December 3, 2020 IN: Our Voices, Staff Blog
Help build SEAA leaders and advocates who will move us forward
Dear SEARAC family,
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives and the ways that we engage with our communities. While we were disappointed not to be able to host our annual Leadership and Advocacy Training this summer, SEARAC pivoted to a reimagined weeklong Digital Advocacy Training (DAT) for Southeast Asian American communities. These informative workshops connected 225 participants from all over the country, including upwards of 50 participants who had never attended a SEARAC event before, to learn about the Southeast Asian American legacy, SEARAC’s policy priorities, and practical tips for engaging lawmakers at all levels.
During DAT’s opening session exploring our Southeast Asian American Journeys report, panelist Jannette Diep from Boat People SOS-Houston reflected on her arrival to Texas as a refugee from Vietnam in 1980. “I have to say that the challenges that the community now face are very similar to the challenges that I faced when my family and I came into the United States,” Jannette said. “Our community is still trying to access resources while running up against language barriers. There hasn’t been much improvement in getting agencies to understand that Houston has the second largest Vietnamese population in the United States, and breaking language barriers have been very tough.”
One participant who attended this session shared, “As a young ally and researching about the Southeast Asian American community beforehand, the layout of the presentation in covering pivotal events and data on SEA people/issues was incredibly informative. I’ll be taking the time to completely read the report that was covered in the presentation so I can understand community trends even more.”
In 2021, we’ll be hosting our DAT once again, and with your support, we can continue to build our base of advocates, empower our communities, and train the next generation of Southeast Asian American leaders. Today, on Giving Tuesday, will you help us reach our fundraising goal by donating $225 in honor of this year’s 225 DAT participants?
Elaine Sanchez Wilson
Director of Communications and Development, SEARAC
PS: The powerful header images featured on all of our end-of-year campaign emails this week highlight the incredible work of our partners across the country supporting SEAA communities. In this header, clockwise from top left: Asian American Resource Workshop, Boat People SOS, and Southeast Asian American Education Coalition (SEAeD).