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Equity, opportunity, and justice for AA and NHPI communities


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — This week the White House and President Biden launched the first-ever National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders Heritage (AA and NHPI) Communities and proclaimed May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

From Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders whose ancestors have called their lands home for hundreds of years to Asian immigrants who have newly arrived and those whose families have been here for generations — AA and NHPI heritage has long been a part of the history of our great country and a defining force in the soul of our Nation.  As artists and journalists, doctors and engineers, business and community leaders, and so much more, AA and NHPI peoples have shaped the very fabric of our Nation and opened up new possibilities for all of us.

“I am proud that they serve at the highest levels of my Administration, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Ambassador Katherine Tai, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su, and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Arati Prabhakar, who make this country a better place each and every day,” President Joe Biden said.  

This year, is also the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative and President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, who work across government to advance equity, opportunity, and justice for AA and NHPI communities.

“I have always believed that diversity is our Nation’s greatest strength.  That is why I launched the first-ever National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for AA and NHPI Communities,” President Biden was quoted in the release.

This strategy works to harness the full potential of these communities — from combating anti-Asian hate to making government services accessible in more languages.  To ensure the legacies of AA and NHPI peoples are properly honored in the story of America, the president signed historic legislation that will bring the nation closer to a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture.  

He also issued a Presidential Memorandum to consider expanding protections for the Pacific Remote Islands to conserve this unique area’s significant natural and cultural resources and honor the traditional practices and ancestral pathways of Pacific Island voyagers, and signed the Amache National Historic Site Act to establish a memorial honoring the 10,000 Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated there during World War II.  

“Throughout my time in office, the First Lady and I have hosted celebrations at the White House that highlight the incredible diversity of AA and NHPI communities, like Diwali and the first-ever White House Lunar New Year celebration.  This year, to ensure that the full diversity of AA and NHPI communities is seen and valued as new policy is being made, we updated the Federal Government’s standards for collecting data on race and ethnicity for the first time in over 25 years,” he said. 

Meanwhile, new opportunities are being created for AA and NHPI communities by building an economy that works for everyone, including investing in AA and NHPI small businesses and entrepreneurs.  

Racism, harassment, and hate crimes against people of AA and NHPI heritage still persist — a tragic reminder that hate never goes away; it only hides.  Hate must have no safe harbor in America — that is why the president signed the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which makes it easier for Americans to report hate crimes.

“Our Nation was founded on the idea that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.  We have never fully realized this promise, but we have never fully walked away from it either.  As we celebrate the historic accomplishments of AA and NHPIs across our Nation, we promise we will never stop working to form a more perfect Union,” President Biden said in proclaiming May 2024 as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.