AAPI Weekly Highlights: Five "Promise Zone" Locations Announced to Revitalize Communities

WHIAAPI BannerAAPI Highlights, January 14, 2014

Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Below you’ll find news about the Administration’s work on five new “Promise Zone” locations, the upcoming Chinese Google+ Hangout on the Health Insurance Marketplace, and agency announcements.

To keep up to date with our work throughout the year we invite you to visit our page at www.whitehouse.gov/aapi. Follow us on Twitter at @WhiteHouseAAPI for the Initiative, @KiranAhujaAAPI for Kiran Ahuja, the Executive Director of the Initiative and @Inouye44 for Shin Inouye, the White House Director of Specialty Media.

 President Barack Obama delivers remarks announcing the first five
President Barack Obama delivers remarks announcing the first five "Promise Zones," in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy) 

Five “Promise Zone” Locations Announced to Revitalize Communities

Last week, the President announced the first five “Promise Zone” locations as part of an effort to create partnerships with local businesses and community organizations to increase job opportunities, access to education, and economic mobility. The President noted in his remarks that all children should have equal opportunity for success that should not be dictated by the zip code in which they reside. The first “Promise Zone” locations are in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Twenty are expected to launch over the next three years. Learn more.

The President Calls for 2014 to be a Year of Action

President Obama started the new year off with a strong message for action. In his most recent weekly address he outlined his first order of business to call on Congress to pass emergency unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans who no longer have the resource. Watch the President’s remarks.

WHIAAPI Announcements

Subscribe to the AAPI Economic Zone Newsletter

January marks the first month of the new AAPI Economic Zone newsletter! The newsletter will include updates and events from the Small Business Administration, Minority Business Development Agency, and other federal agencies that create policy and programs that are critical to our community’s economic advancement. If you would like to subscribe, please e-mail WhiteHouseAAPI@ed.gov with your name, organization, and e-mail and include “Economic Zone” in the subject line.

1/23: Mandarin Chinese Google Hangout on the Health Insurance Marketplace

Join us for WHIAAPI’s Google+ Hangout on the Health Insurance Marketplace in Mandarin Chinese on Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM (EST). Read more.

Agency Announcements

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program opens its Request for Applications for 2014

The EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice has opened the Request for Applications (RFA) for 2014. The program aims to assist non-profits and Native American communities with projects that focus on environmental and/or public health issues within an affected community. Learn more.

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release School Discipline Guidance Package to Enhance School Climate and Improve School Discipline Policies/Practices

The Departments of Education and Justice released a guidance package to states and school districts to improve overall practices when handling school discipline. The resource package is comprised of a letter on civil rights and discipline, a Guiding Principles document with helpful research on best practices, a directory on discipline resources, and an online catalog of laws and regulations for all 50 states. The purpose of the packet is to support efforts to create safe environments in schools and enable sound disciplinary policies. Read more.

50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health

Fifty years ago this month, Dr. Luther Terry released the landmark Surgeon General’s Report – the first of its kind on smoking and health – concluding that smoking causes lung cancer. In the five decades since, we have learned that smoking damages nearly every organ in the body; it is responsible for an enormous burden of disease, death and economic cost in the United States; and, exposure to secondhand smoke can have devastating health consequences. Yet, since this first report was released, we have also shifted the perception of smoking from an accepted national pastime to a discouraged threat to health – and more than halved smoking rates in this country. Read more. 

Department of Health and Human Services Strengthens Community Living Options for Older Americans and People with Disabilities

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently ruled that Medicaid home and community-based services would allow for access to community living benefits, so that older Americans living with disabilities have the option to live in Medicaid homes and enjoy the full benefits of community living. The Affordable Care Act supports this Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Living Initiative. Learn more.

Funding Opportunities

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program provides K-16 educators with unique opportunities for overseas experience. This year, the program is open to teachers and administrators at the K-12 level with responsibilities for curriculum development in fields related to humanities, languages, and area studies.  The topics and host countries vary annually, although all seminars are in non-western European countries.  There is a seminar being offered for the summer 2014 in China, with 14-16 positions, subject to the availability of funds.  The deadline for applications is February 5. Learn more.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Grant for Small Business Innovation Research Programs

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture grants are available for small business projects related to agriculture and renewable energy technologies. The projects must be in Phase II projects that have previously completed successful USDA Phase I approval. Learn more.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Grant for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Higher Education Institutions

Grants are available for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian institutions to assist with the implementation of educational, research, and community development programs. Priority will be given to institutions that serve underrepresented students and prepare them for careers related to food, agriculture, and nature resource systems within the United States. Eligible applicants are public and private institutions of higher education that serve native Alaskans and Hawaiians within the academic areas of Agriculture, Science, and Technology. Learn more.

National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Applications are reviewed through an anonymous process in which the only criteria for review are artistic excellence and artistic merit. The NEA Literature Fellowships program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years. Learn more.