Community Spotlight

Welcome home, Cẩm!

Cẩm Trần is a mother of two children, a Vietnamese immigrant, and a survivor of abuse. She was deported for an act of self-defense and separated from her family in 2019. Through legal advocacy and community support from ViệtUnity and the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, Cẩm pursued a motion to vacate her deportable charges. Her charges were dropped in 2023, and Cam returned to the United States this month. She reunited with her loved ones and is the first Vietnamese deportee to return home successfully.

Cẩm now needs our support to rebuild her life, including funds for secure housing, employment, and transportation. Cẩm also hopes to take community college courses and pursue her degree, and to give back to the communities who helped bring her home. You can support Cẩm here.

Staff Blog

Sabbatical learnings

In SEARAC’s first staff blog of 2024, our Senior Director of Communications reflects on her sabbatical and the renewed energy she’s bringing into the new year. “My sabbatical was not just a period of rest—it was a triumph over the grind that had shaped my sense of self over three decades. Upon reflection, in the end, I did create a lasting memory, of slowing down, of finding joy in simple moments, of living in the present, and it’s a memory I got to share with my family as well.” Click here to read Elaine’s blog.



New resource for multilingual learners

The Civil Rights Principles for Multilingual Learners is a resource that was created by the civil rights community, including SEARAC, and is translated in Vietnamese. It provides a list of important principles for protecting English learners and multilingual students, such as involving parents with adequate translation services, disaggregating data by ethnic subgroups and languages, and ensuring that educators are culturally competent and use asset-based approaches for integrating English with a student's first language.



SEARAC joins call for immigrant rights protections

This month, immigration rights groups across the country called for Congress and the Biden administration to protect refugees and immigrants and restore humanity and justice to our immigration system. We must reject how our current laws harm generations of families and their communities, and instead restore due process for immigrants of color and for all people, including Southeast Asian Americans. We are re-sharing our anti-deportation PSAs to educate on the impact of deportations on Southeast Asian families and communities. You can watch and share the PSAs here. Also, take additional action to call, email, and Tweet your lawmakers here to share your opposition to proposed legislation that would dismantle the US asylum system.


Help build ethnic studies model curricula

Next month, SEARAC will be hosting three virtual informational sessions and focus groups to gain feedback from Cambodian, Hmong, and Vietnamese communities on model curricula. This project is a result of Assembly Bill 167, which called for the development and maintenance of model curricula relating to Cambodian, Hmong, and Vietnamese American history and cultural studies. In the informational session, participants will learn the key components of the three model curriculums and learn about goals, vision, and outcomes of the project. Participants will then have the opportunity to voice their perspectives and feedback for the curricula in a focus group session. Register for the info sessions and focus groups below.

Register before Feb. 6 for the Hmong History & Cultural Studies Model Curriculum here

Register before Feb. 13 for the Vietnamese American Experiences Model Curriculum here

Register before Feb. 20 for the Cambodian American Studies Model Curriculum here


Full Medi-Cal available to all eligible Californians

Starting this month, full Medi-Cal is now available to all eligible Californians, regardless of age or immigration status. SEARAC is proud to be part of the #Health4All coalition, which has delivered historic victories to expand health coverage for our immigrant communities. Get your community covered using this toolkit in Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Mien, and Vietnamese. You can also help current Medi-Cal members renew their coverage with materials here

Are you newly eligible or helping others enroll? Share your story by emailing

SEARAC supports vaccine clinics across California

SEARAC is proud to be part of the USAging’s Aging And Disability Vaccination Collaborative (ADVC). Through ADVC’s support, SEARAC has partnered with four members of our Southeast Asian American (SEAA) Collaborative in California –the Cambodian Family, the Fresno CenterIu Mien Community Services, and the Vietnamese American Roundtable– to support an array of vaccination education and promotion activities, including community vaccine clinics, in-home vaccinations, transportation to vaccination sites, and outreach and education for older adults and people with disabilities.


Last chance for limited-edition SEARAC merch

SEARAC’s online store features T-shirts, tote bags, and sweatshirts with one-of-a-kind illustrations by our artist-in-residence, Natalie Bui. We will only be offering these designs for a limited time! All proceeds from our merch benefits our work to build power with Southeast Asian American communities. If you didn’t get what you wanted for the holidays, treat yourself to a gift that gives back.


WHIAANHPI accepting applications for 2024 internship

Calling all students! The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) is now accepting applications for their 2024 summer and fall internship cycles. Learn how to apply and get tips from current and former interns here. For questions, reach out to

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. 

Find out more at
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram