Blog

Jul 24 How Strong Love Can Be
Vanuyen Pham

Being political and advocating for change is not exactly what my parents wanted for me. What they don’t understand is that I want to do this because they can’t. I want to be sure their stories and the stories of my community are heard. I am honored to be here at SEARAC, where I am surrounded by people who also care deeply about advocating for their communities.

Jul 12 Discovering My Roots in DC
Emily Short

I had never been part of an Asian American community before, in part because I was worried that I would not be accepted because I was “only half,” but I decided to take that chance.

Jul 11 Reclaiming my parents' story
Tigana Văn Lê

I remember how powerless and voiceless my parents were coming to this country as refugees and their experience trying to survive in America. That is why I’m extremely proud to be working at SEARAC, which has been a champion for Southeast Asian communities for decades. While my parents didn’t want their story to become mine, it has become a foundation on which I find inspiration to be a voice for those who are unrepresented.

Mar 1 Our Existence is Resilience
Lee Lo

Forty years ago, America debated whether my refugee parents/community, who were being hunted like animals due to their alliance with USA CIA Agents, should be permitted into the USA. Then it was whether it was worth providing food stamps and health care to this family of 11, who were displaced by a war no one had heard of. As a kid, I never thought I’d be interested in politics. But when every aspect of my existence is politicized, I have no choice but to be political -- to fight for the day when identities and communities like mine are no longer politicized, but rather humanized.

Nov 30 "Tell me about yourself."
Alyssa Tulabut

“Tell me about yourself.” This opening question to any interview was always the most dreaded to me. It required me to be a lot of things: concise, captivating, and clear about who I was. The first, I could practice. The second, I could well enough fake. The third, that’s where the trouble came. 

Oct 31 Mini-LAT in Seattle to Keep Cambodian Families Together
Sina Sam

Washington State Cambodian American communities have been deeply shaken by the recent raids of beloved family and friends for potential deportation to Cambodia. A total of eight local men from the Seattle and Tacoma area were swept up in the most recent raids and may be deported as early as November. In response, a group of activists held a mini Leadership & Advocacy Training (LAT) on October 11 in the Seattle area focused on addressing this crisis of deportation.

Sep 26 A Story Among Many
Andy Pacificar

I spent eighteen years in prison. I was incarcerated from 1990 until 2008. It was amazing to see all the changes in the world that happened in that amount of time. In the very beginning of my journey through prison I met a young man who was at the time only 17 years old. A misguided youth if you will. I was 30 years old at the time and this young man and I started to form a bond that still is enduring and growing today. He became my friend, my brother, my son and so much more. My Brother in struggle was also a Southeast Asian Refugee. He was also a LPR (Legal Permanent Resident). 

Aug 30 Serve the People
Nkauj Iab Yang

I quickly learned that if I want positive change in an unjust situation or system, that I would have to stand up and be that change. All the discomfort I felt and experienced as a young woman, a Hmong American, a Southeast Asian American, a daughter, a student, a low-income youth, were all disempowered experiences full of discrimination. The times I felt powerful were when I spoke and stood up for love, equity, and took matters into my own hands. I want to continue feeling powerful, and I want the same for my community.

Jul 28 Meet Vy Luu - Our Summer Intern from San Diego
Vy Luu

My name is Vy Luu and I am a Research Intern at SEARAC this summer! I am a rising senior studying Sociology at Stanford University.  I was born in Vietnam but moved to San Diego when I was seven, where my mom reunited with her family who had come to the US in the years following the Vietnam War. I’m the youngest of three children, and my family still calls me “Bé,” which means “Baby” in Vietnamese.

Jul 11 Meet Peng Xue - Our Summer Intern from Wisconsin
Peng Xue Vang

My name is Peng Xue Vang and this summer I am SEARAC’s Educational Policy intern.  I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and therefore I am obligated to love two things; the Green Bay Packers and cheese. I am a first-generation Hmong American college student and recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a double major in International Studies and Languages of Cultures of Asia and a certificate in Asian-American Studies.