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WHIAAPI Weekly Highlights: AAPI Heritage Month Edition

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! There are a host of events commemorating the month of May, including a White House AAPI Leaders Briefing in Washington, D.C. with key Obama Administration officials on the economy, immigration, healthcare and education. Read about this important event and many other events happening across the country and important announcements from our federal agency partners in the WHIAAPI Weekly Highlights.

Welcome to the first May AAPI Heritage Month edition of the WHIAAPI Weekly Highlights. Read below for details, including briefings at the White House, blogs by AAPI Obama Administration appointees, events happening across the country, and important announcements from our federal agency partners. WHIAAPI and AAPI Commission events will be updated weekly, so stay tuned for more.

May Events:

White House Blogs: This month, WHIAAPI will be posting a new blog a day highlighting the work of the administration, its impact on the AAPI community, and the personal motivation behind these efforts by our Administration bloggers. Learn more about the people, policies and actions that have a direct impact on you. Check out Secretary and WHIAAPI Co-Chair Gary Locke’s blog kicking off the month at:

On April 29, the President issued a proclamation on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which is available at:

On May 3, Deputy Director Christina Lagdameo will speak at the National Association of Professional Asian American Women Training Conference ( at the Department of Health and Human Services. 

On May 3 and 4, Commission Chair, Daphne Kwok will serve as a panelist at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Leadership Symposium, and AAPI Commissioners and WHIAAPI staff will attend APAICS Gala Awards Dinner (

On May 4, there will be a White House AAPI Leaders Briefing, which will bring together national, community and government leaders to hear from senior White House officials on critical issues facing the AAPI community, including the economy, immigration, healthcare and education. This event will be live streamed at:

On May 5, Deputy Director Christina Lagdameo will visit and deliver remarks at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, Washington. On May 6, Ms. Lagdameo will meet with presidents of three community colleges in the Seattle district and the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) implementation team and discuss the importance of AANAPISIs and implementing key strategies moving forward.

Also on May 5, WHIAAPI will convene an AAPI Student Success Programat South Seattle Community College, followed by a TEACH Campaign Student Roundtable at the University of Washington Ethnic Cultural Center, a collaborative event between WHIAAPI, the Associated Students of Washington Pacific Islander Student Commission, and the U.S. Department of Education TEACH Campaign to encourage AAPI students to become teachers. For more information visit:

On May 7, WHIAAPI Senior Advisor Akil Vohra will speak at the American Muslim Women’s Empowerment Conference in Irvine, California.

On May 10, the Department of Labor Region 9’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will hold an AAPI Worker Protection Summit in San Francisco, California. The summit will provide AAPI workers with relevant information on federal and state worker protections and safety and health rights. For more information or to attend the summit, contact Peter Wilsey at

On May 11, Commission Vice Chair Sefa Aina, Commissioner Hyeok Kim and Deputy Director Lagdameo will speak at the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) Annual National Leadership Training Conference in Bellevue, Washington. FAPAC represents the interests of over 153,000 AAPI employees in the federal government and the District of Columbia.

 On May 12, Commissioner Dilawar Syed will lead a roundtable with AAPI entrepreneurs in conjunction with the Start Up America Initiative. For more information visit: the same day, WHIAAPI Director Kiran Ahuja will speak at the Annual Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

On May 13, WHIAAPI will host a nationwide conference call focused on AAPI women. Administration officials will speak about the Affordable Care Act, workplace safety and health, and violence against women issues. For more information, email

On May 16, WHIAAPI Director Kiran Ahuja will speak at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum’s (APIAHF) VOICES 2011 Conference in Arlington, Virginia ( The conference will bring together 300 community leaders, funders, policymakers, health experts and advocates to celebrate APIAHF’s 25 years of leadership influencing policy, mobilizing communities and strengthening programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. On May 17, WHIAAPI will participate in a“White House Young American Roundtable” discussion on health reform and AAPI youth.

On May 18, WHIAAPI will lead an interagency Nail Salon Worker Roundtableat the Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters. The cosmetics industry, which includes nail salons, is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., and nail salon workers are predominantly AAPI women. Advocates from the National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance ( and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Food and Drug Administration and the Small Business Administration will discuss recommendations on how to improve working conditions for AAPI nail salon workers. For more information email

On May 19 at 12pm ET (9am PT), Nicholas Jones, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Racial Statistics Branch, will present for the WHIAAPI and stakeholders 2010 Census figures that track the growth of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders over the last decade.  This event will be livestreamed. WHIAAPI Senior Advisor Audrey Buehring will also speak at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) “Leadership, Diversity, Empowerment and Beyond,” AAPI Heritage Month event in Washington, DC. On the same date, Commission Chair Daphne Kwok will be honored by The Asian Professional Exchange ( for her work and leadership in serving the AAPI community.

On May 21, the DC Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA-DC) ( will hold a hearing on immigrant worker exploitation and workers’ rights to organize. A panel of workers will testify about their experiences, and WHIAAPI Advisor Miya Saika Chen will provide remarks.

Also on May 21, the Association for Asian American Studies ( will convene a policy roundtable in New Orleans, Louisiana. WHIAAPI Deputy Director Christina Lagdameo will speak about WHIAAPI’s role in addressing research and data issues concerning the AAPI community.

On May 23, WHIAAPI and the White House Office of Public Engagement will convene an AAPI LGBT Youth Roundtable at the White House with AAPI LGBT youth and advocates. AAPI LGBT federal officials will discuss the importance of public service and mentoring. For more information or to participate, email:

Important Announcements

On April 27, the Department of Homeland Security announced the elimination of the list of countries whose nationals have been subject to registration under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), effectively ending the NSEERS registration process through the publication of a notice in the Federal Register:

On April 28, the U.S. Census Bureau released data indicating that the number of U.S. businesses owned by Asian Americans increased 40.4 percent to 1.5 million between 2002 and 2007, increasing at more than twice the national rate. These businesses also generated $507.6 billion in receipts, a 55.4 percent increase from 2002.

On April 28, the Department of Labor announced protocols to complete the portion of the U visa nonimmigrant status application requiring certification by a law enforcement agency that the applicant is a victim of a qualifying crime and willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of that crime. For more information visit:

FREE Publications on Health and Government Benefits in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese: Now is your chance to share valuable information about health and government benefits with your community. These educational publications are available in Chinese, Tagalog, Korean and Vietnamese. The health package includes three booklets on cholesterol, high blood pressure and lung cancer. The government benefits package includes two booklets on Social Security. These publications are available FREE in bulk for you to share with people who want to receive information in these languages.

To order these packages, go online to fill out the online order form. Supplies are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. This offer is provided by the U.S. General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Information Center in partnership with WHIAAPI, the Social Security Administration and U.S. Food and Drug Administrations’ Office of Women’s Health.

If you have friends or family that would like to join our efforts, please have them click here.