Ocean Le, program coordinator at Diverse Elders Coalition and a SEARAC LAT alumnus, says he’s been his parents’ translator for as long as he can remember.
“I can tell you their Social Security numbers right now because I’ve been supporting them my whole life,” shares Ocean, the eldest of three children to a Nigerian Vietnamese immigrant mother and Vietnamese French immigrant father.
With his dad being a self-employed taxi driver who cannot speak English very well, Ocean has done his taxes since childhood. When he.... Read More
By Mandy Diec. This article originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.
In 1991, my family and I arrived in California as part of the final wave of refugees resettling in the United States after the Vietnam War. My dad has retold this story many times. I loved these stories as a child because the focus was always on the lighter, amusing parts of the story, like when my parents tossed away a diaper they were given on the plane because they had no idea what it was, rather than the heavier reality of leaving the traumas of war and persecution* and beginning the fear and anxiety of acculturating and assimilating in this new, adopted country.
On June 19, 1865, more than 250,000 African Americans enslaved in Texas were notified of their freedom, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. One hundred fifty five years later, on the anniversary of what we now celebrate as Juneteenth, SEARAC stands in solidarity with the Black community in honoring this important history and to fight in defense of Black lives.
Inspired by the important work Southeast Asian American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander leaders are.... Read More
SEARAC 2020 Census: Voices from the Vietnamese Community
Luke Kertcher ESL Teacher, Aldine Independent School District Houston, TX
Back in March as part of #StatsinSchools week, SEARAC Census Ambassador (and former intern) Luke Kertcher, an ESL teacher based in Texas, designed a scavenger hunt and trivia activity about the census. “We were able to learn and discuss more about why the census is important, especially for our immigrant and refugee communities,” he said. “I also distributed flyers in my students’ home languages—Spanish and.... Read More
SEARAC 2020 Census: Voices from the Cambodian Community
Lanica Angpak Director and founder, Cambodian American Girls Empowering Philadelphia, PA
Like many other programs across the country, COVID-19 has forced Cambodian American Girls Empowering (CAGE) to stop its traditional classes and move its offerings to a completely virtual setting. “While it has been a struggle to learn how to build new capacity and bridges from screens to homes, it’s also been so wonderful to be able to provide relief and joy to.... Read More
2020 Census: Voices from the Hmong, Lao, and Iu Mien Communities
Kao Thun Executive director, Iu Mien Community Services Sacramento, CA
Before the COVID outbreak, Iu Mien Community Services (IMCS) in Sacramento, CA, had planned to set up its office as a census questionnaire assistance kiosk, where people could get support in filling out their form. Now, IMCS Executive Director Kao Thun says his organization has had to shift to social media as the primary outreach tool, while involving volunteers, staff, and Iu-Mien community district leaders.... Read More
The Diverse Elders Coalition Calls for an End to the Racist Violence and Inequity Destroying Our Country and for Justice for George Floyd
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African American man, was killed by police officers in Minneapolis. He, like many before him, is a victim of the racism that has been deeply engrained in many of our systematic infrastructures.
It is our duty to speak up during these times.
The Diverse Elders Coalition is made up of six member organizations – the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, the National Hispanic Council on Aging, the National Indian Council on Aging, the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center, SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders), and the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging – and we.... Read More
by Gina Le. This article originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.
I am privileged to have been born and raised in Little Sài Gòn, the ethnic enclave that Vietnamese refugees carved out of the heart of Orange County, California, and transformed into one of the largest Vietnamese diasporic communities in the world. Here, in the sunny suburbs of California, I was privileged to have never been an anomaly; I grew up surrounded by kids who looked and talked like me. Just the “Nguyễn” section in my high school’s yearbooks consistently spanned hundreds of names. I even wrote about Little Sài Gòn in my college admissions essay, opining at length about entire blocks of small businesses without.... Read More
Last month, SEARAC proudly launched a voter education guide for the 2020 presidential election. The resource, targeted primarily to Southeast Asian American voters, includes responses from all candidates currently still running for president: Donald Trump (R), Joe Biden (D), and Bernie Sanders (D). SEARAC asked all three of these presidential campaigns about their stances on key issues that impact the SEAAs, including the following categories:
Data equity / data disaggregation Culturally relevant K-12 support College access, affordability, and completion Access to affordable healthcare Culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services Government programs to.... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition Launches New COVID-19 Resource Hub
The COVID-19 pandemic has directly impacted older adults and caregivers in the United States. COVID-19 cases have surpassed 1 million, and there is at least one COVID-19 case in all 50 states. Individuals with weaker immune systems and underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to COVID-19, placing many older adults and people with disabilities at risk.
In our communities, COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on elders and caregivers, the challenges of which are exacerbated by existing health disparities and other socioeconomic factors, such as housing, poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and discrimination. It is not.... Read More