Today as we let the election results sink in, it may feel like hatred and oppression won. We have all witnessed the next President of the United States stoke fear about immigrants and Muslims, disrespect women and people with disabilities, and make explicitly racist statements. Those engaged in the fight for true equity, justice, and empowerment of immigrants, refugees, and communities of color are feeling a great deal of grief — feeling that our nation’s vote was a personal attack on who we are, the values we stand for, and why we are here in America.
What do we do now?
We hold each other closer, and we love our.... Read More
This year marks the 40th year anniversary since the United States opened its doors to millions of men, women and children from Southeast Asia seeking humanitarian protection. SEARAC’s communities—Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese American communities—arose from the largest refugee resettlement in U.S. history. Approximately 1.3 million refugees from war-torn countries in Southeast Asia were resettled into the United States after decades of the U.S. war in Vietnam, the Secret War in Laos, and the bombings of Cambodia, followed by the ruthless Khmer Rouge genocide. In 1975 alone, the United States resettled 4,600 refugees from Cambodia, 800 from Laos, and 125,000 from Vietnam, and continued to welcome hundreds of thousands more in need of safe haven in the years to come.
My name “Quyen” was named after the story of a bird in Viet Nam, who missed its country so much that it would call out for home. My mom brought me into this world two days after she turned 20. She gifted me with this name because she missed her Viet Nam — heart aching to see the faces of her parents whom she had left when she fled as a refugee at the age of 16. Her family’s hope was for her freedom.
To have a place to call home for this daughter of refugees has been a lifelong journey. From a child of refugees who were displaced in.... Read More
40 Years in the Making: Southeast Asian Americans and the 2015 White House Conference on Aging
As the Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) and a member of the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC), I was honored to be invited to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Knowing that the conference only takes place once every ten years, I felt a large sense of responsibility as one of a small group of participants selected to be in the room that day as President Obama helped focus the nation’s attention on the elders in our communities. Many have been observing the anniversaries of important milestones for aging policy that are taking place this year: the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act on July 14, the 50th anniversary of Medicare.... Read More