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
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
Celebrate the SEAA Community’s 45th Anniversary by Counting Yourself During the US Census
*NOTE FOR ETHNIC MEDIA* The below press release is available translated in Khmer and Vietnamese
This month marks the 45th anniversary of the Southeast Asian American community’s refugee experience, when the first wave of SEAAs were resettled in the United States following the fall of Saigon in April 1975, the Khmer Rouge genocide, and bombing campaign in Laos.
By participating in the 2020 Census, Southeast Asian American communities can honor their history of resilience and bring visibility to the needs of future generations. For example, during the 2010 Census, young children ages 0-4.... Read More
NAPCA Launches Automated In-Language Helpline and Website for Older Adults and Caregivers in Response to COVID19
As COVID-19 began moving through our communities, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) immediately initiated conversations with multiple levels of government to ensure the needs of older adults and their caregivers from the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations were being addressed. While we are still continuing our conversations, we recognized the importance of providing access to in-language information and disseminating them through multiple resources. Addressing language barriers and lack of access to information are priorities for us.
In direct response to these priorities, we are launching our automated in-language Helpline and website..... Read More
by Bev Bachel. Bev is a Twin Cities freelancer who writes about the power of purpose and advocates for a range of causes she cares about, including elder rights, cancer support services and financial literacy. She is the author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It.
Research shows that when we have a clear sense of purpose, we live longer, enjoy richer lives and experience improved physical and mental well-being.
The daughter of Cambodian refugees, Jennifer Tang grew up with her family of five in a small apartment in Chinatown, where gang violence was not uncommon, and poverty was evident.
“And yet, I always had a sense of hope because I could see what world was possible through my amazing public schools and libraries,” said Tang, a teacher and SEARAC Leadership and Advocacy Training alumnus who resides in Monterey Park, CA. “I knew that if I studied hard, I could become whatever I wanted to be. And if many of my peers studied hard, the circumstances of our community could improve.”
SEARAC, together with our friends at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, had the.... Read More
Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities Count: 2020 Census and AAPI Older Adults
The phrase “Asian American and Pacific Islander” is an umbrella term encompassing millions of people in the United States, including nearly 50 different ethnic subgroups speaking more than 100 languages. The incredible diversity of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) communities – when coupled with geographic isolation, uncertainty or apathy around the census, and fear of government entities – means that AAPIs are at a high risk of not being counted in the 2020 Census.