AAPI Weekly Highlights: The Best Chance in Years to Fix Our Broken Immigration System

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AAPI Highlights, June 17, 2013

President Obama & Steve Case

Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the President’s remarks on the need to pass commonsense immigration reform, a year since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was announced, the President’s remarks to observe LGBT Pride Month, WHIAAPI’s upcoming webinar on careers in the public sector, and other agency announcements.


The Best Chance We've Had in Years to Fix Our Broken Immigration System


On June 11, 2013, President Obama spoke about the need for the Senate to pass bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform. A broad, bipartisan and diverse coalition of business, labor, religious and faith leaders as well as law enforcement and other community leaders from across the country joined the President in his call for action on this critical legislation. Read more here and watch the full remarks here.


Deferred Action Remains a Smart and Sensible Immigration Policy, but Congress Still Needs to Act


Many young immigrants were brought here by parents seeking a better life. These promising young people grew up here and call this country home. They deserve an opportunity and so do their parents. One year ago, the Department of Homeland Security took action to lift the shadow of deportation for eligible young people – who we often call the “DREAMers” – so they can fully contribute to our economy and our society. This process is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While DACA is an important step forward, the only way to have a lasting solution is for Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform that includes a pathway to earned citizenship. Read more here.


LGBT Pride at the White House


Leaders within the LGBT community were invited to the White House on June 13, 2013 to kickoff Pride month with a reception hosted by President Obama. In attendance were national leaders, elected officials, faith leaders, members of the military and veterans community, and local advocates and organizers to reflect upon the progress we’ve made and recommit to the work that lies ahead. In his remarks, the President discussed some of the steps we’ve made toward equality, and what still needs to be done.


“In 34 states, you can be fired just because of who you are or who you love. That’s wrong,” he said. “We’ve got to change it. There’s a bipartisan bill moving forward in the Senate that would ban discrimination against all LGBT Americans in the workplace, now and forever. We need to get that passed. I want to sign that bill. We need to get it done now." Read more here.


It's Been 50 Years Since the Equal Pay Act

President Obama and Equal Pay

President Barack Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, in the East Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


It's been 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, but its goals today stand unrealized. In 2013, full-time working women still make less than men on average. On June 10, 2013, President Obama spoke at an event to mark the anniversary.


"The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average, he said. "Today, it’s about 77 cents. So it was 59 and now it’s 77 cents. It’s even less, by the way, if you’re an African American or a Latina. So I guess that’s progress, but does anybody here think that’s good enough?" Read more here 


WHIAAPI Announcements


Professional Development Webinar: Careers in the Public Sector Webinar – June 18, 2013


WHIAAPI and the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) will be hosting a webinar on careers in the public sector on June 18 at 2:00 EDT with speakers from the Department of Education, Peace Corps, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Office of Personnel Management. Recent graduates and young professionals interested in careers in the federal government are encouraged to participate. Click here to RSVP by June 17. Learn more here.


Blog Post - Ansel Adams and My Dad: No Picture Taken


Frances E. Francis, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, tells the amazing story of how her father met Ansel Adams, the well-known naturalist photographer, while her father was held in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. Read the full post here.


Blog Post - My Big American Family


May Y. Chen, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, tells compelling the story of her parents who came to the United States in 1939. Her father came from China at age 19 and her mother from Hong Kong, while World War II was raging in China. Ms. Chen was the first of her family to be born in America. Read her immigration story here. 


Agency Announcements


CDC Launches First National Campaign to Increase Hepatitis B Testing Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

On June 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched Know Hepatitis B, the first national multilingual, multi-year communications campaign to increase testing for hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Though this group makes up less than 5 percent of the U.S. population, they account for more than half of the 1.2 million Americans estimated to be living with hepatitis B. The campaign aims to reach millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, particularly those that need information in their languages. The campaign is a partnership between CDC and Hep B United, a nationwide coalition of community organizations working to increase hepatitis B awareness and testing. Read more here.


DOJ, ED and HHS Send Letter to Health-Related Educational

Institutions Regarding Hepatitis B Discrimination


The Department of Justice, Department of Education, and Department of Health and Human Services recently sent out a letter to the nation’s medical schools, dental schools, nursing schools and other health-related schools regarding hepatitis B discrimination. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is now illegal to discriminate against HBV-infected persons. Read the letter and see more information here.


HUD and Urban Institute Release Housing Discrimination Study


The Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Urban Institute (UI) Senior Vice President Margery Austin Turner unveiled the results of the joint Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities 2012 study on June 11th. The study finds that while blatant acts of housing discrimination faced by minority homeseekers continue to decline in the U.S., more subtle forms of housing denial persist. Notably, the study also finds that African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians learn about fewer housing options than equally qualified whites. Read more here.


