Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Blog

  • Connecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the White House Conference on Aging

    As May is both Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and Older Americans Month, we recognize that AAPIs are one of the fastest growing populations of older adults in the United States. AAPIs aged 55 years and older make up about 4 percent of the total older adult U.S. population, and about 20 percent of the total AAPI population. 

  • Speaking Up for Vulnerable AAPI Workers

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Labor's blog. See the original post here.

    Every May we celebrate the contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in building a better, stronger, more vibrant America. As the fastest growing ethnic population in the U.S., AAPIs are also playing an important role in the nation’s economy — from Filipino health care workers to Korean grocers to South Asian taxi drivers to Vietnamese nail salon workers. Unfortunately, many AAPI workers are also some of our most vulnerable workers.

    A Gallup poll highlighted a troubling statistic — that nearly 30 percent of AAPI workers have reported being victims of employment discrimination. Recognizing that AAPI workers face exploitation, but are among the least likely to assist government assistance, the White House initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders — WHIAAPI — along with an interagency working group launched the Vulnerable Worker Project to seek out and hear directly from AAPI workers about the challenges they face in the workplace.

    Listening session with AAPI workers held in Carson City, California, on Jan. 22, 2015

    Federal officials − including the Labor Department’s Patricia Shiu (second from left), assistant secretary for federal contract compliance programs, and Phil Tom (fourth from left), director of the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships − participate in a listening session with AAPI workers held in Carson City, California, on Jan. 22, 2015.

  • USCIS Provides Chinese Language Immigration Presentation at Famous Buddhist Temple in California

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' blog. See the original post here.

    Reaching out to immigrants and future citizens is one of the most important things we do. As a part of an ongoing outreach program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides information to immigrants in a variety of languages, including at in-person community events.

    One such event took place this past Sunday, April 19, at the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California, not far from Los Angeles. USCIS officers made a presentation, primarily in Mandarin Chinese, on immigration basics and the process of becoming a citizen, including how to prepare for the naturalization test.

    USCIS District Director Susan M Curda with Paul Chang at the Hsi Lai Temple

    USCIS District Director Susan M Curda (second from right) with Paul Chang (third from left), Regional Advisor, White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders and members of the community at the Hsi Lai Temple.

  • A Historic Gathering: The White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

    View more photos from this week's summit here.

    This week, on May 12, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington, DC. Nearly 2,000 community members, federal officials, and guests from over 40 states and the Pacific Islands came together to connect with one other, share their experiences and stories, and gain tools to mobilize their communities to continue expanding opportunity for AAPIs everywhere.

  • Tune In: The White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

    Ed. note: This event has concluded, but you can watch the full video below.

    Nearly 2,000 community leaders, federal officials, and members of the public will gather in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, May 12, for the first-ever White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). This Summit will be an unprecedented and historic all-day convening of senior federal officials and leaders from across the country.

    The Summit will celebrate President Obama’s leadership, showcase Administration policies and programs that have supported the AAPI community over the past six years, and outline efforts for the next two years and decades to come. View the full agenda here.

    Watch the live-stream of the Summit right here tomorrow, May 12, from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET. Join the conversation online using #AAPISummit.

  • Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    Today marks the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the incredible diversity within our community and the significant contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders to this nation. It is also a time to reflect on the trials and tribulations our community has overcome and the many challenges still faced, including barriers to equal access to education, employment, and health care, as well as ongoing struggles with discrimination. President Obama expresses this sentiment and more in his 2015 Presidential Proclamation for AAPI Heritage Month.

    As part of the month, we will hold the White House Summit on AAPIs on May 12. This Summit will be an unprecedented and historic all-day convening of senior federal officials and leaders from across the country. The Summit will celebrate President Obama’s leadership, showcase Administration policies and programs that have supported the AAPI community over the past six years, and outline efforts for the next two years and decades to come. Tune in live to the Summit at whitehouse.gov/aapi.