AAPI Highlights: Boston Has Shown that Americans Will Lift Up What is Good

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AAPI Highlights, April 22, 2013


Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the President’s remarks at an interfaith prayer service for the victims of the Boston Bombing, the President’s reaction to Senate’s failure to expand background checks for gun sales, the President’s statement on commonsense immigration reform, the Champions of Change on immigration reform and crowdfunding entrepreneurship, how states help veterans and spouses get back to work, and agency announcements.


In the Face of Evil, Boston Has Shown that Americans Will Lift Up What is Good

President Obama in Boston Church

 President Barack Obama delivers remarks at an interfaith prayer service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Mass., April 18, 2013. The service was dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in the bombings in Boston. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


On April 18, 2013, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended Healing Our City, an interfaith service dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in last Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon. The President paid tribute to Krystle Campbell, 29, who was "always smiling;" to Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old graduate student from China who had come to "experience all this city has to offer;" and finally to Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy from Dorchester whose mother and sister remain in the hospital, fighting to recover from their own injuries. Read more here.


Senate Votes to Block Expanded Background Checks for Gun Sales


On April 17, 2013, President Obama spoke about the Senate’s failure to expand background checks for gun sales. The President said that the legislation showed respect for victims of gun violence and gun owners alike. “Nobody could honestly claim that this legislation infringed on our Second Amendment rights,” he said. “All it did was to extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer to guns purchased at gun shows or over the Internet.” Read more here.


Statement by the President on Commonsense Immigration Reform


In a statement released on April 16, 2013, President Obama said: “This bill is clearly a compromise, and no one will get everything they wanted, including me.  But it is largely consistent with the principles that I have repeatedly laid out for comprehensive reform.  This bill would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers.  It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally.  And it would modernize our legal immigration system so that we’re able to reunite families and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create good paying jobs and grow our economy.” Read more here.


Champions of Change: Organizing for Immigration Reform 

White House honored eleven people who embody the spirit of Cesar Chavez’s legacy and commit themselves to working in their communities to advocate and organize around immigration-related issues. Read about the Champions of Change here and their stories here.


 Champions of Change: Crowdfunding Entrepreneurs


This May, the White House Office of Public Engagement will host a Champions of Change event for entrepreneurs who exemplify the promise of crowdfunding to fuel the growth of startups and small businesses across the Nation. "Crowdfunding" means raising money in small increments from many individuals, typically using an internet platform.


We are asking for your help to identify crowdfunding entrepreneurs who may be "Champions of Change." For example, a champion’s work may contribute to community economic development or neighborhood revitalization; improving public health; manufacturing innovative products that are made in America; deploying clean energy solutions; and democratizing investment in scientific research. Submit nominations by noon on Wednesday, April 24 here.


States Step Up to Help Veterans and Spouses Get Back to Work


On April 17, 2013, the First Lady joined Governor O’Malley as he signed the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013 into law. Maryland’s bill sets a national standard for state legislation as it covers five out of the Administration’s seven best practices, including accepting military training and experience towards licensing requirements for over 70 state licenses and certifications, and requiring public universities to translate military service into academic credit so that veterans can earn their degree more quickly. Read more here.


WHIAAPI Announcements


White House Forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage


On Thursday, May 9, national leaders and scholars will gather at the U.S. Department of the Interior to discuss how the legacy of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders should be recognized, preserved, and interpreted for future generations. Organized by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the White House Office of Public Engagement, the event will feature remarks by senior Obama Administration officials and panel discussions featuring nationally recognized AAPI scholars and historians.


Date:               Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time:               1:00 – 5:00 PM

Venue:             U.S. Department of the Interior, Yates Auditorium, 1849 C Street, NW,  Washington, DC 20240


RSVP here by no later than midnight on Friday, May 3, 2013. For more information, click here.


Internship Opportunities  


WHIAAPI is accepting Fall 2013 Internship applications. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2013. WHIAAPI is seeking highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in AAPI issues and have outstanding research, writing, and computer skills. If you are interested in applying, please send a statement that describes (1) one issue that affects the AAPI community, (2) a strategy that you would implement at the Initiative to address that issue, and (3) the organizations and/or federal agencies with whom you would collaborate. 


Agency Announcements


Advisory Committee on Minority Veteran (ACMV) Application


The Center for Minority Veterans is seeking members to serve on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans. Veterans with current combat experience and active in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are urged to apply. For more information on the committee and registration, click here.


Nominations for the Advisory Committee on Minority Health


The Office of Minority Health (OMH) seeks nominations of qualified candidates to be appointed as voting members of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health. The Committee advises the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, with a focus on improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations and developing goals and specific program activities of OMH. The deadline for nominations to be received is May 31, 2013 by 5p.m. (EST). For more information, click here.  


