On October 30, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) held its first Young Leaders Dialogue (YLD) Google+ Hangout on Education. This is the first of four YLDs happening in conjunction with the E3! Ambassadors Program, comprised of 34 young leaders across the nation committed to increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for AAPIs. These E3! Ambassadors aim to “Educate, Engage and Empower” young leaders, by highlighting federal programs and resources for AAPIs around the issues of education, mental health, pathways to public service and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The first YLD focused on the topic of education in an interactive Google+ Hangout. Over 500 students and professionals RSVP’d and attended watch parties hosted by E3! Ambassadors across the nation, followed by small group discussions focused on the needs of various campuses and communities. Throughout the event, participants were able to take part in a photo campaign and explain why education matters to them. During the Google+ Hangout, WHIAAPI senior advisor Akil Vohra discussed eligibility for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), and how students can encourage university administrators to apply for funding for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). Maulik Pancholy, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs, shared his personal story, and discussed important anti-bullying resources. Monica Thammarath, a community leader with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), highlighted efforts within the community to increase college affordability and access to quality education.
YLDs are a way for young leaders to learn about federal resources available around issues that affect them, and share their personal stories. Each dialogue features Administration officials, community leaders, and other experts on the topic and can provide valuable information to increase access and opportunity for young AAPIs.
To find ways to engage your community around these issues, check out our education toolkit, and stay tuned for our upcoming Young Leaders Dialogue on Mental Health in December!
Jason Tengco is a Senior Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.