NEWS ROUNDUP
May 2018 - In This Issue:
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT 

Register for next week's community call
Join SEARAC  for a community call that will share updates on critical issues facing the Southeast Asian community. Discuss ways you can take action on the topics that matter most to you.  

IMMIGRATION


Photo courtesy: Detention Watch Network

SEARAC at DWN conference
SEARAC's immigration policy manager attended the  Detention Watch Network's  (DWN)  12th National Member Conference  in Denver on May 17, speaking in the conference's opening plenary alongside fellow immigration detention abolitionists, criminal justice reform advocates, and racial justice trailblazers. During the talk, "Immigrant Rights, Abolition, and the Movement for Racial Justice in the U.S," SEARAC highlighted the historical trauma of refugees that make Southeast Asian Americans uniquely vulnerable to the school-to-prison-to- deportation pipeline; updates on the deportation roundups in the community; and the need for cross-racial solidarity-building in the fight to end unjust detention and deportation policies. SEARAC serves on DWN's steering committee and also participates in its conference advisory committee.

Advocating for meaningful prison reform 
SEARAC joined  AAPIs Beyond Bars partners to  oppose  the House passage of a harmful prison reform bill that  excludes "deportable or inadmissible" immigrants  and those with more serious criminal convictions from benefitting from proposed recidivism reduction, compassionate release, and early release programs. The AAPIs Beyond Bars statement can be accessed  here We will continue monitoring this policy as it moves to the Senate.

EDUCATION

Advocacy alert
The US Department of Education is currently considering plans to absorb the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) into another office. This autonomous office reports directly to the Education Secretary and is vital to prioritizing English learners (ELs). SEARAC has serious concerns over the potential consolidation's adverse effect on the EL programs and initiatives that the office manages. We are also concerned this move will de-prioritize the needs of our EL students.
 
In the coming weeks, watch out for action requests from SEARAC. Read a letter from members of Congress denouncing the OELA consolidation plan.
 
State and federal policies
The California State Board of Education recently submitted a waiver to the US Department of Education asking for approval to include recently reclassified English Learners (ELs) as part of the EL subgroup of students in its accountability system for its ESSA state plan. SEARAC believes all EL students should be included in state accountability systems and should be considered as separate categories (e.g. current ELs, former ELs, long-term ELs, and recently arrived ELs).  Read SEARAC's public comments on California's EL waiver request. 

CALIFORNIA


Developing a shared equity agenda
SEARAC hosted a convening of California Southeast Asian American Advocates in Fresno on May 4. This convening proved that our Southeast Asian American (SEAA) community is united, committed, and organized to move toward justice and equity. 
 
Eight executive directors, one senior staff, and one board member from SEAA-led and -serving health organizations came together to support each other and build a shared statewide equity agenda. We identified ways to fight for disaggregated Asian American and Pacific Islander data, expand health access to all SEAA communities, advance education equity, and demand immigrant rights. At the end of a powerful day, the leaders called for a focus on three main strategies: ongoing connection and support, collective action and impact, and infrastructure development. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS


Fundraising campaign
Wear history on your chest and support SEARAC in the process. Proceeds will  go toward furthering our advocacy for Southeast Asian communities and other immigrants.  The campaign ends on Wednesday, June 6. 

T-shirt options include:
Looking to gain hands-on experience in policy and advocacy? SEARAC has a fall internship position  available in our Washington, DC office. The application period closes on July 1st.  Click here for details.

Job opportunities
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, based in Washington, DC, seek to fill a Field Associate position as soon as possible to  support the organizations' critical advocacy . The employee will have the opportunity to help conceive, build, and maintain  administrative infrastructure, while  supporting outreach efforts to local partners across the country. Click here for details. For more information, reach out to Souvan Lee  at souvan@searac.org.

The Cambodian Family Community Center, based in Santa Ana, CA, has announced two job vacancies: Operations Coordinator and Youth Counselor/Citizenship Case Manager. The center's mission is  to provide opportunities to refugee and immigrant families to develop the knowledge, skills, and desire to create health and well-being in their lives. Click here for details on how to apply for the Operations Coordinator position, and here for the Youth Counselor/Citizenship Case Manager position. 

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 www.searac.org