President Joe Biden appointed a Hawaii native to lead an initiative that calls for equity and justice towards Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) on May 28.
- The initiative seeks to decrease anti-Asian violence and bias as well as ensure the AANHPI community will “equitably recover” from both the pandemic and recent attacks.
- It will also address the government’s “systemic lack of disaggregated data,” expand language access and assistance programs and encourage AANHPIs to be more “civically engaged,” stated in a White House fact sheet.
- Krystal Ka’ai has been appointed by Biden to lead the initiative.
Historic appointment: Ka’ai, the first native Hawaiian to serve as executive director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, has been serving since 2013.
- Ka’ai also previously held roles for the state of Hawaiian as well as the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, reported Hawaii News Now.
- “For nearly eight years, Krystal has been a tireless advocate for the AA and NHPI communities as the Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC),” said U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, in a statement to Hawaii News Now. “Krystal’s appointment is historic and she will give a strong voice and representation to Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders at a pivotal moment for our country.”
- Biden also signed a presidential memorandum condemning racism and xenophobia and appointed Erica L. Moritsugu as a White House senior liaison to the AAPI community.
- In addition, he has created a “historically diverse administration” and has been funding critical research to “prevent and address bias and xenophobia against Asian American communities.”
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