SEARAC is a national organization that advances the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans by empowering communities through advocacy, leadership development and capacity building to create a socially just and equitable society.
Geographic areas served: United States - National
Programs: 1) Advocacy Initiative: SEARAC plays a leading role in policy debates in Washington, DC, that deeply impact Southeast Asian American communities. Areas of special concern include immigration, education, health, economic development, and involving more women in policy discussions. SEARAC carries out much of this work through leadership in the Refugee Council USA and the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, and is supported in this work by the Ford Foundation and the New Voices Fellowship program. 2) Healthy Elders Leadership Project (HELP): HELP provides California-based Southeast Asian American community organizations, mutual assistance associations (MAAs) and faith-based organizations (FBOs), with sub-grants, training, and technical assistance in order to improve their work with elderly community members. Through HELP, SEARAC opened its second office, in Sacramento, California, in the summer of 2005. By the end of 2006, HELP will have 10 official MAA partners in Northern and Central California. 3) Leadership-Advocacy Training: Each year, SEARAC gathers together approximately 50 Southeast Asian Americans in Washington, DC for advocacy and networking with members of the U.S. Congress and the federal Administration. 4) Project Refugee Organization and Service Enhancement (ROSE): Project ROSE is a partnership between SEARAC and Mosaica: The Center for Nonprofit Development and Pluralism. The purpose is to build the capacity of MAAs, FBOs, and other refugee-serving agencies and organizations to promote high quality services for refugees. Project ROSE has two main goals: 1) to identify and promote principles and best practices in the delivery of services to refugees, whether provided by public agencies, voluntary agencies, or refugee-led organizations; and 2) to assist refugee-led groups to choose and implement organizational models that will be sustainable. 5) Southeast Asian American Women?s Leadership Initiative: This innovative new program has two primary goals: 1) to increase the capacity, and support the participation, of Southeast Asian women to engage in social justice through public sector careers, issues, and Southeast Asian community-based organizations; and 2) to engage in a national advocacy agenda that is informed and supported by Southeast Asian American women.