Education Department Announces Next Rounds of Race to the Top, Including another Key Investment to Expand Access to High-Quality Early Learning Opportunities


The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced they will invest the majority of the 2013 Race to the Top funds for a second Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge competition. About $370 million will be available this year for states to develop new approaches to increase high-quality early learning opportunities and close the school readiness gap. This furthers the Administration's work to expand access to high-quality early learning programs for all children, especially those in disadvantaged communities. Read more here.


Technical Assistance Webinar: Foundations of Grant Writing


The Office of Minority Health Resource Center is offering a capacity building webinar on Technical Assistance: Foundations of Grant Writing. Organizations will learn how to write a strong federal grant proposal. The webinar will be held on April 25, 2013, at 4.00 p.m. EDT. For more information on the webinar and to register, click here.



OPIC: Expanding Horizons 2013 - A Workshop for Small Businesses Entering International Markets


The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will host the Expanding Horizons 2013 - A Workshop for Small Businesses Entering International Markets in Charleston, South Carolina. Discover how you can take advantage of all the products OPIC has to offer to expand internationally while supporting growth at home. Participants will also hear from other U.S. government agencies that offer programs complementary to OPIC, including market research, international partner search, trade financing and feasibility study funding. The workshop will be on May 7, 2013. For more information and registration, click here.


CMS State-by-State Marketplace Stakeholder Consultation Teleconferences 


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) invite your local, state and/or regional leadership to a teleconference conversation regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace. This call is part of the ongoing commitment by HHS to encourage public participation as it builds a new Marketplace in Federally-Facilitated and State Partnership states. For more information and registration, click here.


DHS Announces Cyber Student Initiative


On April 18, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of the Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP) Cyber Student Initiative – a new DHS program to engage exceptional community college students, including student veterans, in cybersecurity work at DHS. The Cyber Student Initiative will be incorporated into the SHP and is specifically designed as an unpaid student volunteer program for current community college students and student veterans pursuing a program of study in a cybersecurity-related field. Read more here.


USDA Proposes Simplified Application Process for Renewable Energy Funding


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed a series of changes to make it easier for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to apply for renewable energy and energy efficiency funding. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "these changes will streamline and simplify the application process and give businesses more time to do what they do best: innovate, create jobs and serve their rural communities." Read more here.


U.S. Department of Transportation Launches “Protect Your Move” Campaign


The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the launch of its new moving fraud prevention campaign to inform consumers about how to spot the “red flags” of fraudulent or dishonest movers. The “Protect Your Move” campaign seeks to give the nearly 35 million Americans who move each year the information they need to protect themselves from unlawful movers. Read more here.


USCIS Invitation: Business Representatives Engagement at the Texas Service Center

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Texas and Nebraska Service Centers invite you to attend the Business Representatives Engagement on Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (Central Daylight Time). Please submit agenda items to tsc.university@uscis.dhs.gov no later than April 25, 2013. If you would like to participate in the Business Representatives Engagement, please provide your full name, title and the office or organization you represent to Jennifer Kuylen at tsc.university@uscis.dhs.gov no later than April 30, 2013. For more information, click here.


SBA and W20 Group Launch Social Media Webinar Series for Small Businesses


The U.S. Small Business Administration and the W20 Group, an entrepreneurial ecosystem of digital communications companies, is launching a five-topic social media webinar series to help small businesses leverage and grow their businesses using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and mobile marketing. The first social media webinar for small businesses, Introduction to Social Media: Helping You Get Started, will be held on April 24, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. For more information on the webinar and registration, click here.

Grant and Fellowship Opportunities


USCIS Announces Citizenship and Integration Grant Opportunity


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the availability of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, a competitive grant opportunity which promotes immigrant civic integration and prepares permanent residents for citizenship. The program will provide nearly $10 million in funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. Applications are due by May 22, 2013.   For more information please visit USCIS.


Fellowship Opportunity: Office of Communications in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


A fellowship opportunity is available within the Office of Communications in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Assistant Secretary for Health oversees an array of offices and advisory committees, which support many initiatives, campaigns, and programs that promote the HHS public health goals. The selected participant will be involved in a broad range of public health communications and public health external relations activities to support the Assistant Secretary for Health, Surgeon General, and the offices and advisory committees the ASH oversees. Qualifications include a graduate degree in health communications and/or public health received within the last five years. To apply, send a current CV/resume, professional references, and a writing sample to the attention of HSSrpp@orau.org and reference DHHS-OASH-2013-0106 in all communications. Learn more about the fellowship here.