SEARAC hosts Vietnamese engagement session on model curriculum
Last month, SEARAC hosted a virtual informational session, listening session, and focus group in English and Vietnamese. The purpose of these engagement sessions were to gather feedback and hear from the Vietnamese community in California to develop a model curriculum in response to AB 167, which oversees the development and maintenance of model curricula relating to the Vietnamese American refugee experience, the Cambodian genocide, and Hmong history and cultural studies. SEARAC invites our Hmong and Cambodian community members in California to register for our other engagement sessions below.
Moving state policy on data equity, health, and immigration forward
State legislative hearings have started! Now through May, lawmakers are discussing their positions and voting on bills in their committees, which are each focused on a specific issue area (e.g. health, public safety). 

This year, SEARAC continues advocating for our longtime priorities – data equity, health equity, and immigrant and refugee rights. Bills we are supporting include:

  • AB 1306 (HOME Act) keeps SEAA families together by restricting transfers of individuals leaving state incarceration to ICE if they are also eligible for recent resentencing and release reforms, including youth offender, elderly, and medical parole. 
  • AB 943 (Breaking Down the “Other” Act) uncovers disparities that incarcerated SEAAs face by requiring the CA Department of Corrections to release data disaggregated by race and ethnicity of people in its custody. The Department currently publishes data with Asian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous groups all under one category titled “Other.” 
  • AB 1110 (ACEs Data Equity Workgroup) supports SEAA family health by requiring the CA Department of Public Health to develop guidance on disaggregating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) data by race and ethnicity. 
  • SB 435 (Latinx and Indigenous Disparities Reduction Act) advances data equity for all communities of color by requiring five state departments to disaggregate data for additional Latinx, Mesoamerican, and Indigenous language groups. SB 435 was influenced by SEARAC’s 2016 victory AB 1726
SEAA communities join SEARAC in DC for education convening
Last month, SEARAC convened 17 partners representing 11 unique organizations that serve Southeast Asian American students and youth. We are inspired to learn from these diverse organizations about the educational issues that affect their youth. We believe in the power of bringing partners together to build community, to learn from one another, and to work in tandem — bridging our priorities and geography.
Department of Education calls to end corporal punishment in schools
In a “Dear Colleague” letter, the US Department of Education asks states to replace corporal punishment, which remains legal in 23 states, with better discipline practices that promote safety and belonging. The Department also released guidelines for adopting discipline and school climate practices, including more two-way communication with parents and evaluating the impact of policies and practices on different groups of students.
SEARAC Statements
A look back at the news from this past month
Staff Blog
Introducing SEARAC's newest staffer
For this month’s staff blog, Anna Hyunah Byon reflects on their return to the SEARAC team in their new role as National Policy Director and makes a case for sponsors to support our upcoming Leadership and Advocacy Training this summer in Washington, DC.

“I may never have been an organizer, and it isn’t now and probably won’t be a role that I fill, but I learned that even as a policy person, I could work according to my values by supporting SEARAC’s community members to reclaim their power.”

Read their full blog post here.
Introducing our Spring Communications Intern
SEARAC warmly welcomes Lisa Le as our Spring 2023 Communications Intern. She will be graduating this spring from the University of California, Los Angeles, earning her degrees in Political Science, with a concentration in International Relations, and Human Biology and Society, as well as a minor in Asian American Studies. 

Born in San José, CA, Lisa identifies as a seconnd generation Vietnamese American. Prior to moving to Los Angeles for college, Lisa was extensively involved with community advocacy in her city where she served as Vice Chair of the San José Youth Commission in District 2. In her free time, Lisa enjoys playing recreational tennis, going to concerts, and exploring tourist destinations to take aesthetic photos. She is growing a foodie account on Instagram and loves trying new restaurants and boba shops. 
Last chance for Yer Vang merchandise
We are so grateful to artist Yer Vang for designing SEARAC’s end-of-year “Made by Refugees” and “Made by Immigrants” merchandise. Yer’s beautiful artwork communicated her story as a child of refugees and her gratitude to family and community for their perseverance. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to purchase a t-shirt, mug, or tote bag with her artwork, visit SEARAC’s online store to shop today! These designs will only be available until April 5.
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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