Community Spotlight
Participants take a painting class at Chopsticks Alley Art in San Jose, CA. (photo courtesy of Chopsticks Alley Art)
Free art classes at Chopsticks Alley Art
Based in San Jose, CA, Chopsticks Alley Art promotes Southeast Asian cultural heritage through the arts. They provide support and promote artists through art exhibits, classes, and events and serve young Southeast Asian artists, low-income families, elders, the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals with differing abilities.They celebrate the cultural diversity of Southeast Asian contemporary art to foster greater understanding and connect communities. Sign up for one of their FREE art classes here
Civic Engagement
SEARAC and CA partners celebrate our Right to Heal
Last week, SEARAC joined our California-based advocacy and health services partners for our virtual and in-person “Right to Heal” event, bringing together individuals from across the state to learn more about the mental health needs of diverse communities in California. The kindness, commonalities, support, and lived experiences between communities was an affirmation to our Right to Heal and mental health equity. Throughout the event, participants from diverse communities shared their desire to learn and understand each other’s experiences, and we developed our shared understanding that building bridges across communities can unlock the political power necessary to secure the resources we need to heal in the ways we know best. Read more about our Right to Heal here.
Uplifting SEAA students in higher education during AANAPISI Week
Last month, SEARAC proudly joined our education partners to celebrate the 15th year anniversary of the creation of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program. AANAPISIs support low-income, first generation Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students, including Southeast Asian Americans. You can find out more about AANAPISIs on the APIA Scholars website and sign a letter to support increased funding for AANAPISIs here.
Request for information on data equity
Through Oct. 3, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will collect public comments on data equity, including examples of successful local partnerships, promises broken on data disaggregation, and what communities believe are opportunities to advance data work with local, state, and/ or federal government and agencies. If you are interested in submitting a comment on how state and federal agencies can work better with local stakeholders to advance data equity use and policies, please submit your comments here
A 2018 rally in support of affirmative action policies. (Photo courtesy of Gallup News)
Affirmative Action oral arguments this month
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in two cases concerning the consideration of race as a factor used in college admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. These oral arguments begin Oct. 31st. Race-conscious admissions benefits all students, in particular Southeast Asian Americans. Register for an upcoming webinar on Oct. 6 to learn more about affirmative action and how you can get involved. To RSVP to rally in support of affirmative action on October 31, please sign up or contact
SEARAC join partners and legislators to introduce SEADRA
Last month, Reps. Lowenthal, Lofgren, Jayapal, Chu, and Pressley introduced the Southeast Asian Deportation Relief Act (SEADRA). The bill would prevent the Department of Homeland Security from detaining and deporting Southeast Asian refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. This bill is the result of over twenty years of work from Southeast Asian impacted individuals, their families, and organizers across the country. While there is a long way to go to pass this bill, SEARAC is proud to have been part of the core team supporting SEADRA’s introduction. You can view SEARAC and the Southeast Asian Freedom Network’s full statement here
Southeast Asian Relief and Responsibility Platform
SEARAC is proud to formally endorse the Southeast Asian Freedom Network’s Southeast Asian Relief and Responsibility (SEARR) platform. The platform includes two support of two bills that SEARAC helped introduce: the New Way Forward Act and the Southeast Asian Deportation Relief Act. Additionally, the campaign also includes support for efforts to demine unexploded bombs in Southeast Asia and support for communities affected by the United States' use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Organizations can sign onto the platform here.
Gov. Newsom releases CA Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health
CA Gov. Gavin Newsom recently released a Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health, which outlines a $4.47 billion state strategy to tackle rising rates of mental illness and suicide, as well as low rates of mental health care service utilization among children in California. Other investments include funding $5 billion towards CalAIM, a Medi-Cal initiative, to improve health and behavioral health services for kids experiencing low income. This strategic plan aims to increase access while focusing on prevention and early intervention for mental health services in schools. 
CDC recommends new COVID-19 boosters
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that all eligible individuals receive the new COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer and Moderna. The updated boosters are specifically designed to protect against the omicron variant. Pfizer’s booster is authorized for individuals 12 and older and Moderna’s for individuals 18 and older. To find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you, visit
SEARAC in the News
Advocates hold banners and signs backing pardons for Southeast Asian refugees who face deportation at a rally in Sacramento on Oct. 24, 2018. ( Don Thompson / AP )
NBC News: "Lawmakers introduce bill to end deportation of Southeast Asian refugees"
SEARAC proudly joined our partners at the Southeast Asian Freedom Network on Sep. 20th in Washington, DC, to introduce the Southeast Asian Deportation Relief Act (SEADRA) alongside Congressional co-sponsors Reps. Lowenthal, Lofgren, Jayapal, Chu, and Pressley. NBC News covered the introduction of this bill and its potential impact on the 15,000 Southeast Asian Americans at risk of deportation. Read Kimmy Yam's full article here.
Staff Blog
Photo courtesy of Thuy Do
Welcome to the SEARAC team, Thuy Do!
SEARAC is excited to welcome Thuy Do as our new California Program Manager! For our staff blog, Thuy reflected on her experience as a birth doula prior to joining the SEARAC team. She shares, “One important thing I learned from healthcare is that finding calmness within creates a gentle ripple effect, transforming into a wave of meaningful change.” Read Thuy's full blog 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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