Asian in America

Innaugural White House API Conference Call with Bloggers…

Barrack Obama AAPI API Hero White House Initiative on Asian Americans AAPI Asian American Pacific Islander

Barrack Obama AAPI API Hero White House Initiative on Asian Americans AAPI Asian American Pacific IslanderThe White House Initiative on AAPIs for Bloggers happened just a few minutes ago and I wanted to report back promptly. The invite is below. It was a half hour presentation by the White House Initiative on APPIs team composed of Eddie Lee (fearless leader with social media background), Mia Chen (focused on community engagement), Akio Vora (focused on webinars/videos with a particular emphasis on bullying and cyberbullying), and Kate Morales (Health Care Initiative/Affordable Health Care Act).

After each person gave an overview of what they did, the floor was opened up to Q and A. 3 or 4 questions were asked.  I don’t know how many bloggers were invited or on the call.

I was able to ask about my burning issue: reverse discrimination of Asian American students when applying to top private colleges. My issues are three fold: 1) race quotas from Affirmative Action used to benefit Asian Americans but now due to the high quantity of highly qualified applicants, it works against us. There are “ceilings” on AAPIs which result in issue 2) the Asian Americans who need Affirmative Action the least, benefit the most, leaving our weakest Asian constituents unable to get in (refugees, new immigrants, those living near poverty line, etc.), and also issue 3) which is this artificial high barrier to entry for top colleges causes undue pressure on Asian American families and children which is a big factor in mental health disease, particularly suicide in Asian girls and college students.

Thank you to everyone who sent in feedback of issues to bring up. I have consolidated the comments into my blog post which Eddie tells me the team reads regularly. If your issue was not adequately addressed, please leave me a comment and I will send an email to Eddie for you. Any links for support to your issue would be most appreciated.

Below is the email for today’s call. Below that are the notes from the call.

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Our first White House AAPI blogger call TODAY at 2pm EDT/11am PDT!

The Asian American population grew faster than any other race in this country over the last 10 years according to the 2010 Census– 43 percent from 2000 to 2010. This growth creates an urgent need to understand everyday problems facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across the country. President Obama reauthorized the White House Initiative on AAPIs to understand what these issues mean for our federal government and to connect the community with needed programs and protections, and to put in place reforms to create stability and remove barriers for AAPIs.

The White House Initiative on AAPIs invites AAPI bloggers to participate in a conference call to discuss upcoming community engagement activities, including the launch of an AAPI Video Contest.  The White House Initiative recognizes the importance of engaging AAPI social media outlets to provide meaningful dialogue with the broader AAPI community.  In an effort to create new partnerships and collaborations, the White House Initiative on AAPIs invites bloggers to join this call to hear about how the Administration is working with the AAPI community and opportunities for bloggers to get involved.

 

WHO: Eddie Lee, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27 at 2:00pm EDT / 11:00am PDT

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Here are my notes:

  • This is the first AAPI Blogger Conference Call; more to come. No specific dates set yet.
  • The White House Initiative on AAPIs recognize that bloggers are an important vehicle to engage the AAPI community so they want to reach out to make sure we are getting the information we seek, as well as help to get the word out about resources the government provides for Asian Americans.
  • Getting the word out from this team includes wide streaming webchats as well as town hall meetings on Twitter.
  • Everyone is encouraged to connect to the White House Initiative on AAPIs via their Twitter account and Facebook, however I am uanable to locate it. I will give you the link as soon as I get it. There is an email newsletter that you can subscribe to here. See upper right hand corner of website.
  • The White House Initiative on AAPIs was signed into being October of 2009 by President Obama. They connect with 23 federal agencies including SBA, Labor, Education and Housing.
  • They have currently engaged with 22,000 AAPIs and find we don’t know about the resources the government provides.
  • There is outreach to increase AAPI teachers which currently make up less than 1% of all teachers in the United States. (I don’t think our Tiger Parents want us to go into teaching unless it is at the college level until it becomes more respected and well paid!)
  • Bullying is a big issue. 17.5% of Asian High School students have experienced bullying at school and 20.4% of Asian American students. There will be more information provided on how to file a harassment and/or bullying claim.
  • There is a Health Care Tax Credit for small business that they want to get the word out to AAPIs since there are 1.5 million AAPI small businesses. More stats on the job creation from that but I didn’t catch it all.
As for my issue, and I am starting to feel like the lone voice out there for Reverse Discrimination of Asian American Students Who Apply to Elite Private Colleges, this is one of the issues that they discuss in the realm of education. They also talked about AAPIs applying to college (more colleges, helping with language barriers, etc.). Plus getting more AAPIs to teach K-12 as mentioned above and, of course, the hot button: Bullying/Cyberbullying.
Overall, it was a honor to be included in this conversation and to know that the White House Administration cares and is focused on hearing our communities unique needs and issues. The team we have is articulate, smart and passionate so we are very fortunate to be represented so well in the inner sanctums of the White House. Will there be changes? It’s too soon to say, but every change begins with a ripple. As for me, I will continue to post articles on my issue (and I’ve found enough to post once a week until the end of the year), and know that we all have to take a stand to effect change. Change happens because people advocate tirelessly for it. Eddie was kind enough to tell me that I would be included on a call that dealt with this specific topic. I look forward to my partnership with the White House Initiative for AAPIs. I am glad that I voted for Obama!!!
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2 Responses to “Innaugural White House API Conference Call with Bloggers…”

  1. On June 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm Bicultural Mama responded with... #

    I saw a link to this post on Grace Hwang’s Blog Her site. What a great initiative that the White House focused on Asian bloggers. It shows he recognizes the importance of Asians which I feel politicians often neglect or take for granted.

    • On July 6, 2012 at 8:13 am admin responded with... #

      Hi Bicultural Mama,
      Thanks so much for the heads up on Grace Hwang’s blog. Yes, President Obama definitely made good on his promise to support Asian Americans as he had said in his campaign by signing the Asian American Initiative and putting in genuine effort to understand the Asian American community and our issues. He deserves our loyalty and vote! He’s getting my vote!

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