Asian Refugees United exists to improve the health and wellbeing of East Oakland Asian immigrant and refugee communities by building voice, visibility and power. Our work centers the voices of the Vietnamese and Bhutanese refugee communities who fled persecution in their home country only to face new and shared struggles resettling in East Oakland.
Asian Refugees United grew from the experiences of Asian refugees sharing their culture and stories, developing their leadership and political analysis, building solidarity with multiple Oakland communities and taking action to improve their communities health holistically and in their workplaces. Vietnamese and Bhutanese women learned how to deepened their engagement with their own communities to advocate for health locally and on state-wide levels. The Asian refugees who participated in our program for the last 5-10 years have uniquely experienced political education, cultural healing, and inter-ethnic community building which has allowed them a voice to speak up and raise awareness about their experience and improve the health of their communities. In addition, due to the unique challenges of intergenerational trauma and cultural barriers, relationship and trust-building are key strengths of our work that have been built out within the last decade. Our advocates and organizers are uniquely positioned to bring out residents who would otherwise face fear and isolation from community involvement.