President Biden touts community funding, COVID Hate Crimes Act signing in AANHPI Heritage Month proclamation

President Biden touts community funding, COVID Hate Crimes Act signing in AANHPI Heritage Month proclamation

President Biden released the White House’s proclamation on Asian American, and now Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

May 2, 2022
President Biden released the White House’s annual proclamation on Asian American, and now Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month for May, laying out how his administration is supportive of these communities.
This year’s statement, released on April 29, celebrates the “innumerable contributions” and “vibrant cultures” of AA and NHPI.
Biden’s administration announced earlier this year that it would be using “AANHPI” instead of “AAPI,” to include Native Hawaiians. Hawaii is the only state to have a majority AANHPI population, with nearly 40% of the islands’ population being made up by Asian Americans.
AANHPIs are also the country’s fastest-growing racial group, with over 20 million people, or 6.1% of the total population, identifying as AANHPI.
It is predicted that by the year 2060, one in 10 children in the U.S. will be Asian American, bringing that number to 48 million, or 11.7% of the population.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

In his proclamation, Biden shared that he was “proud” to have Vice President Kamala Harris, the first person of South Asian descent to hold the second-in-command position, as part of his administration.
The two key points touted by Biden are his investments in the AA and NHPI communities, including funds specifically allocated to AANHPI causes and businesses, and his signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to combat anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes due to COVID-19. The bill gave law enforcement resources to better identify and investigate hate crimes, as well as AANHPI better resources to report hate crimes, was signed into law in May of last year.
Biden also emphasized the need to make healthcare more accessible for AA and NHPI communities. Hawaiian Natives and Pacific Islanders experienced some of the highest COVID-19 death rates among all ethnic groups in the U.S.
The idea of designating a month out of a year to recognize Asian Pacific Americans originated from former Capitol Hill staffer and OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Jeanie Jew, who initially argued for one week in May.
The month of May marked two significant events: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in May 1843 and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May 1860.
The Transcontinental Railroad significantly reduced travel times, shaving months down to weeks to get from one coast to the other. It was built by a majority-Chinese immigrant labor force, although the recognition came much later.
Jew’s own great grandfather, M.Y. Lee, was a Chinese immigrant and had taken part in building the Transcontinental Railroad. He was killed in Oregon during a time of deep anti-Asian sentiment. 
      Jane Nam

      Jane Nam ABD Phd Candidate in Social & Political Philosophy, currently located in Atlanta, GA. Interested in topics of human experience, freedom, responsibility, and love.




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.