Community Spotlight
SEARAC mourns victims of gun violence
SEARAC is heartbroken over two mass shootings that occurred in California over Lunar New Year weekend. In both Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, gunmen killed, injured, and traumatized community members who should have been ringing in the new year with joy and hope. We refuse to be desensitized to our country’s gun problem, an epidemic that has been allowed to flourish for far too long. 

Fundraising pages have been established for the victims of the Monterey Park shooting and the Half Moon Bay shooting, if you would like to contribute to the families’ and communities’ healing.
Community members participate in FIRM's 'Creating Safety in the Hmong Community Listening Forum' on Nov 11, 2022 (Photo courtesy of FIRM)
SEARAC & partners to host listening session for Laotian community
SEARAC is thrilled to partner with Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM) and California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) for a listening session on Feb 25 in Fresno, CA. We will engage with the Laotian community members to discuss local mental health access and uplift their voices to increase mental health needs. This day will be filled with cultural activities, conversations, and keynote speakers to advocate for mental health support systems.
Civic Engagement
SEARAC celebrates historic White House plan to support AANHPI equity
The White House Initiative on Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) collected action plans from 32 federal agencies to advance equity for AANHPIs. This national strategy includes steps to combat anti-Asian hate, collect race and ethnicity data in national education datasets, and broaden language access, among other directives. SEARAC applauds WHIAANHPI’s efforts to acknowledge and address the pressing needs and system inequities that have impacted our communities for decades. 
A Sacramento rally in support of AB-1726 (Photo courtesy of SEARAC)
Gov. Newsom keeps commitment to expand Medi-Cal to all undocumented immigrants
SEARAC is pleased that, despite a projected $22.5 billion deficit within California’s budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed no cuts to eligibility or benefits within Medi-Cal, and maintains our state’s commitment to Health4All– expanding full-scope Medi-Cal to ALL income-eligible adults regardless of immigration status starting in 2024. The proposed budget also sustains funding for recent behavioral and mental health efforts, such as the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

SEARAC also continues its work monitoring California’s implementation of AB 1726, which requires public health agencies to collect and release data (such as disease rates and insurance coverage) that is disaggregated for additional Asian and Pacific Islander populations. In collaboration with local partners, we are finishing research meetings with eight county health departments to understand current challenges in fully implementing this health equity legislation. 
SEARAC joins call for White House to abandon asylum ban
Earlier this month, the Biden Administration announced plans to impose new asylum restrictions. In response to these efforts, SEARAC joined almost 300 organizations in a letter to President Biden urging him to abandon the planned asylum ban and efforts to increase punishment to those seeking refuge in the United States. As an organization representing Southeast Asian refugee populations, SEARAC supports the ability of all peoples to seek safety and refuge. Read the letter here.
Department of Education priorities for 2023
Secretary Cardona outlined the Department’s priorities for 2023 which includes the following: increasing access to mental health and social emotional learning services, making higher education more affordable through updating Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Gainful Employment Rules, and investing in pathways between graduation and the workforce. 
SEARAC in the News
SEARAC endorses Rep. Meng’s Lunar New Year bill 
SEARAC applauds the reintroduction of Rep. Meng’s resolution and bill to honor and celebrate the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year. This holiday is an important celebration for our Southeast Asian community and we hope that this bill serves as a reminder of the prosperity and strength of our nation when we embrace our many peoples and cultures.
Community Stories
Remembering rest in the new year with SEARAC’s #WorkplaceWellness blog series
A new year often means setting new goals and intentions. As you think about what you’re calling into 2023, we hope wellness and rest is one of them! You can find inspiration for how to center rest from SEARAC's #WorkplaceWellness blog series to view insights from our staff and board members on what it means to feel healthy and whole at work and at home. These pieces explore SEARAC’s workplace culture, the support that is needed for working parents, the struggle for children of immigrants and refugees to break away from the work hustle, and more.
Caregiving training from the Diverse Elders Coalition
SEARAC is a founding member of the Diverse Elders Coalition, and we are excited to share this upcoming free training session from our DEC partners. This training is for healthcare and social services professionals who want to better support family caregivers from African American and Black communities. Join the DEC and the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging on Feb 16 at 1pm ET / 10am PT for a free, virtual training to understand these caregivers’ experiences, challenges, and cultural values so that Black caregivers and older adults can be better served. Register here.
Tell SEARAC your health, education, and/or immigration story
Our stories are our strength. Southeast Asian American communities have shared histories and experiences that form the basis for SEARAC’s advocacy work. We center our community members’ stories of accessing healthcare and education, navigating the immigration system, caring for older adults and loved ones, and expressing our joy through food, music, art, and culture. It is through these stories that we make powerful, lasting change.

SEARAC wants to hear from you! If you have a story about your family’s refugee journey, your experiences with our policy priority areas (health, education, and/or immigration), or your engagement with SEARAC at our summits and training programs, fill out this form and we may use your story in our advocacy on Capitol Hill.
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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