May 2020 - In This Issue:

Register for today's community call 
Join us later today at 3 pm EDT (12 pm PDT) for updates on the latest COVID-related legislation. This  call will also include a listening session segment to hear from  community members about how immigration statuses impact their and their loved ones' experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register now by clicking  here.

House of Representatives Pass HEROES Act 
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a $3 trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill. While the bill does not include all of SEARAC's priorities, it would provide another much-needed round of funds for cash assistance, housing support, small business loans, and expansion of healthcare access for families struggling during this pandemic. You can view SEARAC's statement and vote recommendation for more information.

Affirmative action clears first hurdle in California
ACA 5, an effort to reinstate affirmative action in California, successfully passed the first stage on its path to the November ballot. On May 5, the CA Assembly's Committee on Public Employment and Retirement approved the bill on a bipartisan vote. The Appropriations Committee will consider the bill next. ACA 5 is a critical bill that would level the playing field and open opportunities for all Californians to achieve economic security and educational success. Learn more about the bill here, and read SEARAC's letter of support here.

Rep. Lowenthal introduces SEAA resolution
In early May, Rep. Alan Lowenthal's (CA-47) introduced a resolution recognizing the 45th anniversary of the resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees, commemorating their contributions to the United States, urging the president to halt the deportation of Southeast Asians, and calling for the advancement of equitable policies for Southeast Asian American communities. After SEARAC's successful Tweetstorm yesterday in celebration of #45YearsofRefugeeResettlement, more than 50 organizations and 27 members of Congress have signed on to support H.Res. 952Help the resolution gain more congressional support by continuing to call, email, or tweet at your representative And if your representative has already signed on, remember to thank them! Locate your rep's Twitter handles here.

In celebration of APAHM, SEARAC had the honor of spotlighting SEAA stories from community advocates leading census work in our Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Mien   communities. Faced with unprecedented quarantine challenges, they shared strategies of perseverance and continued commitment in ensuring our communities are still fully, and safely counted for the 2020 Census.

Warm welcome
Please join us in welcoming Phoebe Tran to the growing SEARAC team! As operations manager, Phoebe handles SEARAC's operations and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Prior to joining the team, she honed her logistic and administrative skillset by overseeing the front desks of several college residence halls. 

Staff Blog
The latest contribution to SEARAC's blog comes from Education Policy Manager Anna Byon, who discusses the impact of COVID-19 on small business owners' such as their parents, and the opportunities that California's  ACA 5 (see Education section above) would  provide for people of color to succeed in the workforce.

In "
Anna shares, "People of color and immigrants continue to have unequal access to employment and public contracting opportunities because of long-standing discrimination based on race." Read the full post here.

Closing out APAHM

As Asian Pacific American Heritage Month comes to a close, SEARAC Executive Director Quyen Dinh pulls out lessons from the past that we can apply to this year's 45th anniversary of the SEAA refugee experience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In " Five Lessons from the 45th Year SEAA Experience and COVID-19 Today: Family, Resilience, Repair, Trust, and Love," Quyen shares:

"In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, my baby niece Emma was born. And while I can't hold her, I am already in love. And I think of my mom who had me without any parents, or any family around, and the hope she held in her heart for her family to one day hold me. During this pandemic, the reminder of love and life is more important than ever. At SEARAC, it is this love that brings us to work each day to fight for justice and equity, and to continue our long legacy of refugee resilience to choose love, to choose life, against all odds."

Read the full post 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