Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Blog
- Posted byon July 12, 2012 at 6:34 PM EDT
As Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), I get the wonderful opportunity to meet inspiring AAPI leaders across the country who are dedicated to serving their communities. During my recent trip to Seattle, I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with some of these leaders, including Hyeok Kim, the Executive Director of InterIm CDA, an affordable housing and community building organization based in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District (C/ID). Hyeok is also a member of the President’s AAPI Advisory Commission.
- Posted byon July 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM EDT
On July 6, the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) welcomed more than 150 AAPI young leaders from the East Coast Asian American Student Union for a briefing.
Chris Lu, White House Cabinet Secretary and Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on AAPIs, delivered remarks in which he encouraged AAPI youth to get engaged and take action within their campuses and communities.
- Posted byon June 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM EDT
Just over a week ago, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced a deferred action process for young people who are low enforcement priorities and that meet several key criteria, a step that will help certain young people—sometimes called “DREAMers”—be considered for relief from the threat of deportation. This renews my hope for public policies that recognize the contributions of immigrants and my hope for the possibility of comprehensive immigration reforms.
As a Chinese-American, born in the United States to immigrant parents, I have experienced the deeply felt concerns of my family and community for fairer immigration policies. I became a lifelong advocate for immigrants’ rights through my work with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU). Through the stories and cases of thousands of Chinese immigrant workers, I learned about their desires to become American citizens, to keep families together, to enjoy fair working conditions, and to provide a brighter future for their children.
- Posted byon June 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM EDT
Thirty years ago this week, a 27 year-old Chinese-American named Vincent Chin was brutally murdered. Two assailants beat him with a baseball bat, matching their physical violence with a stream of racial epithets. He died four days later, shortly before what would have been his wedding day. Despite the heinous nature of the crime, the state court imposed lenient sentences, so the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice charged the assailants under the federal hate crimes law on the books at the time. One of the two was convicted, and although his conviction was overturned, the story of Vincent Chin serves as an important moment in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and civil rights history.
Hate crimes enforcement is among the earliest of our responsibilities in the Civil Rights Division. Regrettably, hate crimes remain all too prevalent in communities across the country today. I have seen firsthand the devastating impact of hate crimes - and not only on victims and their families. Acts of bigotry can tear entire communities apart. Hate crimes are an unconscionable reminder that we have not yet achieved the ideal of equal justice for all.
- Posted byon June 22, 2012 at 11:27 AM EDT
On Thursday, the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) welcomed Filipino American leaders from across the country for a White House briefing for the Filipino American community.
As a proud second-generation Filipino American, I was honored to join members of my community who heard from Obama Administration officials on issues of importance to Filipino Americans nationwide.
White House Executive Chef, Cris Comerford, makes a surprise visit to the White House Briefing for Filipino American leaders, June 21, 2012. (Photo by Jason Tengco)
- Posted byon June 14, 2012 at 6:10 PM EDT
On June 7, the White House Office of Public Engagement, in collaboration with the Council of Korean Americans (CKA), welcomed more than 175 Korean American leaders from across the nation for a briefing by Obama Administration officials on issues of importance to the Korean American community.
The White House Office of Public Engagement and the Council of Korean Americans host a briefing for Korean American leaders, June 7, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Taeck Jang Photography)
The briefing was kicked off by Chris Lu, Cabinet Secretary and Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), who welcomed the participants to the White House, and noted that it was important for the federal government to hear from Americans about how it can better serve them.
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