Dear SEARAC community,
As we close out 2020, we can’t help but reflect on what a turbulent year this has been. The COVID-19 global pandemic has altered life as we know it, and it has brought a disproportionate burden to bear for Southeast Asian American communities. Challenges to our children’s education, skyrocketing un- and underemployment rates, health disparities and inadequate access to healthcare: these are just a few of the issues that COVID-19 exacerbated during 2020.
But as we look back on these last 12 months, we also see resilience, love, and community resistance. We recognize that these practices come from our communities’ 45-year legacy of refugee resilience and resistance; we take care of us.
SEARAC will continue to fight for equitable, meaningful COVID-19 relief in Congress, because we know that so much more can be done to support our communities. But we’re also proud to be connected to so many incredible community leaders, partners, and organizations across the country who are doing the vital work of caring for our communities.
Here are some of the other blessings of light that we recall from 2020:
- This year, SEARAC hosted our first ever Digital Advocacy Training, connecting 225 participants from all over the country to learn about the Southeast Asian American legacy, SEARAC’s policy priorities, and practical tips for engaging lawmakers at all levels.
- In May, Southeast Asian American communities were outraged and heartbroken at the murder of George Floyd, and SEAAs across the country pledged solidarity and support to the Black communities rising up to demand justice. SEARAC developed a rapid response Solidarity Resource Hub, which offers recordings of powerful community conversations, toolkits for uplifting Black lives, safety tips for protesters, and advocacy tools.
- From coast to coast, we worked with families to raise awareness of the resources, funding, and political power that the 2020 Census brings, and we came together to ensure that SEAAs were seen and counted, this year and in the years to come.
- As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in our country, we shared stories and resources on our COVID-19 microsite, uplifting the ways that SEAA communities were caring for one another and advocating for our government to provide much-needed aid to get us through these challenging times.
With your support and encouragement, we look ahead to 2021 as an opportunity to advocate for unparalleled investment in our Southeast Asian American communities. Together, our communities form a rich tapestry of experiences, cultures, and stories — and we are woven into the fabric of our nation.
There is still time to support our work in 2021 and beyond. Click here to donate to SEARAC and abundantly fund our work to empower and uplift SEAA communities in the years to come. From the SEARAC family to yours, thank you for your support, faith, trust, and investment in SEARAC and our communities as we prepare for the road ahead.
Katrina Dizon Mariategue
Acting Executive Director, SEARAC
Please note that SEARAC’s offices will be closed from Saturday, December 19th through Sunday, January 3rd. We will respond to all emails, voicemails, and social media inquiries when we return on January 4th. Thank you and have a happy holiday season!