EPA Hosts Conference Call with Assistant Administrator

Mathy Stanislaus for AAPI Stakeholders


The Environmental Protective Agency is hosting a conference call with Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus on Thursday, June 20 at 3:30 pm EDT specifically for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) stakeholders.


Mathy Stanislaus is the EPA representative to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He will discuss community engagement, environmental justice, brownfields and sustainable materials management. A question and answer period will be provided to discuss these topics, as well as other environmental issues critical to the AAPI community.


Participant Toll-Free Dial-In Number:   (866) 528-5873

Conference ID #   77453352


Please RSVP to Scott Fraser, fraser.scott@epa.gov, by June 19 and use the call-in information above to join the conversation. To assist operators, please call 5 – 10 minutes in advance of the call start time.


CMS to Host Webinar and Phone Call to Review Health Insurance

Marketplace for AAPIs


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of Communication will host a high-level overview of the Health Insurance Marketplace for the Asian American – Pacific Islander community on June 18, 2013 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm ET. The session will review how the Marketplace works, what it means for consumers and individuals, who is eligible to enroll, and how programs for people with limited incomes work.


This session will have two parts, a webinar and audio call. Please join the webinar fifteen minutes before the start of the event by clicking here. The call-in information is as follows:

Dial-In Number: 1-877-267-1577

           Meeting ID #: 6324


CMS to Offer Spring/Summer Health Insurance Marketplace Training


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will offer health insurance marketplace training throughout the summer, Level 1 and Level 2.


The “Level 1: Health Insurance Marketplace 101” sessions are one-hour high-level webinar overviews of the accomplishments of the Affordable Care Act and a basic introduction to the Marketplace (Exchanges) highlighting who is eligible and how the Marketplace will work. The next Level 1 session will take place on June 19th from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET. Register here for this session. The “Level 2: Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace” sessions are two-hour detailed reviews of the Marketplace (Exchanges), including eligibility, enrollment, plan structure, Medicaid expansion, and the streamlined application. The next Level 2 session will take place on June 27 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm ET. Register here for this session. See the full list of training here.


SBA Hosts a Series of In-Person and Online Events for

National Small Business Week, June 17-21


The Small Business Administration is gearing up for National Small Business Week, June 17-21, 2013. National Small Business Week is a time to honor the 28 million small businesses that drive America’s economy. Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs – and half the people who work in the U.S. own or work for a small business.

There will be a number of in-person and online events featuring business experts from across industries in honor of this week. For more information, visit the official National Small Business Week website.


CMS Issues Program Integrity Guidelines for Marketplace


On June 14, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a proposed rule outlining program integrity guidelines for the Health Insurance Marketplace and premium stabilization programs. Through the Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses will have access to new Marketplaces where they can access quality, affordable private health insurance. Consumers in every state will be able to buy insurance from qualified health plans directly through these Marketplaces and may be eligible for tax credits to lower the cost of their health insurance. With open enrollment only a few months away, consumers can look forward to receiving more information in the coming weeks and months about how to enroll in the Marketplace. Read more here.


Grant Opportunities


CNCS Announces 2014 RSVP Grant Program


The Corporation for National and Community Service intends to fund RSVP grants that support volunteers 55 years and older serving in a diverse range of activities that meet specific community needs and respond to National Performance Measures. RSVP funding opportunities are available in 270 specific geographic regions in 45 states. Eligible organizations include nonprofit organizations, faith-based and higher education institutions, Indian tribes, and local public agencies, including city and county governments. Applications are due September 10, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Successful applicants will be notified in February 2014. Learn more here.


NEH Announces Grants for Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions


The National Endowment for the Humanities is offering Grants for Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (FPIRI), which support fellowships at institutions devoted to advanced study and research in the humanities, providing funding to programs for humanities fellowships of four to twelve months. FPIRI grants support fellowship stipends at a rate of $4,200 per month and a portion of the costs of selecting the fellows, up to $9,000. Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2013. Learn more here.


NIH announces Funding Opportunity for Research on

Comorbid HIV, Chronic Pain, and Substance Abuse


The National Institutes of Health announced a funding opportunity for research on Comorbid HIV, Chronic Pain, and Substance Use among Older Adults. To improve understanding of the intersection of HIV/AIDS and drug abuse, this Funding Opportunity Announcement is part of a multipronged 2014 expansion of HIV and AIDS related research within the context of drug and alcohol abuse among understudied populations and in understudied settings that show promise for the development of effective prevention and treatment efforts. The estimated total program funding is $1,000,000, with $200,000 being the award ceiling. Applications are due on November 15, 2013. Learn more here.