Question (Q): What is the VVA National Minority Affairs Committee?
- It is a standing committee at the national level of Vietnam Veterans of America in accordance with the Constitution of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Q: What is the mission of the Minority Affairs Committee?
A: The mission is twofold:
- To ensure that the unique circumstances, needs and concerns of our diverse ethnic minority veterans are valued, respected and addressed.
- To ensure that the inclusive organization mission respects and values the unique circumstances of our diverse ethnic veterans.
Q: Who is an ethnic minority veteran?
A: An ethnic minority veteran is a member of the ethnic minority groups that are defined as African-American, American Indian (Native American), Hispanic/Latino, and Asian American/Pacific Islander American veterans. (This is consistent with the categories defined by the VA Center For Minority Veterans)
Q: Where do we locate ethnic minority veterans?
A: Depending upon where you live, ethnic minority veterans may:
- reside in a defined ethnic community, or
- reside scattered within the general population, or
- be members of a specific ethnic religious organization, community or cultural center, professional or educational fraternity/sorority, or another veterans organization or use the VA.
Q: How do we contact the ethnic minority veterans?
A: There are several approaches:
- Attend events sponsored by the ethnic group, or
- Sponsor or cosponsor an event with the ethnic group, or
- Speak to a meeting of the ethnic group about VVA, or
- Meet members of the ethnic group as they attend your activity and ask to be invited to their activities
- Meet them at the VA Hospital or Clinics or Vet Center
Q: What do we say to ethnic minority veterans to get them to join VVA?
A: Try some of these things:
- First, Welcome them home
- Participate (as discussed above) in some of their activities
- Invite them to participate in your chapter’s activities
- Ask them how they would like to help out
- Show them what VVA does
- Have them talk to VVA members who are from their ethnic group
Q: How do we establish credibility with the ethnic minority veteran if we’re not a member of that ethnic group?
A: Credibility takes a long time to establish, so:
- Your actions speak louder than words
- Treat them with respect and dignity – and, most of all, “LISTEN”
- Try to develop rapport with the member