The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is the fastest growing racial group in the United States. As one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse groups in the country, AAPIs trace their heritage to over 30 different countries and ethnic groups and speak over 100 languages and dialects. The challenges faced by AAPIs are as diverse as the communities they come from.
Recognizing this tremendous growth and the unique needs within the AAPI community, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13515 reestablishing the White House Initiative on AAPIs on October 14, 2009. Although AAPIs have helped build a strong and vibrant U.S., many still face linguistic, economic, educational, and immigration barriers that often hinder them from achieving their full potential.
Artists and advocates, through their unique channels and distinct platforms, have played a critical role in telling powerful stories, increasing awareness around key AAPI issues, and encouraging diversity and inclusion in all sectors of society. As a part of this year’s AAPI Heritage Month, the White House Initiative on AAPIs will convene AAPI leaders and allies to highlight the accomplishments of AAPI artists and advocates.
In coordination with these efforts, the White House will honor Champions of Change for AAPI art and storytelling who have raised the visibility of diverse AAPI experiences and created dialogue around issues the community faces. The Champions of Change program honors individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.
Nominees may include:
Nominate a Champion of Change by midnight on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Be sure to select “AAPI Art and Storytelling” as your “Theme of Service” on the nomination form.
Doua Thor is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which is housed within the Department of Education.