Jess Boyd

Jess Boyd
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Jess is a Vietnamese-Jewish Londoner who moved to Seattle to invest in, and work with, the Vietnamese American community. Before that, she worked at the National Football League as Head of Gender and Community Development creating workshops and trainings on domestic violence advocacy and male allyship. She founded “this is for mẹ”, a digital magazine for the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora to discuss mothers, motherhood, motherlands, mother-tongues and family, and also provides culturally competent birth support to Southeast Asian birthing parents in her spare time. When she's not doing the above, you'll find her cultivating her Muay Thai skills so that she can teach the next generation of API womxn about self defense and how to embody their physical strength.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: Hometown Flavors

"We had ancestors who were food advisors and cooks for royal families in Central and Southern Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, it was harder to hold onto our treasured recipes. As a first-generation American, I want to ensure our family’s rich history and long-lasting love for Vietnamese food will still be celebrated by generations of Vietnamese people throughout the world."

THIS IS FOR MẸ: Dear Mum

You speak to me in Vietnamese and encourage me to stamp my feet and walk towards you. Are you scared? You ask me. Come on, it’s okay, Ma is here. Ma is here. Thank you for always being there.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: A Phone Call with Mom

In this except of this is for mẹ, Tam Nguyen reflects on a phone call with her mother, exploring how this simple interaction can carry pregnant silences, anchored by words left unsaid, and a love that is textured, ferocious and complex.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: The Worlds Between My Wings

While switching between my identities as Loan the Vietnamese refugee and Kim the American professional has sometimes been an emotionally draining, isolating experience, I have grown to become creative, resourceful, resilient, and empathetic as a result of navigating the in-between.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: To my fourteen-year-old self

To my fourteen-year-old self, Years ago, when we first came to the U.S., remember how Mom used to take you with her to the houses she cleaned? You’d sit in the kitchens of these houses crammed full of wide empty spaces, feet dangling, too scared to touch anything in case you left a mark.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: The Legend of The Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

The frightening monoculture of China looms over Taiwan like hurricane clouds. But we have our own history, our own culture, our own ethnic makeup—many Taiwanese have Japanese and Aborigine blood—and our own way of making beef noodle soup. It’s not just niúròumiàn, 牛肉麵 — it’s Táiwān niúròumiàn, 台灣牛肉麵.