Vietnamese Death Anniversaries Unite Young and Old

By Christine Nguyen, MD. This story originally appeared on KALW FM’s “Crosscurrents.

In 2006, my Mom had a dream. Grandma sat above her, perched on a black stone wall so high her feet didn’t touch the floor. “Mother,” Mom called, “You’re up so high. You might fall to your death.”

A phone call interrupted Mom’s dream. It was her brother. Their mother was dead. “Sister,” he added, “I’ve made Mother a tombstone. Black. Granite from India.”

Ancestor worship is the most common religious practice in Vietnam. It’s called Đạo Ông Bà, or “belief in Grandfather and Grandmother.” When a Vietnamese parent dies, the children make an altar in their homes for the parent’s spirit to live. The practice is.... Read More

             

Five Inspirational Stories for Women’s History Month

In 1987, March was declared Women’s History Month, a time to commemorate the vital role of women in shaping history. Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate women of all backgrounds, to acknowledge the importance of their roles in our lives, and to support their efforts to make the world a better place. Women have shaped history through their leadership, courage, strength, and compassion. Although many of the contributions of women have been recognized and celebrated, women still face inequality in many aspects of their lives, reminding us that we have more work to do. As we celebrate the countless achievements made by women across all aspects of life, we must also support their fight towards social justice. Women’s.... Read More

             

Protecting Southeast Asian American Families

In a recent essay published in AAPI blog Reappropriate, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) executive director Quyen Dinh recounted what is what like for her to grow up poor and not know it.

In elementary school, my day started with getting breakfast from the cafeteria window, where I got to choose a cereal box along with a small carton of milk from our cafeteria lady, Angie.  She had short curly silver hair and always happily provided us our breakfast, along with a great smile.

For lunch, I lined up with the rest of my classmates to get lunch from Angie, too. Each of us carried a small envelope with our names on it.

I didn’t realize,.... Read More

             

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center Host Immigration Report Briefings on Capitol Hill

On September 26th and 27th, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) hosted briefings on Capitol Hill to help educate and inform elected officials and their staff about the impact of immigration policy on Southeast Asian American (SEAA) communities. During the sessions, the groups discussed findings from their new joint immigration report, “Dreams Detained, in her Words: The effects of detention and deportation on Southeast Asian American women and families,” and women who were interviewed in the immigration report attended the briefings.... Read More

             

Take Action: Tell the Census Bureau We Count

by Monica Speight. This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.

Protect Southeast Asian Americans’ rights to be counted and seen

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that he has directed the Census Bureau to add an untested and unnecessary citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau is now taking public comments to inform the final questionnaire, and our community has an opportunity to establish a strong, clear public record that we oppose the addition of a citizenship question, but we support the expansion of the race and ethnicity categories.

CITIZENSHIP QUESTION
Including a citizenship question.... 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.

Our first.... Read More

             

Health Needs of Older Rural Immigrants Often Overlooked

by Beth Baker. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Micaela Rios, 64, who immigrated to rural western Kansas from Mexico 20 years ago, has a difficult job in a meatpacking plant. After years of packing beef in cold, wet conditions, she developed arthritis and high blood pressure. When she was 60, she had a heart attack.

Many immigrants and refugees work alongside her, some of them older than she, Rios said. Despite the arduous work, she feels lucky that the job comes with health insurance. She hopes to retire once Medicare kicks in.

“One reason she hasn’t retired is because of her health insurance,” said her daughter, Karla Davila, who acted as her mother’s interpreter for this interview..... Read More

             

Southeast Asian Americans Speak Out to Protect Affordable Healthcare

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

             
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