Asian Wisconzine Section/Heidi M. Pascual
Celebrating the Official Launch of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
APIAVote: Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, issued the following statement to acknowledge the official launch of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders – which will be housed in the Department of Health and Human Services for the first time since its inception in 1999.
“Today (Dec. 9), we are excited by the official launch of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) under the Biden Administration. Since its creation during the Clinton Administration in 1999, WHIAANHPI has been one of the most important platforms our communities have to ensure the needs of our communities are heard throughout the halls of the federal government, as well as to encourage AANHPIs to become civically engaged and get involved in public service.”
“We are pleased WHIAANHPI is expanding to explicitly include Native Hawaiians, and that it re-establishes the interagency working group and regional network to ensure federal agencies work more effectively to serve the AANHPI community.”
“We are also pleased this initiative will now be led out of the Department of Health and Human Services, for the first time since its creation in 1999. This will help ensure the federal government is mitigating COVID-19 related anti-Asian hate and advancing health equity for our communities as we face two ongoing pandemics: COVID-19 and racism.”
“Secretary Xavier Beccera and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai will co-chair the initiative, along with former Congressional Asian Pacific Islander Caucus Executive Director Krystal Ka’ai – who will serve as WHIAANHPI’s Executive Director.”
“Together, these three leaders bring decades of experience advocating for the well-being of AANHPI populations. We look forward to working together with WHIAANHPI and the AANHPI community at-large to continue our shared goals of stopping anti-Asian hate, ensuring language access to limited English proficient individuals, protecting our freedom to vote, and more.” ###
Congressional Asia Pacific American Caucus:
On Dec. 9. the Biden Administration announced the official launch of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI), implementing the President’s executive order issued in May. WHIAANPI will be housed within the Department of Health and Human Services under the leadership of Krystal Ka’ai. The announcement also named U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai as the co-chair of the Initiative, along with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:
“From his very first days in office, President Biden demonstrated a commitment to helping the AANHPI community, taking action to address hate crimes and creating a new White House senior advisor position for AANHPI issues. Now, with the official launch of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI), he is fulfilling one more promise to ensure more access to federal resources for these communities. First established by President Clinton, this initiative has helped elevate AANHPI issues throughout the federal government, and now I’m proud to see it expanding under President Biden to focus on health equity and pandemic response, two areas where AANHPIs are disproportionately at risk. I am pleased to see the Initiative re-establishing their federal interagency working group and their regional network to ensure that our communities all across the country see their voices and needs reflected throughout our federal government. Today’s announcement is a reaffirmation of the President and Vice President’s dedication towards solving issues that impact the AANHPI community, and I look forward to our future collaborations.
“I am also thrilled to congratulate U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on her appointment as co-chair of WHIAANHPI. She and Secretary Becerra are very well aware of our communities’ needs and have the experience and knowledge necessary to chair this Initiative. Finally, I proudly congratulate Krystal Ka’ai, former CAPAC Executive Director, on her role as the Executive Director of WHIAANHPI, where I know she will continue to elevate the AANHPI community and ensure our needs are heard and understood at the highest levels of government.” ###
National Council of Asia Pacific Americans:
The formal launch of WHIAANHPI and the relaunch of the Federal Interagency Working Group and Regional Network are important and essential steps in combating racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against AANHPIs. We deeply appreciate President Biden and Vice President Harris’ efforts to engage with our coalition to reimagine this initiative.
NCAPA also applauds the leadership of WHIAANHPI’s Co-Chairs, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, and Executive Director Krystal Ka’ai.
AANHPI communities must be a part of the recovery plan. We look forward to future collaborations with the Initiative to promote access and equity for AANHPI communities. ###
Other Similar Comments came from:
*Priya Purandare, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
*Julie Ajinkya, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Asian Pacific Islander American Scholars (APIA Scholars)
*Alvina Yeh, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO
*Seema Agnani, Executive Director of National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) adds:
*Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
*Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director of Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
*Anjuli Amin, Ph.D., President of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA)
*Brendan Flores, National Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
*Dr. Marielle A. Reataza, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA) comments:
*Kenrick Ross, Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
*Juliet K. Choi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
*David Inoue, Executive Director for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
*Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) comments:
*David L. Kim, President & CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)
*Rod Lew, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership (APPEAL)
*John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Advancing Justice – AAJC