President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Visits Hawaii for the First Time to Meet with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities

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The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) will visit Hawaii for the first time this week to better understand issues facing the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. The Commission will participate in the 14th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention on Tuesday, Sept. 22, take part in site visits of local organizations on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and hold a public listening session on Thursday, Sept. 24.

“We are excited about this historic visit of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to Hawaii,” says White House Initiative on AAPIs Executive Director Kiran Ahuja. “Our goal is really to listen to the unique stories from local AAPI communities in Hawaii, especially Native Hawaiians and Micronesian migrants, and to highlight issues that are often not seen in the national spotlight.”

The Initiative and Commission are charged with working to improve the quality of life of AAPIs through increased participation in and access to federal programs. The Commissioners serve as the eyes and ears of the community, advising the President on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the country and to improve their health, education, environment and well-being.

On Tuesday, the 14th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Members of the press should e-mail [email protected] for a press pass and check in at the registration desk when they arrive. The Annual Native Hawaiian Convention is the largest gathering of Native Hawaiian nonprofit leaders, business owners, cultural practitioners, educators and community organizers.  It is a time for every sector of the Hawaiian community to come together to share best practices, policy priorities, resources and information. At the Convention, the Commission will meet with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community leaders and discuss policy issues as they relate to education, health, and economic development.

On Wednesday, as part of its series of site visits of local organizations, the Commission will visit the Kokua Kalihi Valley Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center providing culturally competent and community-relevant health care services for low-income Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants. The Commission will tour the center, meet with staff and patients, and learn about the center’s healthy living, cultural competency and civic engagement programs.

The Commission will also participate in an outreach event held by the Hawaii Regional Network, part of the Initiative’s Regional Network of federal officials across the country working to connect local communities to federal resources. The event will focus on workforce development within Hawaii’s Micronesian communities.

Please contact [email protected] to register to attend and cover these events.