Community Spotlight
Read SEARAC's Pride Month blogs celebrating LGBTQ+ Southeast Asian Americans
This month, SEARAC Communications Intern Sou Saechao connected with members of SEARAC’s board to reflect on Pride Month and its intersectionality with Southeast Asian American activism. For his first interview, Sou sat down with SEARAC Board Vice Chair Vân Huynh, a queer Vietnamese American, born in Saigon. During her interview Vân reflects on the gains that LGBTQ+ community has made and the importance to be visible in her queerness as a Vietnamese American person. For his second interview, Sou talked with SEARAC board member Roseryn Bhudsabourg, a government relations professional with a decade of experience in public policy, community outreach, and advocacy. Roseryn shares her message to other LGBTQ+ Southeast Asian Americans and how being part of the LGBTQ+ community informs her public service work.
LGBTQ+ Rights
SEARAC deeply concerned that SCOTUS upheld attack against LGBTQ+ communities
"Today’s Supreme Court decision is a significant step back for our country and the protections that we provide to historically marginalized communities, and it will only give fuel to the rampant anti-LGBTQ+ efforts that have caused a state of emergency for queer and trans people." said Quyên Đinh, executive director of SEARAC. "SEARAC is extremely concerned that this will signal to some businesses that they can discriminate against some of our most vulnerable community members. For our country to end discrimination and violence, and to heal, we must embrace and protect each other, in spite of our differences. It is unconscionable that the highest court has advanced regressive attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, but we remain committed to working within and across communities to protect the civil rights of all marginalized people."
Advancing Justice - AAJC & SEARAC release joint statement responding to the Supreme Court's United States v. Texas decision
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC and SEARAC released a joint statement welcoming last week's Supreme Court decision in United States v. Texas which will reinstate prosecutorial discretion at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We are committed to keeping all families whole- without fear of deportation and are encouraged by the decision to reinstate prosecutorial discretion.

SEARAC Executive Director Quyên Đinh shared, "Even with this guidance in place, our country still leaves too much power and authority to ICE agents to still remove our community members. SEARAC will continue to work with community members, our partner organizations, and policymakers to overhaul racist immigration policies and ensure that our communities can reunite and heal.”
SEARAC reaffirms commitment to diversity and equity in education amidst affirmative action ruling
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of affirmative action in higher education would be rolled back. SEARAC released a statement denouncing this decision and reaffirming our commitment to fight for diversity and equity in education. Affirmative action policies allow schools to take students’ experiences into consideration and close the college gap in our communities. SEARAC Executive Director Quyên Đinh stated, "We condemn this decision that ignores the barriers to education we face. We will continue to fight for policies that help Southeast Asian students, including the right to be seen through disaggregated data and ethnic studies. With communities across the country, we will fight for a future where every individual, regardless of their life circumstances, can thrive and succeed."
Student loan repayment will resume by early fall 
The federal student loan payment pause will expire by end of Aug, with interest starting to accrue again at this time. The first loan payments for borrowers will be due in late Sept to Oct. Due to a provision in the debt ceiling deal that was passed on June 2 by Congress, loan payments must resume this fall without further extensions.
SCOTUS strikes down student debt cancellation; SEARAC renews demands for equity in higher education
The Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration's plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for borrowers making less than $125,000. Last year, nearly 26 million borrowers applied for debt cancellation under the plan, and the US Department of Education initially approved, but could not take action on, 16 million applications. The eligible borrowers included many students of color, who are more likely to take on debt to pay for higher education, and those from low-income and low-wealth households.

For SEAA students, student debt cancellation helps to ease the financial challenges many of these students face in pursuing higher education and economic mobility. SEAAs are often the first generation in their families to attend college, and due to their refugee backgrounds, they are also more likely to come from low-income backgrounds. Higher education requires not only a substantial amount of money but also an understanding of how to navigate the higher education system- all privileges that are often denied to SEAA students. SEARAC is disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision, and we will continue to advocate for equity in higher education access and affordability.
SEARAC bill on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) data advances in CA
Every child, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or where they live, deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. By working together, we can prevent and address the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and intergenerational trauma. SEARAC-sponsored bill AB 1110 (Arambula), which directs the CA Surgeon General to review the disaggregation practices of ACEs data and produce guidance on conducting culturally & linguistically competent ACEs screenings, passed the Assembly 79-0. 
Thank you UCSC VSA, from SEARAC
SEARAC expresses heartfelt gratitude to the UCSC Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) for their exceptional efforts in raising $1,500 for SEARAC during their annual charity event. We appreciate VSA’s dedication and commitment to supporting our community. For more information about the UCSC VSA and their upcoming events, please visit their UCSC VSA Facebook page.
Seeking survey participants for study exploring racial encounters
Dr. Lisa Suzuki, a counseling psychologist at NYU, and her team are looking for participants for their study exploring racial encounters of Asian Americans. Participation will take approximately 60 minutes, and individuals will be asked to complete a short demographic survey and a series of scales focusing on encounters of racial discrimination, perceived stress, racial identity, and mental health status. Participation in the study is voluntary and there will be no consequences should an individual choose not to participate or withdraw from the study. Access the survey here.

Summer Leadership Institute opportunity hosted by Chinatown Youth Initiatives
Chinatown Youth Initiatives (CYI) welcomes high school students interested in and passionate about the greater AAPI community to apply for their Summer Learning Institute. CYI is a youth organization located in NYC’s Chinatown. The program runs July 5 - Aug 19. The priority deadline for applications is June 30. For application extension, please email Learn more and apply here
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