AAPI Weekly Highlights: President Obama Meets with AAPI Leaders

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AAPI Highlights, May 13, 2013


Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the President’s meeting with AAPI national leaders, the Vice President’s speech at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Gala Awards Dinner, the White House Forum on AAPI Heritage, the WHIAAPI fall internship program, and more agency announcements.


President Obama Meets with AAPI National Leaders

President Obama and AAPI Leaders 

President Barack Obama meets with Asian American and Pacific Islander national leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 8, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Last week, President Obama met with a group of AAPI national leaders to discuss his call for commonsense immigration reform that will strengthen the economy and grow the middle class. The leaders expressed their support for the principles that the President and key Senators working on immigration reform have laid out and their strong desire for a bill that provides a pathway to earned citizenship and supports family unity. The leaders also expressed their commitment to working with Congress to strengthen the legislation that is being considered. Read more here.


Vice President Biden Addresses the AAPI Community 


On May 8, 2013, Vice President Joe Biden delivered keynote remarks before nearly 1,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander national, state, and local community leaders at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Gala Awards Dinner. Read more here.


Cecilia Muñoz: "Let's Show We're a Nation of Immigrants"


When Americans from all over the country -- each with different backgrounds, each from different circumstances -- all speak out with the same voice, it's powerful in a way that's hard to ignore. We've seen it again and again, in debate after debate. So share your American stories with us, and we'll publish them on the White House website, Facebook and Twitter. Read more here.


Keeping Up the Fight Against Child Sex Trafficking


Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, blogs “It still shocks me that we are forced to ever string these three words together: Child. Sex. Trafficking. There is no issue as grave and devastating. While FAIRgirls is helping to transform the lives of girls, one girl at a time, we must all accept responsibility to vigilantly ensure that no girls are exploited, abused, or trafficked in the first place. And if they are, we must provide them with loving, patient, and comprehensive care so that they do not just survive, but thrive.” Read more here.


Landmark Steps to Liberate Open Data


President Obama signed an Executive Order directing historic steps to make government-held data more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs and others as fuel for innovation and economic growth. The Executive Order declares that information is a valuable resource and strategic asset for the Nation. Read more here.

WHIAAPI Announcements


Jewell Underscores Commitment to Telling America’s Story at White House Forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage


The White House Forum hosted by the U.S. Department of Interior, along with the White House Office of Public Engagement and WHIAAPI, attracted scholars and other leaders from the AAPI community to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and discuss the National Park Service’s new Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study. Read more here, and view the event’s photo set here.


Agency Spotlight: Opening Doors for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency: U.S. Department of Justice


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) helps to ensure that federal agencies provide individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) meaningful access to federal programs and services.  DOJ’s Federal Coordination and Compliance Section issues guidance materials and tools to ensure full implementation of Executive Order 13166, provides staff support to review federal language access plans and policies, and offers technical assistance and training on LEP requirements to federal agencies.  Last year, DOJ partnered with the FBI, ED and the National Virtual Translation Center to film and release a government-wide technical assistance video series entitled “Overcoming Language Barriers.”  In addition, after the Gulf Oil spill in 2010, DOJ worked with WHIAAPI and other federal partners to deploy trained and experienced LEP coordinators to the Unified Area Command in Louisiana.  DOJ will be leading WHIAAPI’s Interagency Working Group’s sub-committee on language access.  For more information about DOJ’s great work around language access and civil rights, please click here.


Internship Opportunities


WHIAAPI is accepting Fall 2013 Internship applications. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2013. WHIAAPI is seeking highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in AAPI issues and have outstanding research, writing, and computer skills. If you are interested in applying, please send a statement that describes (1) one issue that affects the AAPI community, (2) a strategy that you would implement at the Initiative to address that issue, and (3) the organizations and/or federal agencies with whom you would collaborate. 


Agency Announcements


Department of Justice Reaches Settlement to Resolve Complaints of Religious Harassment at Charter School in DeKalb County, Georgia


The Justice Department recently reached a settlement agreement with DeKalb County, Ga., school district to resolve the department’s investigation into allegations of religious and national origin harassment of a Sikh middle school student.   Counsel for the Sikh Coalition filed the complaint with the department, alleging that the student had been repeatedly targeted with verbal and physical harassment because of his Sikh faith. Read more here.


The Health Care Law and You Presentation Tool in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hindi, Bengali, Hmong, Khmer, Laotian, Samoan and Tongan


The Health Care Law and You is a presentation tool developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to educate community members about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. This resource has been translated by the Office of Public Engagement at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services into the following languages: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hindi, Bengali, Hmong, Khmer, Laotian, Samoan and Tongan. See the presentation tools here.


Health Centers to Help Uninsured Individuals Gain Affordable Health Insurance Coverage


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $150 million in funding to help more uninsured Americans enroll in new health insurance coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act.  The new funding will help community health centers provide in-person enrollment assistance to uninsured individuals across the nation.  Read more here.


CMS Webinar: Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace Presentations for AAPI Community


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of Communication will host a high-level overview of the Health Insurance Marketplace for the AAPI community to review how the Marketplace works, what it means for consumers and individuals, who is eligible to enroll, and how programs for people with limited incomes work. The webinar is scheduled for May 16, 2013 at 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET. This session will have two parts, a webinar and audio call.  Please join the webinar ten minutes before the start of the event by clicking on this URL: https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/healthinsurancemarketplace051613, and conference call: 1-877-267-1577, with meeting ID 2681.


Administration Offers Consumers an Unprecedented Look at Hospital Charges


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a three-part initiative that gives consumers information on what hospitals charge. The new data show significant variation across the country and within communities in what hospitals charge for common inpatient services. Read more here.


Social Security Announces New Mobile Site for Smartphone Users


Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, announced a new mobile optimized website. People visiting the agency’s website, www.socialsecurity.gov, via smartphone (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Windows devices) will be redirected to the agency’s new mobile-friendly site. Once there, visitors can access a mobile version of Social Security’s Frequently Asked Questions, an interactive Social Security number (SSN) decision tree to help people identify documents needed for a new/replacement SSN card, and mobile publications which they can listen to in both English and Spanish right on their phone. Read more here.


Join the Conversation for Change


Members of the public are invited to participate in an online dialogue to examine the impact of existing federal regulations and legislation on the successful transition from school to work of youth and young adults with disabilities. The U.S. Departments of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, and Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration will host the event May 13-27 and invite policymakers, educators, service providers, families, youth, the advocacy community and others to join this conversation to improve transition outcomes. Read more here.


Energy Department and the NSTA Launch America’s Home Energy Education Challenge 2013-2014 Program


The U.S. Energy Department and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announced that registration is now open for America’s Home Energy Education Challenge, a national student competition created to help families save money by saving energy. Students, educators, and school principals are encouraged to register to participate at HomeEnergyChallenge.org. Read more here.


Grant Opportunities


CMS Navigator for Federally-Facilitated or State Partnership Marketplaces


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the availability of new funding to support Navigators in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. Navigators are individuals and entities that will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The funding opportunity announcement is open to eligible self-employed individuals and private and public entities applying to serve as Navigators in states with a Federally-facilitated or State Partnership Marketplace. The new funding opportunity provides up to $54 million in total funding and applications are due by June 7, 2013.  To access the funding opportunity announcement online, visit: http://www.grants.gov, and search for CFDA # 93.750.