The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) was busy throughout the month of June engaging with AAPI community leaders. The Initiative’s mission is to increase access to and participation in federal programs, and we regularly leverage our Regional Network to conduct outreach throughout the country. In June, we facilitated grant writing and technical assistance training programs, expanded professional networks, and increased leadership development opportunities. Here are a few highlights from last month.
On June 7, Initiative Senior Advisor and Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Team Lead George Mui spoke at the Atlanta Association of Chinese Professionals (ACP) annual meeting. This event focused on how to leverage federal resources to facilitate global business development Asia. While in Atlanta, the Initiative also participated in the Pacific Economic Cooperation Small and Medium Enterprises Summit.
On June 8, the Initiative and the Sikh Coalition hosted a Bullying Prevention Sikh Google Hangout that was attended by participants from across the country. With participation from Maulik Pancholy, member of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs, this online discussion focused on ways to educate Sikh American youth, parents, and community organizers about the resources available from the federal government to combat bullying. To learn more about the Initiative’s work on bullying prevention, visit our AAPI bullying prevention page.
On June 9 and June 12, the Initiative’s Regional Networks hosted grant writing and technical assistance training sessions in Jersey City and Boston, respectively. Nearly 70 individuals representing 40 community-based organizations in New Jersey’s Bergen, Essex, and Hudson Counties attended the training in Jersey City hosted by the New York/New Jersey Regional Network on June 9. In addition, nearly 50 representatives from different community-based organizations in the Boston area participated in the New England Regional Network’s training in Boston on June 12.
On June 13, the Initiative’s Southcentral Regional Network hosted its first community roundtable in Springdale, Arkansas. This event was held in partnership with the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, the Cisneros Center for New Americans, and the Marshallese Educational Initiative with a goal of educating the local AAPI community about federal programs and services, while providing a platform for the local community to discuss issues that affect them the most. Working with local partners in Arkansas allowed the Initiative to gather over 75 participants from all sectors of the community and build the foundational relationships between local constituencies and their federal agency representatives.
On June 15 and 16, the Initiative and MBDA hosted a business roundtable at the Minneapolis MBDA Business Center with 35 AAPI business leaders. The event addressed ways to further strengthen ties between the federal government and AAPI-owned businesses.
On June 22 and 23, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) hosted its annual Higher Education Summit bringing together students, college presidents, businesses, philanthropic organizations, and federal government agencies to focus efforts on AAPI students. This summit is a forum for the higher education community to discuss the pressing needs for the AAPI student community and Asian American and Native American, Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) that serve them. Initiative Executive Director, Kiran Ahuja, was honored for efforts assisting AANAPISIs and working to improve the quality of education for AAPI students.
On June 25, more than 100 community members gathered at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma, WA. Representatives from six federal agencies led breakout discussion sessions on housing, environmental justice, social security, healthcare, immigration, education, and technological innovation. Community members actively participated in discussion, and offered recommendations on how to improve government outreach to AAPI communities.
On June 25, Initiative staff spoke at the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership’s (CAPAL) AAPI Leadership Roundtable Lunch. The annual event connects public service leaders with interns and young professionals for an informal discussion on careers in public service. Initiative staff discussed their experiences in public service with a group of 30 young leaders from across Washington D.C. and answered questions about how to engage and advocate for AAPI communities.
Don’t miss our upcoming July events, including the fifth White House AAPI Youth Forum on July 9. Participants will hear from Administration and community leaders on a wide range of issues, participate in issue-focused workshops, and have the opportunity to work with their peers to develop plans for addressing local issues.
The Initiative will also be hosting an AAPI Community Roundtable in Austin, TX on July 25 at the Asian American Resource Center. Registration is still open.
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Mary Lam is Communications Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.