to make decisions for us rather than with us.

VAR is proud of its history of engagement and activism through culturally competent organizing. We integrate our advocacy into the events and projects we take on to observe and honor our culture, and we collaborate with other groups representing local youth, seniors, and neighborhoods to bring us closer together.

Justice for Workers Conference
March 2018: Wildflower Walks with the Open Space Authority
Cafe VAR Escape Room @ VeggieFest
UVSA Summit Presentation
API Voter Training
VAR on CreaTV’s Valley Politics
VAR-o-Ween Public Safety & Haunted House |
2018 Willy Wonka and the Haunted Factory
2017 Nightmare in Wonderland
2016 A Bizarre Bazaar Extravaganza
Inaugural Halloween Family Night

Civic Engagement


VAR recognizes the importance of civic engagement to improve the quality of life and further the goals of the Vietnamese-American community. We seek to engage the community by providing opportunities for our community to participate in the process, whether through education and outreach, participation in voter registration initiatives, and through using our collective voices to shape our lives.

We inform the community of recent changes in the law to protect individual rights; we participate in voter registration drives; and we recruit volunteers for poll monitoring, canvassing, and phone banking. We encourage individuals to uphold their civic duties to make a difference in our community.

VAR COVID-19 Response
VAR 2020 Census Response
SEEDS Summer Program
2020 Santa Clara County’s Voter Choice Act
2018 Student Voter Registration Contest
2018: Vietnamese American Community Symposium on Immigration
San Jose District 7 Candidate Forum | Video by VietVungVinh
2018 API Policy Summit
2014 San Jose Mayoral Election Forum
Monthly Naturalization & Voter Registration

Cultural Learning

Each year, VAR organizes events and workshops that are significant to the community – ranging from immigration forums, district elections, public health resource fairs, community cooking classes and more. Within each of our events, we build on the need to understand and pass on our cultural traditions. It is crucial to build on our intergenerational goals to bridge the gap of understanding and empowerment for our future generations.

Though our cultural events, we learn more about our community’s potential to narrate our stories, vocalize our issues, and mobilize our people. We have reflected on our past experiences and contemplated our future goals. We have acted on the interests of the Vietnamese-American community and our cultural values.

As refugees and children of refugees, we are mindful of the tragic conflicts around the world that have led to the exodus of millions of people from their homes. VAR seeks to encourage an understanding of the Vietnamese American immigrant experience and how it weaves together our past, present and future.

2020 Black April Commemoration
2019 Black April Commemoration
2018 Black April Commemoration
2017 Black April Commemoration
2016 Black April Commemoration
2015 Black April Commemoration
2014 Black April Commemoration
Tet – Lunar New Year
Tet – Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
Cooking with Culture: Cơm Back to Vietnam