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Celebrating the Breadth of Stories and Experiences During AAPI Heritage Month

White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Executive Director Doua Thor reflects on the events of AAPI Heritage Month

Last month, we celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in many different ways, with a variety of events with the White House, community organizations, and federal agencies.

From President Obama addressing a crowd of more than 1,400 at the 22nd annual Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Awards gala to honoring Champions of Change for AAPI arts and storytelling at the White House, we uplifted the diverse array of stories and experiences in our community. From native Hawaiians to recent immigrants to third-generation Americans, from artists to entrepreneurs to public service leaders, AAPIs are a fundamental part of the diverse mosaic of America.

To highlight this, we partnered with StoryCorps to share and document AAPI stories with the hashtag #MyAAPIStory. We worked with digital influencers to share an inside look at the White House, including Hudson Yang from ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat and released a Spotify playlist with AAPI music curators. We engaged communities online with their questions around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy with an #askDACA Twitter Townhall and hosted briefings at the White House for community and young leaders.

Throughout the month, we also noted the strides that the federal government has made to improve the quality of life for AAPIs. The President’s record has recognized the tremendous growth and unique needs of the diverse AAPI community, from creating opportunities for immigrants and refugees to forging educational equity. Across federal agencies, we celebrated several landmark announcements: a $1 million federal grant program for AAPI data disaggregation and the launch of a policy to help reunite Filipino World War II veterans with their family members.

And today, we are releasing the 2016-2017 Federal Agency Plans and annual Agency Accomplishments Report, documenting the progress and efforts to improve the quality of life and increase opportunities for AAPIs across 24 federal agencies and offices.

Our White House Initiative on AAPIs Co-Chairs, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Education Secretary John King, share this special message to close out the month.



Thank you for celebrating with us, and check out some of the month’s highlights below:

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.