The White House and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) will be hosting a national event to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Heritage Month.
The WHIAANHPI will host a White House Forum with Biden-Harris Administration leaders, artists and community trailblazers at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Erika L. Moritsugu, deputy assistant to the president and AA and NHPI senior liaison at the White House, told NextShark:
We have an unprecedented AA and NHPI representation in the Administration. Both the President and Vice President have demonstrated with their words, and their actions, and their presence, how much they sincerely care for our community. And have hope for our future. That’s what this Forum is all about—becoming even more “Visible Together.”
Along with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the WHIAANHPI announced that they will celebrate AA and NHPI Heritage Month under the theme “Visible Together” to pay tribute to “our rich histories and cultures while encouraging candid dialogue on the most pressing issues our communities face, both old and new.”
The all-day forum, which will be open to the public, will include eight breakout convenings with officials and leaders examining advocacy, policy and public service efforts to support the AA and NHPI communities.
The topics of the breakout convenings include:
- Advancing Justice Through Data Equity
- Advancing Equity Through Storytelling and Narrative Change
- Supporting the Mental Health Needs of AA and NHPI Communities
- Expanding Philanthropic Investments in AA and NHPI Communities
- Expanding and Empowering AA and NHPI Entrepreneurship
- The Impact of Local and State-Level Policymaking
- Promoting Careers in the Federal Government
- Making Connections: A Community Space for Relationship-Building and Networking
The convenings will then be followed by musical and artistic performances by creatives from across the diaspora, including poet and artist Rupi Kaur and Korean American musical artist Wolftyla.
Other performers include singer-songwriters MILCK and Keilana, musician Sonny Singh, Aaron J. Salā of Gravitas Pasifika, Mark H Taiko Connection and Melonie Leihua Stewart, the CEO of E Ala E Hawaiian Cultural Center.
The event will also feature four main stage panels of community trailblazers and Biden-Harris Administration leaders who are focused on advancing equity and public service.
The panels will focus on:
- Advancing Equity for AA and NHPI Communities Across Government
- AA and NHPI Leadership in Public Service and the Biden-Harris Administration
- Advancing AA and NHPI Creative Excellence
- The Power of the AA and NHPI Voice
Stephen K. Benjamin, senior advisor and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said he is proud of how the current administration has “seen and uplifted the [AA and NHPI] community.”
This Administration has made once-in-a-generation investments to improve the lives of AA and NHPIs, and with the help of our partners we will finish the job we started. That’s why this week’s Forum and gathering of community, learning, and coalition building is so timely and critical.
The celebration will be attended by prominent officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Mazie Hirono
, Secretary Xavier Becerra, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Ambassador Katherine Tai, White House Director of Public Engagement and Senior Advisor to the President Stephen K. Benjamin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor on AA and NHPI Erika Moritsugu and Krystal Ka‘ai, executive director of WHIAANHPI.
Ka‘ai told NextShark:
We are excited to host this historic Forum to honor our communities’ diverse cultures and contributions to our Nation as we kick off Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. You will hear and see from the speakers across the Administration about our commitment to empowering our communities and delivering on the promises made by the President.