Jun 23 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Southeast Asian American Community
Koua Xiong

SSI is a federal program “designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and it provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.”  It provides the bare minimum for survival with a meager $647 a month for individuals and $1,011 for couples. For more details about SSI, visit the official website.

Jun 21 Assessing the Needs of Refugee Communities from Bhutan and Burma
Casey Tran

This past Monday, June 20th, marked World Refugee Day. The day honored the resilience and agency of millions of people who have been uprooted from their homes by war and persecution.

Jun 20 World Refugee Day
Cherry Lim

World Refugee Day is celebrated annually on June 20th. Commissioned by the United Nations (UN) in 2000, World Refugee Day “honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence, as well as the people who have dedicated their lives to helping them.”

Jun 15 Meet SEARAC's Summer Interns: Casey Tran, UC Berkeley
Casey Tran

Hi, my name is Casey Tran and I am a rising senior at the University of California, Berkeley. I am a double major in Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies with an Education minor.

Jun 10 Meet SEARAC's Summer Interns: Cherry Lim, Tufts University
Cherry Lim

Hello everyone! My name is Cherry Lim and I’m 21 years old fresh out of the Greater Boston area. I recently graduated from Tufts University, just north of the city with a BA in American Studies.

Jun 9 Meet SEARAC's Summer Interns: Koua Xiong, Wellesley College
Koua Xiong

Hi! I’m Koua Xiong from Minneapolis, MN. I am a rising senior at Wellesley College in Boston, MA. I was blessed to grow up in a loving family of seven children with a single mother. I consider myself Hmong American. This realization first dawned on me in my first years of college.

Jun 3 SEARAC and Central Valley Partners Rally for a Just and Humane California State Budget
Jonathan Tran

On June 1, SEARAC California staff, Jonathan Tran and Nenick Vu, along with partners from the Hmong Health Collaborative and the Lao Family Community of Stockton, participated in a rally against California state budget cuts to safety-net programs which serve the most vulnerable Californians, such as Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They gathered in Modesto with a diverse crowd of Central Valley residents to urge their state representatives to take a balanced approach to solving the budget deficit and resist painful cuts that disproportionately hurt hard-working families. Translations at the rally were available in Lao, Hmong, Khmer, and Spanish. The rally was organized by five organizations including People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO). View photos from the rally here. Read more about the event in the Modesto Bee.

Jun 2 Philadelphia’s Cambodian American Community Demands Answers--and Justice
Koua Xiong

Chally Dang (not pictured) was taken into custody by officials in the fall of 2010 and remained in detention for eight months while awaiting deportation back to Cambodia. On Monday, his wife was finally informed, after days of being kept in the dark, that he had been put on a plane to Cambodia. Along with his wife, Dang leaves behind five young children. His story and the story of Philly advocates fighting unjust detentions and deportations was recently published in the Philadelphia City Paper. Read the article here.

May 19 “We are all in the same boat” - Doua Thor, for SAALT's "An America for All of Us" series
Doua Thor

When 9/11 happened, I was in graduate school in Michigan. I remember sitting in front of the television thinking, “This can’t be happening.” Even then, I knew that this country would be forever changed. As a Hmong American who arrived in this country as a refugee, 9/11 drove home the realization that whether we came as refugees or immigrants, we are all in the same boat. The rise in anti-immigrant sentiment is the one thing I have been reminded of every day for the past ten years.

Apr 30 Return to Camp Pendleton
Phuong Do

April 30 marks the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. To remember this important date in history, we asked our staff, Phuong, to share her migration story from Laos.


Return to Camp Pendleton

Eileen and Mark took me to visit Camp Pendleton while I was in San Diego a few weeks ago.  We drove through the camp and were making guesses about where the Vietnamese refugees stayed temporarily in 1975.  We drove pass this statue…and made some comments about what the hand was. Eileen suggested we stop and find out.  It turned out to be a commemoration of the site where the refugees stayed.