April Remembrance: We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams

    By Quyen Dinh. This article originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.

    Dear SEARAC Community,

    Six months ago, my husband and I became first-time parents.

    In the middle of the pandemic, we welcomed into the world Khải Toyonori Ross.

    In Vietnamese, Khải means victory, and in Japanese, Kai means ocean.

    We wanted to connect him to both his Vietnamese and Japanese roots so that he would always know where he came from. So that he would always remember he is a descendant of refugees.

    Across the country this month, Southeast Asian American communities remember our legacy as.... Read More


    To Heal, We Need Community

    The article originally appeared on SEARAC.

    Dear SEARAC community members,

    Over these last few weeks, SEARAC has joined Asian Americans across the country in grief and in alarm over the ongoing anti-Asian violence recently culminating in a nationwide series of separate attacks on our elders. Our hearts go out to the victims of these horrific acts and their families.

    This surge in anti-Asian hate against our communities has hit close to home, directly impacting our SEARAC family. Our Board Vice Chair, Kathy Duong, recently shared her mother’s traumatic experience as one such victim. In describing the support needed for her mother to heal from this incident, Kathy urges, “What my mother needs to heal is a sense of.... Read More


    SEARAC Election Response: We Love, We Heal, We Organize

    This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.

    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


    Solidarity with Syrian Refugees

    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.

    .... Read More


    This post originally appeared on the SEARAC 40andForward blog.

    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