AAPI Weekly Highlights: Let Freedom Ring

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AAPI Highlights, September 3, 2013

Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about President Obama’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the potential economic impact of the senate-passed immigration bill, WHIAAPI’s community forum in Chicago, and more agency announcements.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd at the end of the Let Freedom Ring ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd at the end of the Let Freedom Ring ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. August 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Let Freedom Ring

On Wednesday, August 28, President Obama spoke from the Lincoln Memorial at the “Let Freedom Ring” Ceremony, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. President Obama was joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with members of the King family, civil rights leaders and other dignitaries. Thousands converged from across the country to join in this historic event. In his remarks, President Obama honored the heroes that marched in 1963, but stressed that while the nation has come far in the past fifty years, there is still work to be done, saying “But we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete. The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own. To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency.” Watch President Obama’s remarks at the Lincoln Memorial.

President Obama's Labor Day Message

Labor Day is a day that belongs to you, the working men and women of America. It's a day when we recommit ourselves to the idea that everyone who works hard in this country has a chance to get ahead. Watch a video of President Obama talking about why the celebration of this holiday is so important and how he's fighting for a better bargain for the middle class.

An Immigration Reform for a Nation of Immigrants

Last week, Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz attended the White House Ladders of Opportunity Forum. At the forum, Muñoz responded to questions about inequality, housing, jobs, and a host of other issues that affect the middle class and those striving to reach the middle class. Muñoz received a couple questions that come up frequently in the course of her work. “The first question”, Muñoz writes, “was about how the current immigration debate affects these economic issues. And the second was from an African immigrant wondering what a new immigration law might mean for her.” Read about the potential economic impact of the Senate-passed economic bill. Get the fact sheet on the benefits of commonsense immigration reform for Asian American Immigrant and Refugee Communities.

WHIAAPI Announcements

Chicago Regional Interagency Working Group: Continuing the Dialogue with the AAPI Community

On Friday, August 23, 2013, the Regional Interagency Working Group (RIWG) of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosted its second community forum in Illinois. The event – which drew over 50 community members – was hosted by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, the first Asian American elected to Congress from Illinois, and took place at Northern Illinois University in DuPage County, where Asian Americans represent more than 11% of the county’s population. Participants had the opportunity to hear from RIWG members about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses, the way in which the federal government is leveraging technology to meet the growing needs of the American public, the importance of safeguarding workers, and information on how to do business with the federal government. Read more about the Chicago community forum.

Blog: Learning about the Health Insurance Marketplace in Korean

On Tuesday, August 27th, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders held a Google Hangout in Korean to discuss the Health Insurance Marketplace. Viewers tuned in from around the country, and Korean American community groups gathered in California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington to participate in the discussion. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Anne Avery and Hyun Son responded to a broad array of questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace, which will be open on October 1, including eligibility requirements, enrollment start dates, authorized navigators, and resources for in-language assistance. Read about the Google Hangout and watch the video of the full Q&A.

Agency Spotlight: Improving Data to Better Understand the AAPI Community: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Americans. To better understand the health disparities and specific issues facing the AAPI community, HHS has focused on improving its data collection systems. For instance, the agency’s National Health Interview Survey continues to oversample Asian American households, an effort initiated in 2006; and the data for the National Health and Alcohol Study includes an oversampling of 2,250 AAPIs and 250 AAPIs of mixed ancestry. Through these disaggregated data efforts, we have found that Korean Americans have some of the highest uninsured rates in the country. HHS recently participated in a Google+ Hangout in Korean to educate the community about the Affordable Care Act and how the AAPI community can access coverage through the new Marketplaces. Learn more about the work of HHS.

Agency Announcements

4 Ways the Health Insurance Marketplace Keeps You Healthy

You and your family may be eligible for free screenings, vaccines, counseling and other preventative services to keep you healthy. All health plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace and many other plans must cover the preventative services below without charging you a copayment or coinsurance. This applies even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible! Read the list of 4 ways the Health Insurance Market Place keeps you healthy.

Labor Rights Week 2013: Protecting Opportunity for All Workers

In the spirit of Labor Day this past weekend, the Department of Labor reaffirmed its commitment to making sure working places are fair and safe for all workers in the United States: “Migrant and seasonal laborers, workers with limited English proficiency, and members of immigrant communities may be unaware of their rights in the workplace or afraid to exercise those rights… As part of its ongoing efforts, one of OSHA’s most important jobs is to make sure that vulnerable workers – such as those who are young, have limited English proficiency or work in high-hazard industries – are protected. Many young and foreign-born workers labor in dangerous jobs, and without proper training, education and personal protective equipment, they are vulnerable to serious illness and injury.” Read more about the Dept. of Labor’s efforts to improve workplace equality.

U.S. Department of State Launches New International Organizational Careers Website

Interested in a career on the front lines of today’s most pressing global issues, perhaps at the UN or another international organization? Such a career could be within your reach, and this week the Department of State is launching a new and improved International Organization Careers website to help U.S. citizens explore exciting and varied opportunities. Use this website to search for job openings with specific organizations, areas of expertise, and various locations around the world. Visit the new website.

Grant Opportunities

Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service: Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program

This grant, authorized by the Japanese American Confinement Sites Act of 2006, allows for the use of funds for identifying, researching, evaluating, interpreting, protecting, restoring, repairing, and acquiring historic confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Applications close on November 1st, 2013. Read more about the opportunity.

National Science Foundation: East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students

The National Science Foundation and selected foreign counterpart science and technology agencies sponsor international research institutes for U.S. graduate students in seven East Asia and Pacific locations at times set by the counterpart agencies between June and August each year. Applicants must propose a location, host scientist, and research project that is appropriate for the host site and duration of the international visit. An EAPSI award provides U.S. graduate students in science, engineering, and education in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, or Taiwan. The NSF award includes participation in the Pre-Departure Orientation, summer stipend of $5,000, and roundtrip airplane ticket to the host location. The application deadline ends November 25th, 2013. Read more on the opportunity.