February 2019 - In This Issue:

Members of Congress denounce  increased SEAA deportations 
Standing in front of the US Capitol, we joined Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Southeast Asian Freedom Network, and Vietnamese Anti-Deportation Network to hold a press conference yesterday in collaboration with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus denouncing President Trump's increased deportations of Southeast Asian Americans. Click   here to read the official press release . For those of you unable to tune in to the livestream, you can check out the video here. (Like/follow us on Facebook to keep up with all our latest updates and announcements!)


Building justice for SEAA students
On Feb. 9, SEARAC facilitated a workshop on the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline and how it impacts SEAAs at the  School Leaders of Color Conference  in Dallas. The session provided participants with a historical overview of the pipeline, highlighted examples from SEARAC partners who are working to disrupt it, and guided participants in reflecting on ways to challenge harmful practices and policies in their own schools and districts. Participants held a range of experiences and came from diverse school contexts that allowed for critical solidarity-building to work for justice for all students. SEARAC is grateful for this opportunity to have engaged with school leaders and educators from across the country who are committed to educational justice, and we look forward to continuing to build together.


Youth in CHARGE
Our Asian American and Pacific Islander Coalition Helping Achieve Racial + Gender Equity (AAPI CHARGE) held its inaugural Youth in CHARGE Summit over President's Day weekend. Twenty-two AAPI youth from across California gathered in Fresno to connect and learn about each other's ethnic and local communities, build AAPI youth power, and inform CHARGE's statewide strategies.

Participants openly discussed the ways that different issues like gender, school culture and climate, cost of living, and mental health impact their communities around the state. One young man said that getting to hear from peers allowed him to "understand other people and places, and the issues they face." The group also identified the primary issues on which they wanted CHARGE to focus: immigration and deportation, mental health in schools, and youth leadership development.

Youth in attendance expressed the positive impact the convening had on them. "The summit made me more confident about myself," shared one participant. "For so long, I have been wanting to lead but didn't have the courage to do so, but this summit really made me realize how to be a leader."

Opposing increased ICE funding
SEARAC, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), and more than 20 AAPI organizations sent letters to Congress expressing concerns over the 2019 Department of Homeland Security budget. While the budget ultimately was signed into law, SEARAC will continue to pursue opportunities to defund ICE's enforcement and removal operations in the 2020 budget. Additionally, in a joint release with NAKASEC and South Asian Americans Leading Together, SEARAC denounced the President's national emergency and his unilateral effort to fund an unpopular and unnecessary wall.


Legislation seeks to increase ACA access
This month, Reps. Blunt Rochester (DE-At large), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Dan Kildee (MI-5), and Lucy McBath (GA-6) introduced the  Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Act. The bill restores critical funding for the adequate marketing of healthcare options available under Affordable Care Act (ACA), which saw a significant drop in enrollment last year . Many Southeast Asian American (SEAA) communities are hard-to-reach populations that struggle with poverty and limited English proficiency. This bill is a first step to closing health disparity gaps experienced by the SEAA community because it would provide resources to expand marketing and outreach through translated and culturally competent information. Click  here  to read more on the bill from our partners at the  Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) .


New reflections
This month, SEARAC's Director of California Policy and Programs Nkauj Iab Yang recalls her early days as a youth organizer.

In Why I show up, Nkauj Iab shares a first-person glimpse into CHARGE's first youth convening and how her career has truly come full circle. 

Our blog also includes a post on the impact of the lack of representation from Southeast Asian Americans and other communities of color in health research, written by guest contributor and SEARAC ally Jenna McDavid, national managing coordinator of the Diverse Elders Coalition.  

Internship opportunities at SEARAC
Dreaming of summer during these chilly winter weeks? Spend yours with us! We are still accepting applications for three open internship slots: c ommunications and field  intern  (Washington, DC), n ational policy  intern  (Washington, DC), and   California  intern  (Sacramento, CA).  For more information and to apply, see our  website . Priority application deadline for summer term: April 1

In case you missed it
This month, we resumed our monthly Keeping Our Communities Informed webinar series. You told us you were hungry for more detailed policy information, were curious about our Census 2020 partnerships in cities and states with high SEAA populations, and were interested in legislation that addresses pathways to citizenship for undocumented individuals. Check out the full webinar here.

Last call for LAT applications
Today is the last day to submit your application for our 20th annual Leadership and Advocacy Training (LAT), to be held on June 19-21, 2019, in Washington, DC. We welcome individuals from all 50 states to apply. Because of key opportunities in Congress, we especially encourage applications from community members in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Apply today by 11:59 PST!
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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