AAPI Weekly Highlights: President Obama Calls for Immigration Reform at San Francisco’s Betty Ong Chinese Recreation Center

AAPI Highlights, November 27, 2013 

Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the Administration’s work on comprehensive immigration reform, Iran’s nuclear program, and agency announcements.

As a reminder, you can read about our work at www.whitehouse.gov/aapi and you can follow us on Twitter: @WhiteHouseAAPI for the Initiative, @KiranAhujaAAPI for Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the Initiative, and @Inouye44 for Shin Inouye, White House Director of Specialty Media.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration, at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco, Calif., Nov. 25, 2013. (Offic
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration, at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco, Calif., Nov. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama Calls for Immigration Reform at San Francisco’s Betty Ong Chinese Recreation Center

This week, just miles away from Angel Island, President Obama said he is committed to fixing our broken immigration system to make sure we continue welcoming striving, hardworking immigrants who see America the same way many of our ancestors did when they came here generations ago – as a country where no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, you can make it if you try. Read his remarks and WHIAAPI Executive Director Kiran Ahuja’s blog on “Why Immigration Reform Matters to the AAPI Community.”

Statement by the President on First Step Agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program

On Saturday, President Obama said that the United States -- together with close allies and partners -- has taken an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program. Read his statement here.

President Obama’s Proclamation on Thanksgiving Day

“Thanksgiving offers each of us the chance to count our many blessings -- the freedoms we enjoy, the time we spend with loved ones, the brave men and women who defend our Nation at home and abroad. This tradition reminds us that no matter what our background or beliefs, no matter who we are or who we love, at our core we are first and foremost Americans.” Read the Presidential Proclamation. 

WHIAAPI Announcements

12/12 Webinar: Recognizing and Addressing the Needs of AAPIs with Disabilities

On Thursday, December 12, from 3:00-4:00 PM ET, please join us for a conference call and webinar on Recognizing and Addressing the Needs of AAPIs with Disabilities with the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL) and Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC). Read more.

12/19 Webinar: Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission

Please join the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and Hep B United on Thursday, December 19th, from 2:30-4:00 PM EDT for a webinar on Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission featuring speakers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Hep B United. Read more.

Blog: Demystifying the Federal Government

WHIAAPI’s Region IX Interagency Working Group hosted a workshop entitled, “Demystifying the Federal Government: Your Toolbox for Asserting Your Rights & Navigating the Federal Agencies.”  Speakers from the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Labor, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration assembled to discuss available governmental resources for AAPIs with respect to civil rights, grants, financial aid, training, language assistance and law enforcement. Read more.

Agency Announcements

Secretary of State John Kerry Attends Swearing-In Ceremony of U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the swearing-in ceremony of Philip Goldberg as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines. He addresses the importance of the U.S.’s efforts in providing emergency assistance to the Philippines at this time. Read his remarks here.

EEOC: Del Monte Fresh Produce Settles Human Trafficking Case for $1.2 Million

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the settlement of a national origin discrimination/human trafficking lawsuit against Del Monte Fresh Produce for $1.2 million on behalf of over 150 Thai farm workers in Hawaii.  Del Monte Fresh Produce is the first of eight farms (and labor contractor Global Horizons) to settle after EEOC's 2011 filings. Read more.

SEC Investor Alert: Beware of Pyramid Schemes Posing as Multi-Level Marketing Programs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is issuing an Investor Alert to warn individual investors about pyramid schemes, a type of investment scam that fraudsters often pitch as a legitimate business opportunity in the form of multi-level marketing programs. Read more.

HUD awards nearly $4 million to spur next generation of housing, neighborhood transformation

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that nine communities across the U.S. will receive Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants. The $4.37 million awarded today provides these communities the resources they need to craft comprehensive, community-driven plans to revitalize and transform public or other HUD-assisted housing and distressed neighborhoods. Read more.

HUD makes $1.7 billion in grants available for homeless programs

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that HUD will award $1.7 billion to support homeless assistance programs with the Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Due to a record number of existing programs requesting funds to continue operating, flat funding from Congress and sequestration, this amount represents a 5% cut to existing programs and risks halting or even reversing recent reductions of homelessness in communities across the country. Read more.

FDA approval of avian flu vaccine moves preparedness forward

The nation marks a historic step in pandemic preparedness today with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of our first adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine, Q-pan, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to protect against H5N1 influenza. Using adjuvants in vaccine can reduce the amount of vaccine antigen needed to stimulate an immune response in people. Read more.

U.S. Department of Education Releases School Improvement Grant (SIG) Data Analysis

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the release of 2011-12 school and district-level state assessment data and a brief analysis of School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools. The Department’s analysis compares the average proficiency rates of SIG schools in the 2011-12 school year to rates in the year prior to receiving grants. The SIG program is a key component of the Department’s strategy for helping states and districts turn around the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Read more.

Funding Opportunities

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Centers Program: Minority-Serving Institution Field Initiated Projects Program

This program develops methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities. The purpose of this competition is to improve the capacity of minority entities to conduct high-quality disability and rehabilitation research by limiting eligibility for FI Projects grants to minority entities and Indian tribes. Read more.

Patient Safety Learning Laboratories: Innovative Design and Development to Improve Healthcare Delivery Systems

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) funds research leading to patient safety improvements in all settings and systems of care delivery. While many researchers have endorsed a systems model as a way of thinking about entrenched patient safety problems, there has been a scarcity of programmatic activity that actually engages in new design and systems engineering effort, and that is focused on more than singular patient safety concerns. Read more.

National Training and Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreements

This announcement solicits applications for the National Training and Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreements (NCAs) program to provide necessary technical and non-financial assistance to potential and existing health centers, including: training and assistance in fiscal and program management; operational and administrative support; and provision of information regarding resources available under section 330 and how they can be best used to meet the health needs of the communities served by potential and existing health centers. Read more.