Late last year President Biden issued Executive Order 14031, authorizing the creation of the President’s Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The Commission will advise the President on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, December 20, 2021). The 25 member Commission reflects the wide diversity and expertise within the AANHPI community. It is co-chaired by Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Former Congressional Asian Pacific Islander Caucus Executive Director Krystal Ka’ai will serve as Executive Director of the Commission.
The Commissioners represent a wide diversity of AA and NHPI leaders from across sectors including Grace Huang, Director of Policy at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence; Michelle Kauhane, Senior Vice-President at the Hawai’i Community Foundation; Robert Underwood, former member of Congress representing Guam and previous Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; and Daniel Dae Kim, award winning actor, director and producer among others.
The Inaugural Meeting of the Commission will be held on 3 February (1:00pm - 7:00pm ET) and 4 February (1:30pm - 5:00pm ET). It will include briefings for the Commissioners on the immediate and systemic challenges facing AA and NHPI communities. The Commission will work on developing recommendations regarding the ways the three sectors can work together to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for these communities. The continuing acts of anti-Asian violence, particularly to East Asian people, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, add to the systemic barriers that AA and NHPI communities face, including xenophobia, religious discrimination, racism, and violence. The Commission will also consider the failure to disaggregate data collection reflective of the diversity of AA and NHPI communities, leading to the continuation of stereotyping of Asian Americans as the ‘model minority’ (Federal Register - Federal Register.gov/documents/2022/01/14/2022).
The public is invited to view the live Inaugural Commission meeting at http://www.HHS.gov/live
Registration is not required. While there will be no opportunity for oral comments during the meeting, written submissions are welcome, particularly around recommendations for the Commission to consider. Written submissions may be emailed to [email protected]
Democrats Abroad Global Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus applauds this initiative, and looks forward to advancement of our joint focus in advocating on issues important to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders both in the United States of America and living abroad.