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Weekly Highlights, July 17, 2011

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders previews upcoming events and describes other ways you can get involved.

Welcome to this edition of the WHIAAPI Weekly Highlights! The nation’s Asian American population became the fastest growing race over the past decade, experiencing a 43 percent increase from 2000 to 2010, according to new figures from the 2010 Census Bureau. The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is working to understand what these changes mean for public policy, specifically for federal services and protections.

Host a Roundtable in Your Community! President Obama is calling for a national conversation on immigration reform that builds a bipartisan consensus to fix our broken immigration system so it works for America’s 21st century economy and security needs, but he can’t do it alone. That is why we are asking you and other Americans, including business leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement leaders and all Americans that understand that we cannot continue to live with the broken system the way it is – to continue the conversation in your community by hosting a roundtable. If you would like more information on hosting a roundtable in your community on immigration or other issues, email

On July 8, WHIAAPI hosted a Sustainable Growth Summit in Seattle, Washington. Over 450 business owners, educators, community organizers, and students gathered at the North Seattle Community College to hear from government officials and practitioners about opportunities for communities to drive sustainable growth. The summit featured workshops on connecting health to the environment, economic development through local food, government contracting opportunities for businesses, among others. Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary, Chris Lu; Senior Economist, White House Council of Economic Advisors, Ronnie Chatterji; and Region XI Administrator for the Small Business Administration, Calvin Goings were featured speakers. Read the blog about why sustainability is important to AAPI communities, Sustainability Means Equity, by President’s Advisory Commissioners Hyeok Kim and Kamuela Enos.

WHIAAPI participated in three AAPI community roundtables while in Seattle, focused on immigration, healthcare reform and small businesses. Read a blog about meeting with members of the Seattle community on the administration’s New Americans and Citizenship and Integration Initiatives by Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu and WHIAAPI Deputy Director Christina Lagdameo.

Upcoming Events and Announcements:

On July 19 from 3:00 to 4:00pm EDT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will host a panel discussion on HUD’s internship and fellowship programs. The purpose of this event is to reach out to representatives from AAPI Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and AAPI organizations about the opportunities available at HUD.  All are welcomed to attend this event at HUD Headquarters (Brooke-Mondale Auditorium, Suite A, 451 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20410), which will be useful to anyone interested in HUD’s internship and fellowship programs. This event will be available via webcast (live and archived) for those unable to attend the program  at HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C.  RSVPs are required no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 14th to Xiang Siow at

On July 22, WHIAAPI Advisor Miya Saika Chen will moderate a plenary at the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) biennial convention joining together AAPI workers and students of all ages, Generations United: Our Jobs, Our Rights & Our Future! in Oakland, CA. The plenary, entitled, The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Protecting Workers, Strengthening Jobs and Engaging Diverse Communities, will feature speakers from the Department of Justice, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will headline the convention.

On July 24 to 27, WHIAAPI Advisor Miya Saika Chen will participate in the Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence Summit in San Francisco, CA. The summit will engage advocates and organizations serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to address violence against women.  Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, Tina Tchen, will headline the summit.

On July 24 and 26, respectively, WHIAAPI Executive Director Kiran Ahuja and Senior Advisor Akil Vohra will speak at the Southeast Asian Resource and Action Center’s (SEARAC’s) 13th Annual Leadership and Advocacy Training in Washington, DC. The Leadership & Advocacy Training brings together Southeast Asian Americans from across the nation for 3 days of intensive advocacy and leadership training. Participants have the opportunity to learn about leadership strategizing, collaborative networking, and relationship building with decision makers.

On July 26, WHIAAPI will host a Muslim Community Outreach Webinar. This webinar and conference call brings together Department of Health and Human Services and the Small Business Administration to discuss outreach efforts from their offices, what specific programs faith-based communities can take advantage of, and concrete steps on how the Muslim community can get involved in these programs. Topics will include applying for a small business loan, and also ways in which health clinics can navigate the federal grant process; the program will conclude with a Q&A session. Email if you are interested in participating.
On July 28, WHIAAPI will host a webinar and conference all on How to File a Bullying/Harassment Claim. This webinar and conference call brings together the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights and the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division to advise the community on how to file a bullying/harassment claim. Bullying is a pervasive and underreported problem in the AAPI community. This technical assistance presentation will encourage individuals to report cases, advise the community on appropriate steps in the filing process between these departments, and inform individuals on recent activities undertaken by OCR and DOJ on bullying and harassment prevention. Email if you are interested in participating.

Other Announcements:

Reminder to Nominate a Champion of Change: President Obama has challenged us all to help win the future by out-educating, out-innovating, and out-building our competitors in the 21st century. Know someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community? Nominate them to be a Champion of Change. We’ll consider your nominations as we feature people who are bringing about change in their communities on the White House website to share their ideas on how to win the future. Check out this week’s series, which highlights fourteen individuals who are inspiring others to transform their communities through citizen leadership and social innovation.

Reminder to submit your comments by August 1st for the Department of Health and Human Services new draft standards for collecting and reporting data on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status, and plans to begin collecting health data on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations. Both efforts aim to help researchers, policy makers, health providers and advocates to identify and address health disparities afflicting these communities. In anticipation of these efforts, HHS, over the past year, has consulted with Federal agencies, requested recommendations from the HHS Data Council, and held listening sessions with relevant community stakeholders. The public may submit comments for the draft minority data collection standards at under docket number HHS-OMH-2011-0013. Public comments will be accepted until August 1. 

Notice of Funding Availability: The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HUD’s Fiscal Year 2010 Limited English Proficiency Initiative (LEPI) Program. Please click here for the NOFA, announcing the availability of $400,000 to be awarded to non-profit organizations, including grassroots, faith-based, and other community-based organizations, to help ensure access to HUD programs, services, and activities by limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. Four grantees, geographically diverse, will be awarded $100,000 to provide assistance to locally targeted LEP individuals. The application deadline date is August 15, 2011. Applicants may contact Pamela Walsh, Director, Office of Policy, Legislative Initiatives and Outreach, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, by phone at 202-708-1145 or at

Coming in 2014: Affordable Insurance Exchanges: HHS proposed new rules offering states guidance and options on how to structure their Exchanges in the following areas: Setting standards for establishing Exchanges, setting up a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), performing the basic functions of an Exchange, certifying health plans for participation in the Exchange, and ensuring premium stability for plans and enrollees in the Exchange. For more information on Exchanges, including fact sheets, visit: