#SayTheirNames and Black Lives Matter: Krysten Nguyen ’21 Uses Social Media to Promote Understanding

Friday, August 28, 2020
Krysten Nguyen ’21

This summer, Krysten Nguyen '21 helped create a student-run Instagram to deliver information on Black Lives Matter to Vietnamese readers in her mother tongue. The students working on this project also collaborated with two other activist platforms in Vietnam to host a Zoom discussion on BLM and Intersectionality.

"At the beginning of summer, news on police brutality and racial injustices reached my racially homogeneous home country of Vietnam where racial tension seems like a foreign issue," says Nguyen. "Public opinions here are divided, but usually, without the contexts of black lives' experiences in the United States because of the unavailability of information in Vietnamese." Her Instagram site aims to change that.

In addition to this project, Nguyen has been collaborating with 21 other students from other independent schools around the world on an online art exhibition, which is now open and runs until Wednesday, September 2. Incorporating artwork from countries including Vietnam, China, Nepal, and Nigeria, #SayTheirNames is a virtual anti-racism project that strives to amplify the essence of the eponymous movement through the power of arts.

"The artwork is the tool to convey messages of racial justice and human rights, and a panacea to heal and to alleviate the negative emotions resulting from recent events in the world," says Nguyen. "Besides those two goals, we also raise funds to donate to NGOs supporting BIPOCs [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] through revenue from Redbubble merchandise purchases linked to individual art pieces. I am really proud of what we have achieved with these two summer projects and would love for the Mercersburg community to know more about them—especially the #SayTheirNames exhibition since our audiences are global."

Follow along with them online:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vietsforchange/
Exhibition: bit.ly/saytheirnamesexhibition
Exhibition Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saytheirnames.exhibition/
Introduction + instruction video narrated by Nguyen: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CD6ZCLYnq9k/