Civic Engagement
US Census Bureau releases apportionment data
After a year when our communities across the country fought tirelessly for our rights to be seen through a fair and accurate census, the US Census Bureau yesterday released apportionment data, which divides the 435 member seats in the US House of Representatives among the 50 states. According to the Census Bureau, seven states — California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — have lost a seat. Texas gained two seats, while five states — Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon — gained a seat.

Whether your state lost or gained a seat, SEARAC celebrates the historic and unprecedented effort to ensure that historically hard-to-count communities participated in last year's census and overcame enormous challenges, including a public health crisis, natural disasters, and political interference. As we await the release of more detailed redistricting data, including neighborhood-level and demographic data beginning in late summer, we continue to urge the Census Bureau to take the time it needs to process the 2020 Census data thoroughly and accurately.
SEARAC endorses 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act
Last week, Sens. Schatz (D-HI) and Murkowski (R-AK) reintroduced the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act to the 117th Congress. SEARAC reconfirmed our endorsement for this bipartisan legislation that extends reporting deadlines to ensure the quality and accuracy of 2020 Census data given the census operations delays caused by the pandemic. SEARAC is committed to advocating for the appropriate measures to achieve the most accurate Census count possible.
Community Spotlight
Support Cam Trần's Legal Defense Fund
Cam Trần is a Vietnamese mother of two young children, who first immigrated to the U.S. in 2009. She was deported in 2019 for an act of self-defense against her abuser. Like over 90% of incarcerated women, Cam is a survivor of domestic and sexual violence and, like many Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees, her deportation was an act of anti-Asian violence. Cam has an opportunity to return home, but her supporters need to fundraise to pay for her legal representation. Please donate, share this fundraiser and toolkit, and sign up for updates/more ways to be involved!
San Joaquin Valley Health Fund's Equity on the Mall event
Equity on the Mall is back! Through the pandemic, San Joaquin Valley Health Fund partners have remained committed to creating positive change, bringing meaningful investments to the region, and supporting communities across the San Joaquin Valley! Join our virtual rally to kick off a week of action, April 26-30. Make sure your voice is heard and help represent the growing people power of the Valley at #EquityontheMall!
Digital Advocacy Training 2021
Digital Advocacy Training application deadline extended
The deadline for SEARAC’s Digital Advocacy Training (DAT) program application has been extended to May 6. This year's DAT is a four-week training program that will take place virtually through the month of July. Participants will commit 2-3 hours per week alongside a cohort of other emerging Southeast Asian American advocates to learn about core federal policies that impact the SEAA community and build valuable advocacy skills. This program culminates in a series of virtual advocacy meetings with Congressional offices, allowing participants to put into practice the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired throughout their training. Apply here.
“Pain in the Brain:” Talking about Mental Health
"In Cebuano, the Filipino dialect my family speaks, the term for someone with mental illness is buang, which translates to 'crazy.' At the same time, buang is used as a cuss word, something one would say in a derogatory manner when angry. Or it can be used in a more playful way to express silly thinking or foolishness, akin to 'that’s nonsense.' Mental illness is also referred to as sakit sa utok, which translates to 'pain in the brain.' 

Unsurprisingly, there persists a huge stigma in Filipinx communities around mental health treatment. People don’t want to be perceived as buang, and all the unfavorable connotations it carries. They consider one’s mental illness something that can be fixed, physiologically." 

Read more in this blog post about mental health and the SEAA communities from Elaine Sanchez Wilson, Director of Communications and Development.
SEARAC featured in Harvard Asian American Policy Review
SEARAC is proud to have contributed to the latest edition of the Harvard University Asian American Policy Review Journal. Our article, Southeast Asian Americans in 2020: 45 Years of Resilience and Resistance, reflected on a pivotal year for the Southeast Asian American community, which saw the confluence of our 45th anniversary with a global pandemic, the ongoing fight in support of Black Lives, and a historic election.
COVID vaccine appointment helpline seeks volunteers
MA COVID Vaccine Help (MCVH) is a volunteer group helping eligible Massachusetts residents to book COVID vaccination appointments, with priority given to communities of color and community members who are over 60 and limited English proficient. MCVH is looking for volunteers who speak Khmer and Vietnamese. Anyone interested in volunteering can complete this form.
#StopAsianHate and buy a T-shirt
Our T-shirt shop in support of the powerful work of Banteay Srei (program of Asian Health Services) and Hmong American Women's Association (HAWA) is open until tomorrow. Purchase your T-shirt today!
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) spotlights
Throughout Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans will be spotlighting local partner organizations. Fill out this form if you would like your organization and community to be included in a spotlight for APAHM. For questions please contact
Vietnamese American Roundtable hiring announcement
The Vietnamese American Roundtable (VAR) is seeking a qualified applicant to serve as their first Executive Director to continue providing crucial programs for the community and to build a foundation for VAR’s growth. The Executive Director will be the key management leader of VAR and will be responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, staffing, and execution of the strategic plan of the organization. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to For the full job description and any questions, reach out to Amy Nguyen at
New book empowers survivors of sexual assault
After 30 years of living as a victim of multiple sexual assaults, May Saengpraseuth Alirad, Executive Director of the Lao-American Organization of Elgin, finally found freedom from guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear, and condemnation. She actively put faith in her ability to heal and help others do the same. May is now sharing her life-tested approach with you. May’s new book, “Was I Assaulted?: My Guide to Healing as a Survivor” will be available as a FREE ebook for three days (April 27-30) in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Let us know about your upcoming events
If you have an event or campaign that you would like SEARAC to promote to our communities, please fill out this form to let us know! We recommend alerting us to your event at least two weeks in advance of the date to allow time for processing. If you have any questions about your submission, please email
A Final Word
In solidarity
As a representative of refugees, children of refugees, and survivors of war and genocide, SEARAC remains committed to working in solidarity to transform our country’s racist systems into ones where we can all thrive and live without fear of state violence and displacement. During this month of remembrance, we call on our elected officials to overhaul racist systems of enforcement and to seek comprehensive changes that also deeply invest in the needs of communities of color.
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