Explore Key Topics - Educational Conditions - Educational Advocacy

Because K-12 educational issues have continued to be important to Southeast Asian American populations, some individuals have successfully run for elected political office on school boards, city councils, and other influential positions. This typically occurs in areas with concentrated ethnic communities such as San Jose and Garden Grove, California (Vietnamese), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota and central California (Hmong), and Lowell, Massachusetts (Cambodian). This trend reflects the shifting emphasis of Southeast Asian Americans within the K-12 education system from bilingual services and cultural adaptation to advocacy and empowerment issues. Advocacy efforts related to educational issues, including the development of linguistically and culturally responsive educational resources and services for all ages, have been especially important commitments for Southeast Asian American mutual assistance associations, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations. Ethnic groups have created organizations to help raise college scholarship funds and to hold workshops on college admission requirements.

In addition, first-generation Southeast Asian Americans continue to be involved with schools, temples, and other educational institutions in their homelands, both public and private. Their efforts include fundraising for new construction and renovation of schools in local villages. Others range from consulting and technical assistance projects with higher education institutions to educational exchange programs that reconnect youth with homeland cultures and heritage languages.