Whenever I tell people that I work in the field of aging, it raises more than a few eyebrows. I started working with the Diverse Elders Coalition before my 30th birthday, and even though I’m a few years older and wiser now, it still feels like few of my peers are thinking about aging, much less how they can support the generations who have come before them. And yet, in a country that threatens older adults’ access to healthcare, that tears immigrant families apart, that denies Muslim elders entry to this country to be with their family members, and that has a division of religious freedom at the highest levels of government to deny.... Read More
Next week, the Diverse Elders Coalition will be participating in SEARAC’s annual Leadership and Advocacy Training (LAT) program in Washington, D.C. This post from SEARAC’s new Director of Communications and Development, Elaine Sanchez Wilson, shares how the LAT program relies on storytelling — a key component of the Diverse Elders Coalition’s work — to make change in the halls of Congress that will reverberate in our communities across the country.
One of my earliest childhood memories was a lazy summer afternoon spent curled up in bed, devouring a tiny collection of Amelia Bedelia books that I’d borrowed from the neighborhood library. I was a new reader and couldn’t get enough of it; I skipped dinner and instead consumed page.... Read More
Linh’s Story: An American Success Story Made Possible by Family-Based Immigration
by Linh Chuong. This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.
In 1986, my dad was forced to flee Vietnam because of persecution. He came to the United States as a refugee and was relocated to Oakland along with my three older brothers. As a child, I remained in Vietnam with my mother and three siblings, and my father filed paperwork to bring the rest of my family to the United States so we could be together again. We spent almost a decade apart before we were reunited as a family in East Oakland eight years later.
This past week, all five members of the Diverse Elders Coalition attended the American Society on Aging’s annual Aging in America Conference in San Francisco, California. Staff from our member organizations were featured on dozens of panel discussions, workshops, and at events throughout the week, including our Thursday morning Symposium, “Fighting For Our Lives: Advocacy and Diverse Elders.” This powerful session highlighted the advocacy efforts of each of the Diverse Elders Coalition members, many of which were inspired by the DEC’s groundbreaking 2016 #TellACL civic engagement campaign. From that template, our member organizations developed nuanced and successful advocacy campaigns that centered the voices of their constituencies, including:
For many Southeast Asian Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal fight last year felt personal.
When the ACA was first passed, uninsured rates in Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese American communities were high. Compared to the 15% of Americans overall who did not have health insurance in 2011, 20% of Cambodian, 20% of Vietnamese, 19% of Laotian, and 16% of Hmong Americans were uninsured. Too many families used emergency rooms as last-resort healthcare providers or went for years without regular check-ups.
Only four years later in 2015, the uninsured rate was cut in half. Thousands of families were finally accessing the preventative and life-saving care that they needed. Some accessed care through the healthcare exchange, supported by subsidies to.... Read More
Southeast Asian Americans March in DC to Commemorate Community’s Fight for Justice, Freedom, and Self-Determination
On Saturday, October 14, 150 Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans and allies converged on the National Mall in Washington, DC, as part of the Southeast Asian American March for Equity. The march coincided with the national gathering Moving Mountains: A Southeast Asian American Equity Summit. National leaders and organizers from diverse Southeast Asian American communities came together to reflect on the community’s 40+ year journey from surviving war and displacement as refugees to honoring and carrying on the legacy of the American civil rights movement.
The Diverse Elders Coalition is attending this week’s Moving Mountains equity summit in Washington, DC, hosted by the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). National Managing Coordinator Jenna McDavid wrote this blog to highlight the importance of bringing older adults into the fight for equity, justice and freedom. On Saturday, October 14th, participants of the summit will march from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in DC. Learn more and join the march here.
When I joined the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) in 2015 as a Communications Associate, once of my first tasks was to find us some good stock photography that we could use in our reports and on our website..... Read More
Stop the Inhumane Prison Transfer of Manuel Syphanh Khiobouakham
My name is Phat McGlothlin. I am the mother of Manuel Syphanh Khiobouakham, who is currently serving a 7-year state prison sentence.
About two months ago, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) transferred my son from Vacaville, California to Eloy, Arizona — ripping apart my family’s connection to my son.
I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand during the aftermath of the American War in Vietnam and the Secret War in Laos. During the Secret War, Laos was bombed more heavily than any other country in history: nearly one ton of bombs were.... Read More
Aggressive Deportation Policies Tear Family Caregivers Away From the Elders Who Depend on Them
Show your community solidarity against efforts to divide us.
The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is a proud champion of the nationwide, community-driven movement to disaggregate Asian American and Pacific Islander data categories to reveal the tremendous diversity and unmet needs within our communities. We denounce efforts by a small faction to divide the community based on fear-mongering and distortion – join us by signing on to this open letter.
We celebrate the historical strides that community-based organizations have made in passing or introducing legislation at the state level for data disaggregation ranging from.... Read More