An event hosted by the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is always sure to be filled with thoughtful, inspirational, and powerful moments, but none as powerful as the Diverse Elders Coalition’s family caregiving presentation at this year’s Moving Mountains Equity Summit in Sacramento, CA. I was thrilled to be able to share some of the preliminary findings of our family caregiving research, which has been generously supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation. After months of collecting surveys and conducting focus groups, it was exciting and satisfying to be able to share the results of our work with an audience of people most impacted by the programs and policies that will.... Read More
Ta Heng: “The older generation, my generation, needs resources.”
Heng Kem (whom we affectionately refer to as “Ta Heng” which means “Grandpa Heng” in Khmer) has always been one of The Cambodian Family’s most active residents. He and his wife came to the United States back in 2008, when his son (who arrived here in the late 90s) was finally able to sponsor them both. Ta found about our agency through his daughter-in-law, who used to be a client of ours, and has been an active participant and responsible community member ever since.
One of our proudest moments with Ta was when he finally passed his citizenship test and became U.S. citizen! The Cambodian Family.... Read More
Register now for SEARAC’s Moving Mountains equity summit in Sacramento, CA!
In just under a month, members the Southeast Asian American community from across the country will be coming together in Sacramento for a powerful convening set to inspire, connect, innovate, and activate.
The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) recently launched its first set of census factsheets to bolster education and civic participation among Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs) in 2020. These resources, which will be translated in-language, target the general SEAA community, in addition to communities that are historically harder to reach and harder to count, including:
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a focus group with Vietnamese family caregivers in Houston, Texas. During the focus group, I learned more about their caregiving experiences, their challenges, and the changes they would like to see in the U.S. healthcare system. Here are some of the things I learned.
“Very thankful for my parents, but sometimes it can be hard to please them, especially when dealing with right and wrong because of our cultural values.” – focus group participant
Cultural Values Influences Caregiving Expectations
In the Vietnamese community, traditional values have a big impact on caregivers. Traditional values such as filial piety — respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors — influence many Vietnamese caregivers to exclusively.... Read More
Take action: Submit a comment to protect health care rights for all
Health is a human right, and that is why we believe that a patient’s health should come first. The Trump Administration has introduced a new proposed rule that would radically reinterpret civil rights protections under the Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act) for people who are limited English proficient (LEP). This includes changing how US Department of Health and Human Services and federal and state health insurance marketplaces must comply with the law, limiting enforcement of civil rights, and rolling.... Read More
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
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
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
What Is At Stake For Vietnamese Communities If The Affordable Care Act Is Struck Down?
Every year on April 30, many Vietnamese living across the globe commemorate what they term the end of the Vietnamese war (also known as the American war in Vietnam). Whatever side we were on, the war and its aftermath forever remain painful and frightening and continue to affect the health and wellbeing of the Vietnamese population.
After the war, my family and I joined over a million other Vietnamese immigrants who made the journey to reside in the.... Read More