AAPI Weekly Highlights: 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting

AAPI Highlights, December 11, 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 commemorating Nelson Mandela, 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 during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree event on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2012. (Of
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree event on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting 

The White House is officially bedecked with cheer for the holiday season, which means it’s time for another tradition: the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. Last week, President Obama, the First Lady and their family participated in the 91st annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse in President’s Park, just outside the White House gates. Watch the ceremony.

President Obama Delivers Remarks at Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela

This week, the President delivered remarks at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela. Said the President, “To the people of South Africa -- people of every race and walk of life -- the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us.  His struggle was your struggle.  His triumph was your triumph.  Your dignity and your hope found expression in his life.  And your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.” Read his remarks. 

Calling on Congress to Extend Unemployment Benefits this Holiday Season

 In his most recent weekly address, President Obama says that before Congress leaves for vacation, they should extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million hardworking Americans who will lose this lifeline at the end of the year. Watch the weekly address.

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.

12/13 Webinar: A New Federal Immigrant Integration Initiative


On Friday, December 13, 2013, from 3:00-3:45 PM ET, please join the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education to learn how the U.S. Department of Education is partnering to create networks for effective immigrant integration. Also, hear about locally-driven efforts to create more welcoming, immigrant-friendly environments that maximize opportunities for economic growth and cultural vitality. Read more.

12/19 Webinar: Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission

Please join WHIAAPI and Hep B United on Thursday, December 19, from 2:30-4:00 PM ET for a webinar on Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission featuring speakers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Hep B United. Read more.

Agency Announcements

United States Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia Summer Intern Program

The United States Attorney's Office of the District of Columbia is accepting intern applications for its Summer Program through December 31 for 1L, 2L, and 3L students and college students. The Program begins on Monday, June 2, 2014. Learn more.

CDC’s First Multi-Lingual Hepatitis B Testing Campaign

Know Hepatitis B is CDC’s first multi-lingual campaign promoting testing for Hepatitis B among AAPIs, who are disproportionately affected by Hepatitis B. The campaign launched in June 2013 with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HHS office of Minority Health, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Developed in partnership with Hep B United, a national coalition addressing the public health challenge of hepatitis B, the campaign seeks to increase awareness and encourage people who may be chronically infected with hepatitis B to get tested. By doing so, people can take care of themselves and protect their families. Know Hepatitis B messages throughout the country feature materials in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other Asian languages.

Small Businesses & Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars

With new health insurance marketplaces open, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Small Business Majority are excited to announce the next set of dates for our free Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinars so small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in health insurance marketplaces. Read more.

HHS Awards $55.5 Million to Bolster America’s Health Care Workforce

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $55.5 million in funding awarded in FY 2013 to strengthen training for health professionals and increase the size of the nation’s health care workforce. Read more.

Federal Student Aid Roundtables in Northern California

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) is collaborating with community-based organizations to provide several roundtable discussions and comprehensive financial aid Train-the-Trainer sessions for counselors & mentors who work with parents, students, veterans and dislocated workers. No cost involved - High school counselors, community-based, faith-based organizations and government agencies are encouraged to attend. Registration is required, and space is limited. RSVP by email to richard.blasen@ed.gov or phone at 312-730-1547 by January 3, 2014.

  • San Francisco, CA

Date: January 6, 2014 from 10:00am - 12:00pm - Roundtable Discussion

Date: January 6, 2014 from 1:00pm - 3:30pm - Financial Aid & FAFSA

Training Location: US Department of Education/FSA Bldg., 50 Beale Street, RTF room # 8200 B, San Francisco, CA 94105 

  • Sacramento, CA

Date: January 7, 2014 from 10:00am - 12:00pm - Roundtable (Lunch Included)

Date: January 7, 2014 from 1:00pm - 3:30pm - Financial Aid & FAFSA

Training Location: California State University, Sacramento Alumni Center, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA, 95819

  • Fremont, CA

Date: January 9, 2014 from 9:30am - 11:30am - Roundtable Discussion

Date: January 9, 2014 from 12:30pm - 3:00pm - Financial Aid & FAFSA

Training Location: Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Boulevard, Bldg. 7, Room 7101 - Board Conference Rm, Fremont, CA 94539-5847

Funding Opportunities

NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is soliciting applications from eligible colleges and universities in the U.S. and its territories, nominating undergraduate students to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. The SURF Program will provide research opportunities for undergraduate students to work with internationally known NIST scientists, to expose them to cutting-edge research, and to promote the pursuit of graduate degrees in science and engineering. Learn more.

Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health

The Healthy Start (HS) program aims to reduce disparities in infant mortality and adverse perinatal outcomes by: 1) improving women’s health, 2) promoting quality services, 3) strengthening family resilience, 4) achieving collective impact, and 5) increasing accountability through quality improvement, performance monitoring, and evaluation.  HS grants are provided to communities with rates of infant mortality at least 1½ times the U.S. national average and high rates for other adverse perinatal outcomes in order to address the needs of high-risk women and their families before, during, and after pregnancy.  Learn more.