July 2018 - In This Issue:

LAT 2018 recap video
During  #LAT2K18 , we checked in with  three of our amazing Leadership and Advocacy Training program participants: Helen Ngo (Boston, MA), Stefan Saing (Portland, OR), and Danny Thongsy (Oakland, CA). Click the video link below to learn about their advocacy journeys in their own words.

LAT: For my community, by my community
LAT 2018: For my community, by my community

July 2018 community call
SEARAC hosted another community call this month, when we provided updates on the Harvard affirmative action lawsuit, our recently launched Census 2020: SEAAs Count campaign (see Take Action section below), and recent visa sanctions on Laos. For those who were unable to attend in real time, click the video link below to get up to speed.

SEARAC July 2018 Community Call
SEARAC July 2018 Community Call


Tell the US Census Bureau that SEAAs count
SEARAC is joining Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Humans Rights, NALEO Educational Fund, and other national organizations to establish a strong, clear public record that we oppose the addition of a citizenship question. The US Census Bureau is accepting public comments until August 7 at midnight, and we want our community to show up strong and loud!  

Our goal? Submit a minimum of  1,000 individual comments and  50 organizational comments from across our diverse SEAA community. As of today, we only have 90 signatures and two organizations. Please take one minute to fill in your info and help us send a bold message that immigrant communities will not be silenced. #SEAAsCount2020


U.S. pressures Laos to increase deportations
The Trump Administration continues its aggressive attack on immigrants and refugees with its recent issuance of visa sanctions on Laos. These sanctions prohibit certain Lao government officials and their families from securing visas to come to the United States. The move was made in an attempt to pressure Laos into accepting the deportation of more Hmong and Lao community members living in the country with deportation orders. It follows the Trump Administration's sanctions on Cambodia last year, which lead to the largest detention roundup in history. Read SEARAC's  statement and call to action , and click  here  to access a helpful FAQ created by our partners at the SEAD Project.


Victory over Trumpcare
On July 27, 2017, health advocates and the communities we represent successfully defeated Trumpcare. In 2017, Republican leaders sought to repeal the ACA and defund Medicaid using the Republican majority of both the House and the Senate. Advocates were able to convince three Republicans to vote against the efforts to repeal the ACA because  you shared your stories  of the lifesaving care achieved through the ACA and Medicaid expansion

Together, we celebrate the anniversary of protecting every families' right to health care. We celebrate community power and its power to move legislation. We celebrate our legacy of resilience. 

To learn more about why Southeast Asian Americans across the country support the ACA and Medicaid expansion, read our report


White House rescinds Obama-era guidance on school diversity 
Following a Justice Department investigation alleging Harvard University's  so-called "discrimination" of Asian American students, the Trump Administration rolled back guidelines supporting school efforts promoting diversity. This coordinated effort opposing school diversity and affirmative action policies continues to use Asian Americans as a wedge to claim bias falsely against our communities, despite the fact that  studies show that Asian Americans by and large support these policies and greatly benefit from them. 

Read SEARAC's  statement supporting affirmative action as a critical tool to ensure education equity for Southeast Asian American students.


Southeast Asian American mental wellness
This month,  Nkauj  Iab Yang, SEARAC's Director of California Programs and Policy, joined  NAMI Sacramento in its Multicultural Town Hall to build multicultural mental wellness in honor of  National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. During the discussion,  Nkauj  Iab elevated the ongoing intergenerational trauma of war, along with the complex, urban trauma Southeast Asian Americans and families continue to face, especially in this political climate. She discussed the layers of action required to build mental wellness, including the needs to: 
  • Reveal hidden disparities through high quality, disaggregated data;
  • Protect and provide access to quality, affordable, and lifesaving mental health services to Southeast Asian American youth and families; and 
  • Increase Southeast Asian Americans represented in the healthcare workforce pipeline. 


Community advocate award
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates presented SEARAC with an OCA Community Advocate Award during its OCA Gala Awards on July 21st. This award recognizes  nonprofit organizations who have made exceptional contributions to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Thank you for this great honor, OCA! 


Calling all LAT alumni
Have you participated in one of our past 19 Leadership and Advocacy Training programs? Please join the SEARAC LAT Alumni Network on Facebook to stay connected and informed about the latest alumni news and events, as we head into the program's 20th year. Click here to keep in touch. 

Twitter town hall
SEARAC will participate in a Twitter town hall, organized by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, that will review legal efforts to dismantle necessary race-conscious policies like affirmative action. Join in the conversation by tuning in to our Twitter channel at 3-4 pm EST (12-1 pm PST). 

Job opportunities
The Vietnamese Youth Development Center is seeking to fill two full-time positions. Click here to read details on the Case Manager vacancy and here for information on the Emerging Community Leaders Program Coordinator

In case you missed it
The Huffington Post interviewed SEARAC Executive Director Quyen Dinh about a new report showing that Asians now have the largest income gap in America. One-hundred sixty-four of you shared it on Facebook, making it our most popular post of the month! For those of you who haven't seen it, click here to read the article. 

Last note
Have you been impacted by deportation? Have you needed help navigating the complex health insurance landscape? Have you encountered challenges to accessing a quality education? Or, perhaps you have strong opinions of your Southeast Asian American political identity. SEARAC is hoping to collect and elevate  your stories. Concerned about your writing skills? No worries--and no judgment! Contact Elaine at to find out how you can get your blog post edited and published. 
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