Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Blog
- Posted byon June 13, 2012 at 9:00 AM EDT
A year ago, I wrote that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) was in the midst of launching several important activities as part of its commitment to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As I said then, transportation is vitally important to the growth and development of the AAPI community. And I’m happy to report that over the past 12 months, DOT has taken specific steps that will enable the community to fully and safely participate in the nation’s transportation system.
For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed pedestrian safety resources for Chinese-, Filipino-, Vietnamese- and Korean-speaking families. These handy materials include tips for parents of elementary school children on how to prevent pedestrian accidents, along with a “Walkability Checklist” families can use to determine if their neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly. These free resources are available for download on the NHTSA website. In addition, NHTSA is actively working to finalize and implement a dissemination plan to make sure these important safety messages reach the frontlines of the AAPI community.
- Posted byon May 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
The Community Relations Service (CRS) is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice that is responsible for working with community-based organizations, state and local government officials, law enforcement, and civil rights groups to help them peacefully resolve conflicts resulting issues of race, color, and national origin. The agency also supports local efforts to prevent and respond to violent hate crimes committed on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.
In CRS’ forty-eight year history, we have mediated many emotionally charged conflicts affecting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and according to Ron Wakabayashi, a Regional Director with the agency, awareness of discrimination against Asian Americans has increased. Wakabayashi is responsible for CRS operations in Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii, and Guam, and was formerly the Executive Director of Japanese American Citizens League.
- Posted byon May 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM EDT
“Saving face can’t make you safe. Talk about HIV—for me, for you, for everyone.” The slogan is reflective of how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders need to embrace the growing concern of HIV in our communities. Judging by recent activities the efforts to educate the community about HIV is having an impact.
On May 19, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders gathered at more than 20 community events for the 8th Annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. From Jacksonville, Florida to Upper Tumon, Guam to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Honolulu, Hawaii, AAPIs met to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, encourage testing and and prevention efforts, and seek an end to the stigma about HIV in the community. The events featured free HIV testing and counseling, educational forums, video screenings and other activities.
- Posted byon May 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM EDT
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) often lack access to mental health and substance abuse services and face stigma and cultural barriers to seeking care, and when they do seek treatment, culturally and linguistically appropriate services are often not available. In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE) recently hosted a roundtable on strategies for reducing behavioral health disparities and promoting integrated care for the AAPI population. Dr. Rocco Cheng, project director of the California Reducing Disparities Project’s AAPI workgroup, gave a presentation on his workgroup’s efforts and findings on AAPI-specific disparities and effective strategies for addressing them. Among them, Dr. Cheng reported that culturally and linguistically responsive strategies are critical for reaching out to and serving AAPI communities.
- Posted byon May 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM EDT
Ed. Note: This piece is cross-posted from the Department of Veterans Affairs blog.
The observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month is also an occasion to remember the patriotism of AAPIs that have served, and are currently serving in the United States Military.
Reviews of historical documents reflect the first recorded history of Asian Americans fighting on behalf of the United States as far back as 1815, when General Andrew Jackson recorded that “Manilamen” had fought alongside his in defense of New Orleans, under the command of Jean Baptiste Lafitte. That proud tradition has continued to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Approximately 1.5 percent of Veterans, and seven percent of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ employees are of Asian American and Pacific Islander descent.
- Posted byon May 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM EDT
As a native Houstonian, I was raised in a community with a large Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. My exposure to the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of AAPI communities continued during the decade I spent in New York City, where I also had the opportunity to work with AAPI organizations at the local level. At the most personal level, I have had the profoundly joyous experience of being a proud aunt to two incredible children of Chinese and Korean descent. So, while the Census would not count me as an AAPI, this community has always been an integral part of my life.
Through my work with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, I’ve been able to broaden my experience and gain a national, more holistic perspective on the scope of the challenges and opportunities that exist in this community. My involvement in the Initiative has been one of the highlights of my time in the Administration. It has been such an honor to serve on the Federal Interagency Working Group and learn about the impressive work that’s being done across the administration in support of Executive Order 13515. In addition, it has been a privilege to connect with the leadership of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs and gain a better understanding of their grassroots efforts to improve the lives of AAPIs throughout the country.
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