FACT SHEET: President Biden Establishes the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

On May 28, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and delivering on the President’s commitment to reinstate and reinvigorate this historic Initiative.

The new Initiative is charged with driving an ambitious, whole-of-government agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities by:

  • Helping to coordinate a comprehensive Federal response to the rise in acts of anti-Asian bias and violence
  • Addressing the systemic lack of disaggregated data on AA and NHPI communities in Federal statistical systems
  • Expanding language access and language assistance programs for AA and NHPI individuals across Federal programs
  • Strengthening economic security and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities by empowering AA and NHPI entrepreneurs, building new workforce training opportunities, and promoting workplaces that are free from harassment against AA and NHPI workers
  • Addressing the concentration of poverty experienced in many AA and NHPI communities
  • Addressing disparities in educational outcomes for AA and NHPI students of all ages, and addressing bullying, harassment, and discrimination in our Nation’s schools
  • Advancing climate and environmental justice for AA and NHPI communities who are particularly impacted by the climate crisis and are overburdened by environmental degradation
  • Promoting inclusion and belonging for all AA and NHPI communities by strengthening public awareness and education about AA and NHPI communities, cultures, and traditions
  • Empowering AA and NHPI communities to be civically engaged, including through electoral participation
  • Building a Federal workforce where AA and NHPI public servants are leaders at the most senior levels of our government
  • Ensuring that AA and NHPI communities are empowered and equitably served by Federal funding, grants, and contracts

To read The White House’s full fact sheet, click here.

NAPABA Congratulates Krystal Ka’ai, who was Appointed to Become Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

For Immediate Release:
Date: May 28, 2021

Contact: Edgar Chen, Policy Director

WASHINGTON – NAPABA congratulates Krystal Ka’ai, who today was appointed by President Biden to become Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. NAPABA has worked with Ms. Ka’ai for nearly a decade in her role as Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

“Krystal has been a steadfast advocate for the AA and NHPI communities,” said NAPABA Executive Director Priya Purandare.  “Her experience working on nearly every important legislative and policy priority affecting the AA and NHPI populations makes her uniquely situated to lead the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders during the most critical times for these communities. NAPABA is proud to have supported her candidacy, and we look forward to working with her in her new role and strengthening our relationship with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.”

The White House today also announced that the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders will be housed in the Department of Health and Human Services, to ensure that the Federal government is mitigating COVID-19 related anti-Asian bias, advancing health equity for all AA and NHPI communities, and ensuring AA and NHPI communities can equitably recover from these crises.

Ms. Ka’ai’s prior experience includes working with late Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, a Legislative and Research Fellow in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Program Associate of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.  A graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, Ms. Ka’ai will be the first native Hawaiian to serve in this position. For more on this announcement by the White House, click here.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

AAJANY Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

We are heartened by the expressions of solidarity against anti-Asian bigotry and violence from our brothers and sisters across the many bar and judicial associations. We too express our condolences to the families of all victims in Atlanta and to all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have experienced violence of any kind based on their ethnicity.  To quote the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”   

– Asian American Judges Association of New York State 

Join Social Security For a Call on Mental Illness in the AAPI Community – Thursday, May 23, 2019

From Everett Lo, Project Manager, Social Security Administration:

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States.  May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, when we shine a light on mental health.  No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, Social Security is there for you and your family, providing financial protection and vital services for all Americans, including AAPIs.

The 2019 APAHM theme, Unite Our Mission by Engaging Each Other, affords a unique opportunity to work together to ensure access to Social Security’s programs and benefits for AAPIs experiencing mental illness.  Please join us for an informative call as we discuss Mental Illness in the AAPI Community, and How Social Security Can Help, on Thursday, May 23, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT. You must register by Monday, May 20, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. EDT to participate in this call. Registrants will receive conference call dial-in information in a separate email on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Leading advocates in AAPI mental health will share personal insights, and representatives from Social Security will explain how we evaluate mental illness for Social Security Disability benefits, including resources available to help you.

We hope you can participate in this important call.  You may learn more about how Social Security is with AAPIs through life’s journey on our Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders page. For more information, contact Everett Lo, Project Manager, Social Security Administration, Everett.Lo@ssa.gov

Sept. 25 is National Voter Registration Day!

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While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing minority group in the US, AAPIs lag behind other communities when it comes to voter registration rates. As a result, AAPIs are increasingly left out of the discussions when elected officials make policy decisions on issues important to us and our communities.

  1. Make Sure You, Your Family, and Friends Are Registered to Vote

    Did you move or change your name? Do you need to register to vote? Have you checked if your registration is up-to-date for this election? Do you know someone who will be 18 on Election Day or became a citizen and is not registered?

    Visit APIAVote to register to vote and get more information today:  http://www.apiavote.org/register

  2. Promote Voter Registration in Your Community

    Get in-language materials and resources from our partners at the NAPABA Voter Protection Program website.

  3. Sign-up to Protect the Right to Vote

    Sign-up as a poll monitor and exit poll assistor with AALDEF as they protect the rights of APA and limited English proficient voters at polling locations across the country. You can get CLE credit for your pro bono work: http://aaldef.net/

    Volunteer with the National AAPI Voter Protection Hotline national voter protection hotline led by APIAVote here.

This program is part of the NAPABA Voter Protection Program.

Asian Americans say Obama had impact on them – USA – Chinadaily.com.cn

Asian Americans say Obama had impact on them
– USA – Chinadaily.com.cn

WHIAAPI Forum on Faith-Based and Community Leaders: 9/21

Save the Date

New York AAPI Forum with Faith-Based & Community Leaders

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The City University New York Murphy Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10036

9:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will convene federal officials and faith-based and community leaders in a day-long forum to share key Administration policies on economic growth, immigration, education, and civil rights. The forum will provide leaders and the broader AAPI community critical information and a better understanding of federal resources and services.

The focus of the WHIAAPI Community Forum is to accomplish three key goals:

1.    Establish a space where faith-based and community leaders can meaningfully engage and interact with federal officials; 

2.    Identify policy and programmatic areas of concern, receive feedback, and share local success stories and practices that benefit the AAPI community;

3.    Share opportunities for leaders to collaborate with the Obama administration.