LEAF 2024

LEAF participants pose together on the first day of the convening.

(Photo courtesy of Kham Moua)

LEAF returns to DC

Thirty-five community leaders who work alongside Southeast Asian American communities across the country in advocating for aging, education, health, and immigration policy change, gathered in Washington, DC this week for SEARAC’s fourth Leadership, Empowerment, and Advocacy Fellowship (LEAF) convening. This year’s program provided space for both connection as well as strategizing, with an eye toward next year’s milestone 50th anniversary of SEAA refugee resettlement. Special thank you to our sponsors: AARP, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and ECMC Foundation (supporting our participants who work in education).

Community Spotlight

(Photo courtesy of Minh Pham)

Lunar New Year festivities in DC area

Members of Make Us Visible VA and CAPAVA helped introduce SEARAC to more than 1,600 community members, local nonprofits, small business owners, and elected officials at the ALX Lunar New Year Celebration in Old Town Alexandria in Virginia on Feb. 24. Read this write-up from WTOP News to learn more.



Screenshot of participants from the Hmong Model Curriculum virtual session.

SEARAC and OCDE host California model curriculum

SEARAC joined the Orange County Department of Education to host virtual informational sessions and focus groups on the development of three model curriculum projects centering Cambodian, Hmong, and Vietnamese American histories, culture, and refugee experiences. Nearly 30 community members of all ages across California attended the sessions. SEARAC received valuable feedback that will be used to finalize curricula for educators to use in their classrooms.  


SEARAC urged Senate to vote no on anti-immigrant bill

This month, SEARAC strongly opposed a Senate foreign aid funding bill that would also have expanded detention and deportation, enacted harmful border policies, and effectively dismantled the US asylum system. While the immigration-related provisions of the bill ultimately did not pass the Senate, anti-immigrant policies are certain to be given further consideration in the House. SEARAC continues to reject these efforts. We must uphold our nation's values of freedom and safe haven for all families. Read SEARAC’s statement here.

Data Equity

SEARAC and partners launch Power in Numbers campaign

SEARAC celebrates the launch of AAPI Data's #PowerInNumbers campaign, a national community-led effort to drive policy change and investments in our AANHPI communities. The campaign features the AANHPI Community Counts Dashboard, which highlights detailed national and state population counts for 40 Asian and 34 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander origin groups — providing visibility and recognition to our communities, including Southeast Asian Americans.


New donation link to support SEARAC

SEARAC has recently switched donation processors, and we now have a new URL where you can make a financial gift to support our work:

If you are one of our sustaining donors, you should have received instructions from Jenna on how to update your monthly or quarterly donations. Thank you so much for your support of Southeast Asian American community power! Please e-mail Jenna at if you have any questions or need assistance making a donation.


Seeking participants for thesis

An undergraduate public health sociology student at Wheaton College (MA) is working on a senior thesis about Vietnamese American communities and seeing participants. Catherine (Cat) Le wants to explore how community leaders’ refugee journeys influence Vietnamese American culture. If you are a Vietnamese American community leader who identifies as a first-generation refugee, contact Catherine,

Call for applications for 2024-2025 HAP Fellowship

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program is recruiting for the 2024-2025 class. The one-year fellowship runs from Oct. 1 – Sep. 30 and has full-time and part-time tracks. Health and Aging Policy Fellows work across diverse fields of aging, and develop lifelong partnerships and networks. Individually and collectively, they are improving the lives of older adults around the country. View the Call for Applications here, and register for an upcoming information session here.

Apply by April 14 for Anne Frank Visiting Researcher Award

The UC Irvine Libraries is offering awards of $1,000 each to two individuals to use the research collections in the Southeast Asian Archive, part of the UC Irvine Libraries Special Collections and Archives. The award is intended for researchers who live outside of Orange County and are not currently affiliated with UC Irvine. Faculty, students, and non-traditional/independent researchers (including filmmakers, scriptwriters, playwrights, biographers, novelists, and others) are encouraged to apply. Visit here for application instructions and more information.


Seeking organization leadership for mental health research

Researcher May Saengpraseuth Alirad of the American College of Education is launching a new study to explore the perspectives of leaders working in community-based organizations regarding mental health support services available for the Asian American community, and barriers, if any, they feel prevent community members from utilizing mental health support services. If you are an Executive Director, Program Director, Project Manager, CEO, or other similar position with at least one year of experience in your role, visit to sign up to participate. Please email May at with any questions.

SEARAC is a national civil rights organization that builds power with diverse communities from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam 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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