In November of 2013, my childhood friend Andy Vo Pham, 21, passed away in Los Angeles, CA. He was a pledge of an Asian Greek Fraternity at the time and engaged in pledge activities leading up to his death. No one present at the incident came forward with information. On Wednesday, November 13th, just nine days afterwards, I saw Andy one last time as we laid him to rest. It's taken me four years to process, heal and make sense of what had happened.  

In memory and honor of Andy, I am now on a journey to engage with alumni, actives and pledges within the Asian American Sorority and Fraternity community. '4 pledges' is about open and authentic dialogue on how young people can stay safe with four pledges:

STAY POSITIVE // STAY FOCUSED // STAY STRONG // STAY ALIVE

 

Andy had a bright future ahead of him with a determination to get his life and career on track in the insurance industry. He joined the fraternity to build long-lasting relationships and networks. Like Andy, over a decade ago, I pledged an Asian American greek organization at UCLA called Theta Kappa Phi.

I was an unlikely candidate but it was the story of its' core founder, Margaret Shinohara Ohara, that drew me in. The oral history of her willingness to challenge a racist pan-hellenic greek system post World World II, and her resolve to create one of the first Asian American sororities, spoke to my inner passion on social impact issues. Since graduating UCLA, I've focused on community organizing, activism and the arts while coming into my own truth as a Vietnamese Queer woman of color.

 

I look forward to simply connecting and potentially collaborating on a series of conversations, digital features and a sign-on letter to encourage the '4 pledges' commitment. Make the pledge.

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