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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Le Ly Hayslip to offer different
perspective on Vietnam War

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 28, 1999 -- It has been said that during war, heaven and earth change places not once, but many times. Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese woman who grew up during the horrors of the Vietnam War, knows this from first hand experience. She watched the war demolish her family, her home, and her country. As part of the University of Rhode Island's fall honors colloquium series, "Legacies of the Vietnam War," Hayslip will speak of the war as viewed from Vietnamese eyes. Her talk "Vietnamese Women: Voices Unheard" is the fifth annual Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Lecture at URI.

Le Ly Hayslip, who lives in California, will speak in Edwards Auditorium on URI's Kingston Campus on Oct. 5th from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Hayslip grew up the youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family in Ky La, a tiny village in Central Vietnam. When she was 12, the first troops landed in Ky La and fighting began in and around her town. In the following years, Hayslip would endure torture at the hands of South Vietnamese Republican troops, rape by the Viet Cong, near starvation, and the deaths of her father and brother.

Twenty years later, Hayslip escaped Vietnam and came to the United States with her two small sons, speaking no English and with little education. Yet, Hayslip overcame the odds and became a U.S. Citizen in 1978. In the years following, she raised her three sons in Southern California and became a successful businesswoman, establishing the Heaven on Earth Production Company, which produces films and videos and organizes major fund-raising events for corporations and non-profit organizations.

Hayslip has authored two best-selling books, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, and Child of War, Woman of Peace. Both are memoirs of her journey from a childhood in war-torn Vietnam to peace and success in the United States. The books were later adapted into Warner Brother's major motion picture Heaven and Earth, directed by Oliver Stone. She is currently working on her third novel.

Hayslip is dedicated to creating a harmonious and successful relationship between the United States and Vietnam. Hayslip was horrified at the state of Vietnam when she returned home in 1986. The war had a lasting impact on the country. Devastation, poverty, illness, and misery were everywhere. Appalled, she founded the EAST Meets WEST foundation a year later and now presides as Executive Director/CEO. The Foundation is a non-profit, humanitarian relief and development organization that strives to heal the wounds of war between the American and Vietnamese people and provide education opportunities for students. The Foundation has also built schools, health clinics, medical outreach facilities and provided homes for 200 orphaned children.

She has also lectured at universities worldwide and hosts tours to Vietnam. She has traveled on the "Peace Boat," a mission organized by the Japanese to bring peace to 35 countries on five continents by providing cultural and educational exchanges. Hayslip has received a Literary Award, and has been honored for her charitable service.

URI's Colloquium series runs Tuesday nights from 7:30 to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Other speakers include Wallace Terry, contributing editor to Parade magazine and author of "Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans" and television's Peter Arnett.

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For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116



 

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