Dec 27, 2018
Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of Southeast Asia Resource Center (SEARAC), is deeply connected to the Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian communities she serves. As the daughter of Vietnamese refugees she knows first hand the challenges posed by limited resources, a sense of displacement, and the need for community connections. SEARAC, a national civil rights organization, is informed by a network of 40 community-based nonprofits who set their policy agenda and advocate for just and equitable policies at the state and federal levels. In fact, SEARAC, trains young people within its networks to tell their stories and propose solutions to their elected officials. By focusing on education, health (including the ongoing problem of intergenerational trauma), aging and immigration, SEARAC creates an inclusive environment for all members of the community. Quyen explains the looming threat of the Trump administration's Public Charge proposal, which would penalize immigrants who access programs needed to build family security and reach the American Dream. And she updates us on the latest round of deportations that are returning Vietnamese and Cambodian people to home countries that some have only fragile connections to. A natural collaborator, Quyen works with an expanding network of organizations in support of a common cause. Her own trajectory in America fuels her belief in, and support, for others following her path.