AAPI Highlights: May 1st - AAPI Heritage Month Hangout

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AAPI Highlights, April 29, 2013


Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about President Obama’s remarks honoring those lost and injured in the West, Texas explosion, his remarks at an event honoring the 2013 National Teacher of the Year, the White House Science Fair, a Google Hangout to launch AAPI Heritage Month, and agency announcements.


President Obama Honors Those Lost and Injured in Texas Explosion


On April 25, President Obama traveled to Waco, Texas to speak at a memorial service for those lost and injured in the recent deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in nearby West, Texas. The President honored the first responders and volunteers from the tight-knit community who rushed to the scene as soon as the fire alarm sounded. “Today our prayers are with the families of all who we’ve lost -- the proud sons and daughters of West whose memories will live on in our hearts,” stated President Obama. Read more here.


President Obama Honors the 2013 National Teacher of the Year


  President Obama and Secretary Duncan


President Barack Obama, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, honors 2013 National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau, State Teachers of the Year, and Principals of the Year, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 23, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


On April 23, President Obama honored Jeff Charbonneau, a teacher from Zillah High School in Washington state. Jeff teaches chemistry, physics, and engineering, and works to create accessible, interactive lessons that help convince kids that the science classes most students consider hardest are worth diving in to, not running away from. “He started an outdoors club,” President Obama said. “He brought his passion to the drama program. He’s even helping out other schools.” Because of Jeff, hundreds of students all over Washington are now participating in high-skills robotics competitions and gaining valuable engineering experience. Read more here.


Young Scientists and Innovators Amaze President Obama at the White House Science Fair


President Obama and Students


President Barack Obama talks with Evan Jackson, 10, Alec Jackson, 8, and Caleb Robinson, 8, from McDonough, Ga., while looking at exhibits at the White House Science Fair in the State Dining Room, April 22, 2013. The sports-loving grade-schoolers created a new product concept to keep athletes cool and helps players maintain safe body temperatures on the field. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


President Obama celebrated the remarkable achievements of student science fair winners and extraordinary kid innovators from across the nation in the third White House Science Fair. The Fair brought 100 students from more than 40 states to an all-day, hands-on celebration of the power and potential of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. After touring exhibits, the President congratulated the students on their extraordinary accomplishments and announced a number of ambitious new steps to advance his Educate to Innovate campaign. Read more here.



WHIAAPI Announcements


May 1 3PM EST – AAPI Heritage Month Hangout with Konrad Ng, Lisa Ling, and Phil Yu


On May 1, 3:00 PM EST, to launch the Smithsonian exhibition entitled “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” and AAPI Heritage Month, Konrad Ng, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, will host a Google+ Hangout On Air to describe the concept of the exhibition, highlight the exhibits in the collection, and field questions from the public. This Google+ Hangout is a partnership between the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.


Please use #may1apa on twitter to direct all questions and inquires.  To join the event, use this link http://bit.ly/apa_hangout

Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), will join and discuss the work of the Initiative, significance of AAPI Heritage Month, and activities and events throughout the month.  

Gautam Raghavan, Associate Director of Public Engagement at the White House, will moderate the event. 

Special Guests:
Phil Yu, the blogger behind Angry Asian Man
Lisa Ling, journalist, writer, and host of "Our America with Lisa Ling" on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

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, 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.


Commissioner Hector Vargas Blogs: Finding Home


In a blog post from Hector Leonard Perez Vargas Jr., a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, he tells the story of his mother, who moved from the Philippines in 1964 to Great Falls, Montana, to work as a nurse and to pursue a dream to improve her life and her family’s. Read her immigration story here and learn how you can share your own immigration story.



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. 


Public Meeting of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders


On May 6, at 9:00 am EDT, and May 7, at 12:45 pm EDT, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will hold a public meeting to discuss and reflect upon the Commission’s past work; review the work of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and determine key strategies to help meet the Commission’s charge as outlined in Executive Order 13515.


Individuals who wish to attend the Commission meeting must RSVP via email to whitehouseaapi@ed.gov no later than, May 2, 2013.  Individuals wishing to provide comment(s) about the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders or the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders should send them via email to whitehouseaapi@ed.gov.  Please include in the subject line the wording, “Public Comment.”


Agency Spotlight: USDA’s Investment in the AAPI Community


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is building capacity in the AAPI community by increasing access to its grants and programs. Over the past year, USDA partnered with three states (California, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) to provide education materials to Hmong communities about the nutrition benefits of USDA programs; provided a one-time increase of $1 million in a block grant for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for nutrition assistance; awarded 508 contracts totaling over $14 million to AAPI producers under the Environmental Quality Incentive Program; and awarded more than $1.46 million to non-profit organizations and educational institutions serving AAPIs in Arkansas, California, Hawaii, and Ohio. Learn more about the impact of USDA’s investment in the AAPI community and what other agencies are doing to build capacity across the country here.


