by Cha Vang, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hmong Innovating Politics and a member of SEARAC’s Advisory Council for Moving Mountains 2019. This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.
The Southeast Asian American (SEAA) community has always had an abundance of resilient, strong, and powerful leaders. SEARAC’s Moving Mountains Equity Summit brought together these leaders in 2017, and it allowed me to see the enormous possibilities when generations of leaders are put in one room. My organization, Hmong Innovating Politics, led a workshop on building power with civic engagement, and it was.... Read More
War, Trauma, and the Mental Health of Vietnam War-Era Older Adults
After the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, many Vietnamese people fled their war-torn country for the United States in search for a better life. Thousands of Vietnamese adults, children, and families crammed onto boats and traveled to the United States leaving their belongings, loved ones, and former lives behind. These people lost everything except for their memories of the fall of Saigon, the horrors of communist re-education camps, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. For many Vietnamese individuals, these memories may transpire psychological trauma similar to the many Vietnam War-era U.S. veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after a person experiences or observes.... Read More
How a Slavery Legacy Made This 65-Year-Old a Georgetown Undergrad
by Richard Harris. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
It’s been nearly 14 years since Hurricane Katrina washed away all the physical mementos of Mélisande Short-Colomb’s life along the Mississippi Gulf coast. Her nearly 200-year-old Pass Christian, Miss., house and everything in it was gone in an instant — the family Bible, every photograph, document and piece of furniture, including the rocking chair with the baby bite marks that had been in her family for generations.
“Nobody was hurt. But we were all hurt. We survived,” says Short-Colomb, 65, the emotional scars still quite.... Read More
Vietnamese immigrants care for parents with dementia, amidst stigma
It was August 24, 2017, one day before Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 hurricane, hit Houston and dumped more water than any storm ever recorded in United States history. In just a few days, Houston saw as much rain as it usually saw in a year. My brother picked up our dad, who was 82, at his house, where he lived alone, and they evacuated to higher ground. They rode out the storm in the countryside. My brother’s in-laws had gotten 10 pounds of ground beef and made enough chili to last through the storm. This is.... Read More
For the last 20 years, the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) has been mentoring advocates from Southeast Asian American (SEAA) and ally communities. Through SEARAC’s Leadership and Advocacy Training (LAT) program, SEAA members and allies participate in three days of training to develop communication and advocacy skills. SEARAC’s LAT program enables participants to transform their community’s story into policy change with focuses on health policy, education policy, and immigration policy. The program ends with a day of advocacy where participants meet with their Congressional representatives and/or staff to address the issues in their respective communities. Last week I got to attend SEARAC’s LAT program and it was one of the most memorable experiences I have.... Read More
Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month Highlight on Asian American Pacific Islanders
Alzheimer’s disease is a public health issue that impacts many. In the United States, 5.8 million people live with Alzheimer’s, while over 16 million family members and friends serve as their unpaid caregivers.
In light of June being Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) is taking the time to reflect on how Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia uniquely impacts the aging Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Working closely with older adults through our programs, we feel the importance of these issues more with each day. After all, one of the greatest known risk factors for Alzheimer’s is age.
For example, African Americans and Latinos face a higher risk for some of our country’s most common health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
To understand and address these disparities, greater attention must be paid to the role of.... Read More
Hatefas’ Story: Public Assistance Allowed My Refugee Family to Dream for a Better Future
Born in Santa Ana, CA, to two Muslim refugee survivors of the Cambodian genocide, Hatefas Yop wasn’t aware of her family’s use of public services when she was a young girl. After all, her peers in her elementary school all hailed from the local neighborhood, where many immigrant and refugee families had to live in one-bedroom apartments subsidized by Section 8 housing. She didn’t understand the melancholy in an elder whom Hatefas referred to as “Grandma,” when she said her food stamps (paper at the time) weren’t ‘real money.’ “But you could use it to.... Read More
Lost in Translation: Google’s Translation of Palliative Care to ‘Do-Nothing Care’
by Cynthia X. Pan, MD, FACP, AGSF. This article originally appeared on the GeriPal blog.
My colleagues often ask me: “Why are Chinese patients so resistant to hospice and palliative care?” “Why are they so unrealistic?” “Don’t they understand that death is part of life?” “Is it true that with Chinese patients you cannot discuss advance directives?”
As a Chinese speaking geriatrician and palliative care physician practicing in Flushing, NY, I have cared for countless Chinese patients with serious illnesses or at end of life. Invariably, when Chinese patients or families see me, they ask me if I.... Read More
A Little Too Late: Some Chinese American Vets to Never Receive WWII Gold Medal
Peter Woo would never get the chance to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his indelible service during World War II.
He died unexpectedly only six days before President Trump signed the Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act into law on Dec. 20, 2018. Woo, along with many other Chinese American veterans of World War II, have passed away in the past few years. Now there are less than 100 veterans who might be able to receive this recognition for their service.
Flying Tiger Squadron
Woo was born in 1919 to a literary family in Taishan, Guangdong province. He came to the United States as a.... Read More