Jimmy Patel-Nguyen is the founder of REFUGENE, a father, and a child of Vietnamese refugees. With the belief that storytelling will connect future generations to their heritage, REFUGENE strives to encourage young and old generations to document conversations about their journeys as refugees, their accomplishments since then, and the moments that shaped their lives.
Jimmy’s parents were Vietnamese refugees in 1975 but it wasn’t until he graduated college that he asked them to talk in detail about their experiences. That conversation transformed their relationship and this project is his way of urging our community to document our history in our words and in our voice.
Before REFUGENE, Jimmy worked in marketing at Under Armour, NC Museum of Art, Travelocity, Crocs, and UNC Health. Most recently, REFUGENE partnered with UNAVSA to publish a book of stories told by Overseas Vietnamese.