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AAPI Highlights, April 27, 2012
Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights! This week we are highlighting President Obama’s proposals to keep college affordable for students and their families, celebrating National Minority Health Month, upcoming webinars and convenings, and other important announcements.
334,000 AAPIs to be Impacted if Congress Fails to Act: #DontDoubleMyRate
President Obama is calling on Congress to put forward legislation to stop interest rates from doubling. For the estimated 334,000 AAPI borrowers it would mean an estimated average savings per borrower of $1,089 for Asian Americans and $1,042 for Pacific Islander/Hawaiian Americans over the life of the loan and an estimated total savings of over $361 million. Keeping interest rates on student loans low would allow more Americans to get a fair shot at an affordable college education, the skills they need to find a good job, and a clear path to the middle class.
As the President has said:
… I’m asking everyone else who’s watching or following online -- call your member of Congress. Email them. Write on their Facebook page. Tweet them -- we’ve got a hashtag. Here’s the hashtag for you to tweet them: #dontdoublemyrate. All right? I’m going to repeat that -- the hashtag is #dontdoublemyrate.
Celebrating National Minority Health Month
Dr. J. Nadine Gracia of the Department of Health and Human Services reflects on progress that has been achieved in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities.
During April, we celebrate National Minority Health Month by reflecting on the progress that has been achieved in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. As we continue to move forward toward health equity, we recognize that this has truly been a year of unprecedented opportunity for minority populations. The Affordable Care Act -- the landmark health care law signed by President Obama two years ago -- is generating new opportunities in the national effort to eliminate health disparities.
To read the rest of Dr. Gracia’s blog, click here.
Ending Bullying in Our Schools and Communities
Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama blogs about “Ending Bullying in Our Schools & Communities.” She describes the efforts both the White House and the federal government has embarked on to raise awareness to the issue of bullying and to prevent it from happening.
We also hope that Congress will take action to ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment by passing the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA)…All of our students have the same right to go to school in an environment free of discrimination and harassment, and that’s why the President supports these two important pieces of legislation and wants to work with Congress as they move forward in the process. Every day, we are striving to do our part to make progress...And I believe that day by day, step by step, we will change not just our laws and policies, but behavior, so that every young person is able to thrive in our schools and communities, without worrying about being bullied.
To read the rest of Valerie’s blog post, click here.
Gordon Hirabayashi Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented at the White House in late spring.
Gordon Hirabayashi openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, he refused the order to report for evacuation to an internment camp, instead turning himself in to the FBI to assert his belief that these practices were racially discriminatory.
Read more about Gordon Hirabayashi and other Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients here.
Profile America Forum on the Asian Population - The Emerging Power of the Fastest Growing Population in the United States
On May 2, 2012, join the U.S. Census Bureau and the Asian American Justice Center for a Profile America Forum on the Asian Population – The Emerging Power of the Fastest Growing Population in the United States to discuss the current social and economic impact of the Asian population on the U.S. The event will be held from 12:00pm to 2:30pm in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
Other Agency Announcements