April 2020 - In This Issue:

Dear friends, 

For more than four decades, our Southeast Asian American communities have demonstrated our resilience to survive in the face of adversity and uncertainty. During this 45th year amidst a public health crisis,  it is more important than ever to fight for our families to access pathways to thrive and flourish in this country that we now call home. For those who are able to support the community financially, we've listed below a number of relief funds from our national and local partners. 


In solidarity,


PPP funds replenished
The passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act added an additional $310 billion dollars to the PPP program. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has resumed processing PPP applications, and businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible given the first-come, first-serve nature of the funds. Check with your lender to see if you qualify. More information can be found at the SBA website

School meals during COVID-19
If your child participates in a federal school meal program, the federal stimulus packages in response to COVID-19 can help you with meals for your children despite nationwide school closures. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program would give families an EBT card with the value of free school breakfast and lunch reimbursement rates for the days that schools are closed. Also, the CARES Act created options for federal nutrition programs to expand meal availability, like providing flexibility to meal times and providing meals for families to take home. However, your state must first apply and be approved by the US Department of Agriculture to participate in P-EBT or expand meal availability. Contact your state's education officials to urge them to apply for school meal help, and if you'd like help identifying whether your state submitted an application, reach out to

SEARAC COVID-19 resource landing page 
SEARAC recently launched our COVID-19 resource landing page. The page provides specific information that may be helpful for individuals seeking guidance or resources during this pandemic. This page will be updated periodically as new information, programs, and services are created by the federal government.

Health Equity and Accountability Act introduced
The Congressional Tri-Caucus, led by Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2020. This critical piece of legislation includes provisions that would eliminate barriers to coverage, expand access to affordable health care, and improve the data collection and reporting of disaggregated data. The bill also creates culturally and linguistically appropriate health and mental health services to address the unique needs of immigrants and refugees. You can view SEARAC's full statement here

Select health insurance access for uninsured individuals 
During this pandemic, families without health insurance may be seeking coverage. Uninsured individuals can still potentially access the health insurance marketplace depending on their employment situation and/or locality. If you are recently unemployed or furloughed, you can check to see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you are uninsured and live in one of the states identified here, you may still be able to enroll in these state health insurance marketplaces. Check with your state's marketplace website for more information on how to enroll.

Executive order 
Last month, President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration for: 
  • Children over 21, married children, parents, and siblings of U.S. citizens;
  • Spouses and children of lawful permanent residents;
  • Individuals immigrating through the diversity visa system; and
  • Individuals entering the United States through all employment-based visas, except for EB-5.
SEARAC is concerned about the impact of the ban, particularly on the 210,000 individuals from Vietnam, 9,000 from Cambodia, and 2,000 from Laos still waiting for their applications to be processed. You can view SEARAC's statement here

#FreeThemAll campaign 
SEARAC supports the call from our partners at the Detention Watch Network (DWN) to release all detained immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol have an abysmal record of containing infectious diseases in their detention facilities, including outbreaks of easily treatable diseases, such as mumps and influenza in 2019. The #FreeThemAll campaign seeks to protect immigrants in detention by pushing for mass decarceration during this time in order to flatten the curb across all sectors of the United States during this time. Individuals and organizations interested in the #FreeThemAll campaign can find toolkits and messaging guidance at DWN's website

National webinar on uniting against deportations to Laos
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, SEARAC and our partners remain concerned about the detentions and deportations of Southeast Asian Americans. Our Southeast Asian grassroots partners across the country are holding a National Community Webinar on Uniting Against Deportations to Laos on Friday, May 8, at 4pm PDT/ 6pm CDT/ 7pm EDT . Read more information here


Calling all Southeast Asian American college students!
Has COVID-19 interrupted your semester? SEARAC wants to hear from you.

Join us next Wednesday, May 6 at 5:30pm EDT / 2:30pm PDT for a virtual listening session moderated by SEARAC staff. We'll ask you questions about the challenges and opportunities this unprecedented crisis has presented to you, in areas such as: 
  • Remote learning and digital access
  • Paying for college
  • Your plans for earning your degree and for your future
  • And more!
Sign up here to receive the call info and fill out this short RSVP to register.

Safely participate in the 2020 Census 
Invitations to participate to the 2020 Census were mailed in April, and the decennial population count is officially underway! It has never been easier to respond without having to meet anyone in person, and you can get counted from the comfort of your own home online and over the phone (in 12 non-English languages) right now. We must ensure SEAA communities are fully counted to ensure our fair share of resources and political representation for the next decade. 

Watch the recording of this month's community call to learn more about important 2020 Census updates and more context on SEARAC's voter education guide. You can also visit SEARAC's 2020 Census website for videos, shareables, and resources.

Job opportunity
The  Diverse Elders Coalition  is seeking an accomplished, passionate National Director to lead our coalition's growing presence in the fields of aging policy advocacy and training. The National Director will be responsible for developing the coalition's policy advocacy and training programs, representing our members and our work at public events, and coordinating the successful completion of grants and projects.  Apply by May 5 for priority application consideration.

Digital media fellowship
NCAPA is looking to establish a one-year fellowship dedicated to digital media and shaping the AAPI community's position and presence in national discourses concerning tech and telecom policy.  Read the full job listing here.

Demand equitable care in Rhode Island
ARISE in Rhode Island is helping to circulate a petition demanding COVID-19 care through a racial equity lens. You can join here to stand in solidarity and request that state leadership take proactive measures to ensure equitable care for all communities in the State of Rhode Island.

Story Slam 
Vietnamese Boat People Podcast is providing a virtual stage for participants to share their stories via a live-streamed Story Slam event on May 29 at 7 pm EDT, sponsored by Asian Nation of Live Nation and Asian Women Giving Circle. Submissions are now being accepted, in which seven will be selected to virtually share their stories and be awarded a $100 prize. Participants are asked to share their Vietnamese-American experience, ranging in topics like growing up in a Vietnamese household to how certain dishes were an important part of their youth, or how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their experience as a Vietnamese-American. For more information, click here.

End violence against trans and cis girls and women

Move to End Violence, a project of the NoVo Foundation , is now  accepting applications for its fifth cohort of Movement Makers.  This cohort will join the community of Movement Maker alumni working to strengthen the U.S.-based movement to end violence against trans and cis girls and women and gender nonconforming folks. Through convenings, workshops, skill training, coaching, and a community of allies, members of Cohort 5 will have a unique and transformational opportunity to powerfully contribute to movements for social change. For more information, click here.
SEARAC is a national civil rights organization that empowers Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities to create a socially just and equitable society. As representatives of the largest refugee community ever resettled in the United States, SEARAC stands together with other refugee communities, communities of color, and social justice movements in pursuit of social equity. 
Find out more at