HomeAsian AmericansBiden to establish White House Initiative on AANHPI

Biden to establish White House Initiative on AANHPI

The White House announced Friday that President Biden will sign an order establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

The White House says that “systematic barriers  to equity, justice, and opportunity have put the American dream out of reach for many AA and NHPI communities, and racism, nativism, and xenophobia against AA and NHPI communities continues to threaten safety and dignity of AA and NHPI families.”

Every president since Bill Clinton has established similar commissions, but Biden is the first to add a specific mention to Native Hawaiians in the commission’s name.

The announcement from the White House listed 12 priorities for the commission. First on the list is coordinating a comprehensive federal response to the rise of anti-Asian bias and violence.

It also hopes to focus on disaggregating data on AA and NHPI communities in federal statistical systems while expanding language access and language assistance.

President Biden is scheduled to announce today that Crystal Ka’ai will be named to serve as executive director of the initiative. She’s headed the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) since 2013.

Today’s order will also reestablish Presidential Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The Commission will advise the President on attacking anti-Asian xenophobia and violence.

The Commission which has previously been under the Department of Education will be under the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, and the xenophobic rhetoric used by certain political leaders during this crisis, have led to a tragic spike in acts of anti-Asian bias, violence, and xenophobia,” the White House said. “At the same time, the pandemic has disproportionately burdened many AA and NHPI communities, and exposed the significant health inequities faced by many Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in particular.”

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