Agency Announcements


HHS Releases Blueprint to Advance Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care – a blueprint to help organizations improve and diversify health care quality in our nation. The enhanced standards are based on a broad definition of culture – where health is recognized as being influenced by factors ranging from race and ethnicity to language, spirituality, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and geography. Read more here. 


SBA Announces 2013 National Small Business Week


The U.S. Small Business Administration is proud to announce that its signature event, National Small Business Week, will be held June 17th through June 21st. This year’s events feature exciting and informative sessions, like forums discussing the small business landscape, business coaching services, matchmaking events as well as networking opportunities and award ceremonies that are designed to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. The locations and dates for National Small Business Week are:


Seattle - June 17

Dallas - June 18

St. Louis - June 19

Pittsburgh - June 20

Washington, D.C. - June 21


For more information, click here.


President Obama Announces STEM AmeriCorps to Inspire Young People's Interest in Science and Technology


President Obama announced on April 22, 2013, at the White House Science Fair, that the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will launch a new science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) AmeriCorps initiative to spur student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math education. STEM AmeriCorps places hundreds of AmeriCorps members in nonprofits across the country to mobilize STEM professionals to inspire young people to excel in STEM education. Read more here.


U.S. Department of Education Releases Blueprint to Elevate and Transform the Teaching Profession, Calls Educators to Action


The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released the Obama Administration's blueprint for elevating and transforming the teaching profession, also known as the Blueprint for RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching). The RESPECT Blueprint embraces seven critical components of a transformed teaching profession jointly identified by ED and seven other national organizations. Read more here.


VA Initiative to Expedite Compensation Claims Decisions for Veterans


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing an initiative to expedite compensation claims decisions for Veterans who have waited one year or longer. Effective April 19, the VA will begin to make provisional decisions on the oldest claims in inventory, which will allow Veterans to begin collecting compensation benefits more quickly, if eligible. Read more here.


 VA Launches Hotline to Answer Questions on VA Health Care and Benefits for Women Veterans


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched a new hotline — 1-855-VA-WOMEN — to receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women Veterans. The service began accepting calls on April 23, 2013. Read more here.


Webinar for College Seniors, Young Workers to Address Managing Student Loans, Saving for a Secure Financial Future


The U.S. Department of Labor’s April 30 webinar will provide tips to help college seniors and young workers learn to budget for today's needs and tomorrow's goals. "Start Early to Take Charge of Your Financial Future" will be held from 3-4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 30. Participants will receive practical guidance with budgeting, managing debt from student loans and credit cards, saving and investing for short and long-term goals, and other aspects of personal finance management. Read more here.


CNCS CEO Tells Senate Committee Agency Wants to Build on Its Commitment to Veterans


Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), outlined the unique role of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs in the nation's efforts to support veterans and military families. The agency will increase its commitment by working with other federal agencies and private-sector partners to help serve more veterans as well as recruit them to participate in national service programs. Read more 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 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.


Grant Opportunities


Grants Totaling $474.5 Million Available from the U.S. Labor Department to Strengthen Training Partnerships Between Community Colleges and Employers


For the third consecutive year, U.S. Department of Labor is giving out nearly half a billion dollars in grants to create and expand innovative partnerships between community colleges and businesses to educate and train workers with the skills employers need. This third round of funding since 2009 under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants program brings total investments to nearly $1.5 billion. The grants are to be distributed to community colleges in every state over a four-year period. Read more here.


HHS Grant: Comprehensive Support Services for Families Affected by Substance Abuse and/or HIV/AIDS


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award grants to eligible applicants including, local governments, Native American tribal governments, nonprofits, and private institutions of higher education, for activities and services that are designed to increase well-being, improve permanency, and enhance the safety of infants and young children who have been exposed to a dangerous drug or have been exposed to HIV/AIDS and/or at risk of being placed in out-of-home care as a result of their parent(s)’ substance abuse or HIV status. The closing date for application is May 13, 2013. For more information, click here.


HHS Grant: Training to Work - Adult Reentry for Previously Incarcerated Individuals


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award grants to eligible nonprofits to foster pre-release services and the attainment of industry-recognized credentials for previously incarcerated individuals for jobs in demand industries in their area prior to release or within 90 days after release from a state or local work release program. The closing date for application is May 2, 2013. For more information, click here.