Community Spotlight
Uniting with FIRM and CPEHN for SEAA mental wellness
SEARAC reflects with partners at FIRM (Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries) and CPEHN (California Pan-Ethnic Health Network) on the empowering listening session with a wonderful video created by Allen Keo. We highlight the beauty of the Laotian community in Fresno and share thoughts from community members and staff to uplift the importance of mental health access and support. Please enjoy and show the love of uniting SEAA mental wellness by sharing!
Staff Blog
SEARAC's #VisibleandVibrant blog series for Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month
This past month, our leadership and staff have written blog posts reflecting on a memory of food, music, performance, or culture that is meaningful to them. SEARAC's #VisibleandVibrant blog series has been a celebration of the richness and diversity of our communities. We invite you to read the blogs and continue to uplift AANHPI experiences!
"Dual identity" by Katrina Dizon Mariategue
Health equity bills advance 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. That’s why SEARAC is proud to sponsor 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.
SEARAC is also proud to be part of the historic progress CA has made to provide health care for all, regardless of immigration status. However, hundreds of thousands of Californians remain unjustly excluded from accessing affordable coverage through Covered CA due to their status. AB 4 (Arambula) would remove these exclusions and moves us closer to #Health4All. AB 1110 and AB 4 have officially passed out of their house of origin, the Assembly, and will now move onto the second house, the Senate.
SEARAC opposes national anti-immigration bills
Throughout May, several anti-immigrant bills gained traction in the US Congress:

  • H.R. 2 – This package of xenophobic border bills would gut asylum, deport vulnerable children, jail immigrant families, and replace systems for humanitarian migration with greatly expanded immigration enforcement. Though H.R. 2 is not expected to become law, its successful passage through the House sets a dangerous precedent as anti-immigrant legislators’ stance on immigration reform.
  • H.R. 2494 (POLICE Act of 2023) – This bill would add “assault” of a police officer as a new ground of deportability– however a local jurisdiction defines it. The assault charge requires so little basis that it’s susceptible to abuse by police officers, with disproportionate impact on immigrants of color. Read our letter of opposition here.
  • S. 1473 – This bill would harm children and families by creating a detention and expulsion regime similar to the newly-ended Title 42 policy, which was a Trump-era mass expulsion policy that forced families seeking asylum to endure inhumane conditions. Title 42 ended on May 11; this bill would enshrine its cruelty into law. We call on the Senate to reject this bill and on Leader Schumer to prevent it from reaching a floor vote. Read our letter of opposition here.
  • Public Charge CRA – The Senate harmfully voted to reverse the Biden administration’s 2022 public charge rule. The 2022 rule was a step toward restoring health care, nutrition, and basic needs for immigrant families after the devastation of an earlier rule from 2019; that Trump-era rule deterred immigrant families from seeking benefits out of fear that doing so may compromise their ability to obtain a green card and remain with their family. The reversal attempt now heads to the House.
SEARAC in the News
Prism News features SEARAC in piece on Vietnamese engagement session
Prism News featured SEARAC's engagement session to develop an ethnic studies model curriculum alongside the OCDE (Orange County Department of Education) and Vietnamese residents from all over California. During the virtual engagement sessions, participants learned about the vision, possible goals, and outcomes of the model curriculum. They also shared their hopes for the model curriculum, including education about Vietnamese culture, intergenerational trauma, and the socio-political history of war and resettlement.

Mandy Diêc, SEARAC California Deputy Director, shared, “For us, the Southeast Asian-American model curriculum is a recognition of the resilience of the largest refugee community to have ever resettled in the US. The Asian-American narrative has continued to exclude this refugee legacy, and Southeast Asian Americans are hidden behind the model minority myth despite significant socioeconomic challenges and disparities.”

The curriculum will assist educators in teaching Southeast Asian American history and culture. Thank you to the community members who took part in this opportunity to uplift your unique voice and perspective.
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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