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Biden-Harris administration releases first-ever national strategy to advance equity and justice for AANHPI communities

white house initiative aanhpi
via White House

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    The White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) launched the first-ever “National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Communities.”

    On Tuesday, a virtual event was hosted to release and discuss the latest strategy, which comprises action plans from 32 federal agencies, including all 15 executive departments in the President’s Cabinet.

    In the summer of 2022, the agencies began action plans aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader equity agenda, representing a historic first for the federal government.

    Senior Biden-Harris Administration officials and national community leaders discussed issue areas highlighted in WHIAANHPI’s annual report and efforts to address anti-Asian hate, prioritize data disaggregation, promote language access and ensure an equitable COVID-19 recovery. 

    “Today signifies a historic commitment across government to advancing equity, justice and opportunity for our communities,” said actor Daniel Dae Kim, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on AA and NHPIs. 

    Over the last few years of the pandemic, we have seen a disturbing uptick in violence and hate disproportionately affecting Asian American women and elders. From Atlanta to New York City to Dallas to San Francisco, our communities have experienced pain and trauma with lasting mental health impacts, including depression and anxiety. But history has also taught us how resilient and strong our communities are, and how the richest of our stories and lived experiences make up the very fabric of America. 

    “We hope this government approach gives our community access to resources, programs, funding and much needed support as our nation continues to recover from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic,” he concluded 

    The 54-year-old actor also urged the AA and NHPI communities to engage in the strategy by sending in ideas and feedback to the federal government. 

    On May 28, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14031 as anti-Asian hate surged throughout the nation, re-establishing and reinvigorating the WHIAANHPI.

    During his administration, Biden directed the development of a government-wide interagency plan to advance equity, justice and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities. 

    The WHIAANHPI focuses on seven strategic priority areas of concern: 

    Priority 1: Promoting belonging, inclusion, and combating anti-Asian hate and discrimination

    Priority 2: Data disaggregation for AA and NHPI communities

    Priority 3: Language access for AA and NHPI communities

    Priority 4: Promoting equitable and inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery efforts

    Priority 5: Capacity building for AA and NHPI communities

    Priority 6: Federal workforce diversity

    Priority 7: Outreach and engagement to AA and NHPI communities

    Under the new strategy, information from the federal government will now be accessible in different languages to help the AAPI community.

    The Internal Revenue Service developed landing pages on in 20 foreign languages, including Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Khmer, Japanese, Urdu, Arabic, Gujarati, Bengali, and Punjabi.

    Federal agencies have also begun working to provide greater funding to the AAPI community. In the last two years, the Small Business Administration has provided over $5 billion worth of loans to AAPI business owners. Federal spending from the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Agriculture on Hawaii and the Pacific Islands have also increased by over $80 million.

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