WASHINGTON, DC – 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, 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.”
About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at https://www.apiavote.org/