Community Spotlight
Sophea returned home to Long Beach, CA, where she surprised her loved ones at a family gathering. (photo courtesy of Asian Law Caucus)
Eleven years later, Sophea Phea returns home from Cambodia
Long Beach, CA, resident and community leader Sophea Phea returned home this month after being deported Cambodia eleven years ago, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Asian Law Caucus and community organizers. Sophea’s leadership and advocacy is focused on stopping deportations to Southeast Asia, returning individuals to the United States after deportation, and reuniting families. You can support Sophea's re-entry funds through monetary donations as well as by educating yourself and sharing stories on the impacts of deportation. You can read more about Sophea’s story here.
Phoeun You, beloved community leader, deported to Cambodia
On Aug. 18, beloved community leader Phoeun You reached Cambodia following his order for deportation. There's still a chance that Governor Newsom could pardon Phoeun and allow him to return to the US and be reunited with his elderly parents and family.

You can support Phoeun by donating to Phoeun's rapid response fund. 100% of funds will go to Phoeun as we continue fighting for his freedom. You can also access a social media toolkit to demand that Governor Newsom pardon Phoeun and allow him to return home.
Civic Engagement
Learn to advocate for mental health equity in California
SEARAC is excited to once again be a co-host for this year's "Right To Heal: Centering Mental Health Multi-Racial Equity in California" virtual conference on Tuesday, Sept. 20th. Join us and our statewide partners across California for a day of listening, learning, and healing. Register for the virtual conference using the following in-language registration forms:

New in-language videos about using at-home COVID-19 tests
SEARAC is proud to present a new series of videos, available in English, Hmong, Lao, Mien, and Vietnamese, on how to take an at-home COVID-19 test. These videos were created as a part of our ongoing partnership with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum to understand and address issues related to our communities’ health needs with COVID-19.

Thank you to our community partners who were involved in the creation of these new videos: Iu Mien Community Services, the Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County, United Cambodian Community of Long Beach, Vietnamese American Roundtable, and PIVOT.
Free training for providers to better serve family caregivers
The Diverse Elders Coalition has recently updated our “Caring For Those Who Care: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers” training for healthcare, social service, and aging professionals who want to better serve diverse family caregivers and older adults. This DEI-centered training highlights the lived experiences of unpaid caregivers for older adults from racially and ethnically diverse communities, American Indian and Alaskan Native communities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer/questioning, and transgender (LGBTQ+) communities.
SEARAC celebrates passage of Inflation Reduction Act
Last week, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. SEARAC applauds the enactment of the IRA, which addresses the increasing severity of the global climate crisis, extends premium healthcare tax credits for three years, and caps out-of-pocket expenses on prescription drugs for seniors. Read SEARAC’s full statement here.
President Biden cancels up to $20,000 in student loan debt
SEARAC commends the Biden administration for its commitment to canceling student loans for many borrowers. President Biden’s recent Executive Order would have the Department of Education cancel: 

  • Up to $10,000 for individuals making less than $125,000 (and households making $250,000 or less) 
  • Up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients

These amounts are a good first step but still fall short of the $50,000 requested by civil rights and education organizations. We also urge Congress to pass the Debt-Free College Act to ensure that Southeast Asian Americans and other students of color can access higher education without the burden of lifelong student debt. Read our full statement here.
Staff Blog
Artwork created by Diane Chao
In debate, we need room for lived experiences
"I found language to be empowering during these moments. However, I also recognize that language has the ability to disempower others."

This month on SEARAC's staff blog, our Summer Policy Intern, Diane Chao, writes about her experiences in collegiate debate and the importance of honoring and uplifting identity. Read it here.
Creative fellowship opportunity from Center for Cultural Power 
These are unprecedented times of hardship and struggle for our BIPOC communities being devastated by the systematic dismantling of our rights and COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we need the artists and storytellers to help us reimagine a new world where we all belong and thrive! If you are a BIPOC Artist or Culture Bearer, who has a vision for a narrative-change project you would like to implement with a Partner Organization, fill out the online application by the September 30, 2022 deadline and tell us your vision. For more information, click here.
Do you know a SuperAger? 
The American Federation for Aging Research is looking to build a nationwide community of 10,000 SuperAgers, the largest group ever assembled, to celebrate and learn from healthy and exceptional longevity. If you know a SuperAger or a SuperAger family, please refer them to the SuperAger Initiative website and invite them to join the Community. This free Community is a place to gather SuperAger stories, connect with other SuperAgers, and learn about and participate in future healthy aging research. 
Tell SEARAC your health, education, and/or immigration story
Our stories are our strength. Southeast Asian American communities have shared histories and experiences that form the basis for SEARAC’s advocacy work. We center our community members’ stories of accessing healthcare and education, navigating the immigration system, caring for older adults and loved ones, and expressing our joy through food, music, art, and culture. It is through these stories that we make powerful, lasting change.

SEARAC wants to hear from you! If you have a story about your family’s refugee journey, your experiences with our policy priority areas (health, education, and/or immigration), or your engagement with SEARAC at our summits and training programs, fill out this form and we may use your story in our advocacy on Capitol Hill.
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. 

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