Creating with Community

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Development of Operation Babylift: Perspectives and Legacies was a highly collaborative, community-based process that unfolded over the course of one year. The process was rooted in key values and practices: dialogue, honesty, compassion, and respect for diverse perspectives and personal truths.

Forty years after Operation Babylift unfolded, over 40 community members – all with different connections to the event – helped shape this exhibition. They include Vietnamese adoptees, adoption agency workers, military and medical personnel, Vietnam veterans, civilian volunteers, adoptive parents, people who contested Operation Babylift, and Vietnamese Americans. We acknowledge the voices that were not present in this process – in particular, birth families.

By engaging in dialogue with these community members, exhibition curators explored different experiences, memories, and understandings of the events. Community members were involved throughout the development of the exhibition, from shaping the original concept to contributing ideas, artifacts and personal stories on display in the final gallery and participating in public programming.

Our thanks to the community members who shared their thoughts, words, and voices with us, making invaluable contributions to this exhibition. We appreciate the honesty, kindness and enthusiasm they brought to the process. They have our deepest gratitude.


Aimee PhanMaria Eitz
Anh Đào KolbeMark Oscherwitz MD
Bert Ballard, Ph.D.Mike Frailey
BJ PattersonMike Howe
Canh Eric OxelsonNancy Stearns
Cath TurnerNhat V. Meyer
Col. John KernNol Le Meyer
Daniel V. Flanagan Jr.Peter Cameron
David Redmon NguyenPhyllis Kaplan
Dick BlanchfieldRobert "Frost" Redeker
Duong Thi Kim LanRoss Bowling
Gabrille LuuRuth Routten
Heather SharpS. Alex Stalcup, MD
Indigo Willing PhD, OAMShirley Keller
Jared Rehberg also known as Vu Tien AnhSister Mary Nelle Gage
Jason Thames HuynhTara Linh Leaman
Jessica McNallyThao P. Nguyen
Lana Mae NooneTom Miller
Lara My-Le PriceTricia Houston
Lonny WeissmanTrista Goldberg​​