“Anchors aweigh,” the theme for the 16th VIA-1 Conference, is a naval term referring to when an anchor is hoisted upwards, allowing the ship to sail forward. This theme partially alludes to a common refugee narrative of the boat people during the Vietnamese Exodus. It is an important part of our origin story; the strength and resilience of our generations prior should serve as inspiration for the community at large, now and in the future. However, the focus of the theme and the conference lies within the importance of weighing anchor. Our future as a community also depends on the ability for each and every one of us to think of fresh and innovative ways to set sail and push ourselves forward, as individuals and as a stronger community with every coming generation. How can we accomplish these goals? How can we empower each other as students and young professionals? How do we advance ourselves socially, culturally, intellectually, and how do we bring others up with us? Answer these questions, ask your own, and more at the 16th Annual VIA-1.
Every year, the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of the Midwest (UVSA-Midwest) hosts the Vietnamese Interacting as One (VIA-1) Conference in a selected state within the region. For the upcoming Spring, the University of Cincinnati has been given the opportunity to be the host of this upcoming conference, which will take place from April 6-8, 2018. As UVSA-Midwest’s largest event, VIA-1 brings together hundreds of individuals from VSA communities not only from the Midwest region, but also from other areas of the country. This conference aims to develop and strengthen the leadership skills of young professionals through workshops and activities, but also encourages them to inspire others and make great accomplishments by utilizing the knowledge and skills obtained over the weekend.