Plenary Sessions

Our Moving Mountains 2019 plenary sessions will tackle cross-cutting topics from multiple perspectives. From exploring the Southeast Asian American community’s journey to highlighting the path from potential to power in 2020, this inspirational line-up of community leaders will kick off large discussions for our attendees to continue tackling at the summit and beyond.


SEARAC Executive Directors’ Dialogue: Reflections on 40 Years of Building a Southeast Asian American Movement


Join us for the opening plenary of Moving Mountains 2019, when SEARAC's executive leaders of past and present will reflect on their tenures at the organization and explore the key challenges and promising opportunities for the Southeast Asian American movement.




With a special appearance from SEARAC Founding Executive Director Lê Xuân Khoa, 1982-1998


Southeast Asian American Journeys: A National Snapshot of Our Communities


Join us for a special pre-launch of our national demographic profile report "Southeast Asian American Journeys: A National Snapshot of Our Communities." This year long project began with a group of community stakeholders in January 2019 to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing Southeast Asians in America today. Together, with Advancing Justice-Los Angeles and with generous support from the WK Coulter Foundation, we began an extensive process of national data and story collection, including data for the key states of CA, WA, TX, MA and MN. While the report is still in the process of being finalized and launched in early 2020, we will share some key findings from the report alongside our panel of community stakeholders who helped to shape the project. As attacks on immigrant and refugee communities escalate and the advocacy for disaggregated data is challenged, it is our hope that this report can be used as a tool to uplift the assets of our communities as well as the support that is still needed in our fight for equity, justice, and self determination.


Moderated By: Katrina Dizon Mariategue, SEARAC


  • KaYing Yang, Executive Director, Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL)

  • Jannette Diep, Executive Director, Boat People SOS - Houston

  • Phitsamay Sychitkokhong Uy, Ed.D, Co-Director, Center for Asian american Studies, University of Massachusetts-Lowell

  • Sina Sam, commissioner, Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAAPA); Co-founder, Khmer Anti-Deportation Advocacy Group (KHAAG)

  • jonathan vorasane, board of directors chair, laotian american national alliance (lana)

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Intersectional Activism and Building Collective Power

Join us to explore different overlapping approaches that Southeast Asian American communities are leading to building collective power, from arts, to organizing, healing, and philanthropy. See the diversity and beauty of what activism and collective power can look like from our speakers who represent different identities, histories, and experiences including racial, ethnic, and gender identities. 


Moderated By: pheng thao, manforward


  • Sarath Suong, southeast asian freedom network (seafn)

  • ger Lee, alliance of rhode island southeast asians for education (arise)

  • jeny daniels-savin, alliance of rhode island southeast asians for education (arise)

  • pysay phinith, executive council member, devata healing circle


2020 - Building Power in the Community’s 45th Year Anniversary

2020 marks the 45th year of the Southeast Asian American experience, along with the 2020 Census and 2020 presidential election.  Join us to get ready for action to build our community’s power through reflections from organizers, direct service providers, and the U.S. Census Bureau to inspire us to action for 2020 and beyond.


Moderated By: timmy lu, aapis for civic Empowerment education fund


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