Center for Southeast Asians of RI
270 Elmwood Ave, Providence RI 02907
Phone: (401) 274- 8811
Monday to Friday = 8:30AM - 5PM
The Center for Southeast Asians (CSEA) is a three-decades-old, community-rooted nonprofit organization annually serving over 5,367 families living in Providence and other cities and towns throughout Rhode Island. Since its inception in 1987, CSEA has focused on serving the needs of low-income refugees and immigrant groups, catering specifically to Southeast Asian (SEA) refugees. Today, CSEA is the only organization in the state that focuses on serving the needs of all Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees living in Rhode Island.
Many Southeast Asians regard CSEA as their primary source of support where they find help with navigating our state's governmental, healthcare, human services, legal, and financial services systems. The Center is also the main hub of Southeast Asians’ cultural affairs. In addition, the organization serves as a bridge between Rhode Island’s Southeast Asian communities and the greater Rhode Island community by bringing them together and offering opportunities to learn about each other’s history and culture.
Throughout the years, CSEA has expanded its reach and now also serves other ethnic minority communities, including new refugees from such war-torn countries as Burma, Bhutan, Liberia, and Nigeria. CSEA’s work is guided by a change model of family independence, community empowerment, and cultural preservation. We believe in working together with the communities we serve, using the best research available to choose programs that have been proven to work in similar settings and situations, investing smarter for greater returns, and creating lasting change. With our change model and these guiding principles, we have been successful with improving the outcomes for our families, and equipping members of our community with the knowledge and skills they need to access resources and advocate successfully for themselves and their families.
More broadly, CSEA believes in an empowered Southeast Asian community—one whose members possess the leadership, resources and skills needed to work together for their own advancement. While fostering community cohesiveness through mutual support and shared goals, CSEA is also focused on preserving the individual cultures of its member communities and ensuring that those cultures are celebrated in the present and bestowed on future generations of Southeast Asians in Rhode Island.