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Thursday, December 23, 2021

WHIAANHPI Highlights, December 23, 2021

 

WHIAANHPI Highlights, December 23, 2021

 


 As 2021 draws to a close, I would like to take this moment to thank you for your efforts and support in advancing equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. With your partnership this year, we have officially launched the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) and the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; brought important updates to the community through our stakeholder engagement efforts; and strengthened a foundation for federal interagency policy changes and regional community outreach.

 To keep your family safe this holiday season, please remember that COVID-19 vaccines continue to be the most effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19. If you have already received two doses of the vaccine, a booster shot is also recommended to help keep up protection. Further information about booster eligibility from the CDC is available here.

 I look forward to our continued partnership in 2022 and beyond. Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season and a joyful New Year!

HHS Secretary Becerra Launches WHIAANHPI, Announces Co-Chair Ambassador Tai


 

Secretary Xavier Becerra (bottom left), Ambassador Katherine Tai (bottom right), Erika Moritsugu (top right), Krystal Ka‘ai (bottom center) and Hannah Kim (top left) at the virtual press conference for the launch of WHIAANHPI, December 9, 2021.

 

On December 9, 2021, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra launched the Biden-Harris Administration’s WHIAANHPI and announced U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai as his co-chair of both WHIAANHPI and the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. In addition to the two co-chairs, Krystal Ka’ai, WHIAANHPI Executive Director, and Erika Moritsugu, Deputy Assistant to the President and AA and NHPI Senior Liaison, also made remarks. The announcement also included the launch of WHIAANHPI’s Interagency Working Group and Regional Network. Read the press release here, and watch the announcement here.

 

President Biden Appoints 23 Community Leaders to President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

This Monday, December 20, 2021, President Biden announced the 23 new commissioners of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Read the announcement here.

The appointed commissioners are: Dr. Amy Agbayani, Teresita Batayola, Ajay Bhutoria, Luisa Blue, Dr. Kimberly Chang, Emily Chen, Kerry Doi, Grace Huang, Victoria Huynh, Mia Ives-Rublee, Dr. Kamal Kalsi, Michelle Kauhane, Daniel Dae Kim, Kevin D. Kim, Sarah Min, Simon Pang, Ai-jen Poo, Naheed Qureshi, Dr. Raynald Samoa, Sonal Shah, Smita Shah, The Honorable Robert Underwood, and KaYing Yang.

HHS Secretary Becerra and USTR Ambassador Tai also released the following joint statement: “As co-chairs of [the Commission], we offer our sincerest congratulations to the 23 commissioners who have been newly appointed today. They are distinguished leaders and experts from across the country, representing communities and private and public sectors nationwide, representing the diversity of the AA and NHPI populations. We look forward to working together to provide independent recommendations to the President and the Federal government on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can collaborate to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities.” Read the full press release here. 

Marketplace Open Enrollment Deadline January 15


Don’t miss your chance! January 15, 2022 is the last day to enroll in marketplace health plans. With the American Rescue Plan, more than 150,000 uninsured now have access to zero-dollar premium plans, and 197,000 uninsured Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders may now be eligible for additional savings. Discover plans available to you and enroll today
here.

From the start of Open Enrollment through December 15, 2021, a historic high of more than 13.6 million people have already enrolled in health insurance coverage for 2022 through HealthCare.gov and State-based Marketplaces. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, 92% of people who selected federal Marketplace coverage will receive premium tax credits. Read the HHS press release on Open Enrollment updates here.

Last Chance to Submit Public Comments for COVID-19 Hate Crimes Guidance

On October 5, 2021, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra co-hosted a listening session with stakeholders on the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in May. Under the legislation, the Department of Justice and HHS, in coordination with the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and community-based organizations, are required to issue guidance aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to submit public comments is January 10, 2022. Comments should be emailed to COVID19HateCrimesGuidance@hhs.gov.

White House Highlights

White House Fellows Deadline January 7

The 2022 to 2023 White House Fellows application is now live. Applications are due January 7, 2022 at 4:59 PM EST. The purpose of this program is to provide gifted and highly motivated young Americans with first-hand experience in the process of governing the Nation and a sense of personal involvement and responsibility in the leadership of society. Learn more about the program history, criteria, and interview process here. Questions or comments can be sent to whitehousefellows@whf.eop.gov.

President Biden and The First Lady Commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack, Mark Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Birth

President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden marked the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a somber visit to the World War II Memorial in the Nation’s capital on December 7, 2021. Read the President’s Proclamation on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day here.

On November 19, 2021, the President and First Lady extended their wishes to the Sikh community on the 552nd anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith. Read the President’s statement on the Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Birth here.

White House and WHIAANHPI Roundtables for AA and NHPI Entrepreneurs and CEOs

On November 30, 2021, the White House and WHIAANHPI hosted a listening session with AA and NHPI hardware entrepreneurs to close out National Entrepreneurship Month. During the session, senior Biden-Harris Administration officials discussed ways that the Administration is committed to working with entrepreneurs to increase access to capital, federal procurement, and access to recovery programs.

On December 21, 2021, the White House and WHIAANHPI met with AA and NHPI CEOs and business leaders to listen to the economic challenges AA and NHPI business leaders are facing and their ideas to move the economy forward.

Senior Biden-Harris Administration officials meet with AA and NHPI CEOs on December 21, 2021.

 

Federal Agency Highlights

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Su Visit Pilipino Workers Center

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Deputy Secretary Julie Su visit the Pilipino Workers Center, December 6, 2021 [Source: U.S. Department of Labor].

 Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Su visited the Pilipino Workers Center’s Larry Itliong Village on December 6, 2021 to meet with Los Angeles-based worker centers. Secretary Walsh and Deputy Secretary Su spoke with immigrant workers and learned about their advocacy work for workplace justice.

National Endowment for the Arts Highlights AA and NHPI Artists

The National Endowment for the Arts featured first-person narratives of eight AA and NHPI artists in the latest issue of its agency magazine titled “Showing Strength Through Creativity. Equity and Access in the Arts for Asian American/Pacific Islander Communities." Read their stories here.

 

NASEM Convenes “COVID-19, Health Equity, and the Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian Communities” Workshop

 

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) convened a two-day public workshop on December 7 and 9, 2021 on how the COVID-19 pandemic has uniquely affected the AA and NHPI communities. Click here for more information including the meeting materials.

 

 

Resources and Opportunities

 

Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)

 

The American Rescue Plan Act reauthorized and expanded the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which established the original SSBCI program. The new version of the program will provide a combined $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to empower small businesses to access capital needed to invest in job-creating opportunities as the country emerges from the pandemic. The funds will also support recipient jurisdictions in promoting American entrepreneurship and democratizing access to startup capital across the country, including in underserved communities. Applications for SSBCI capital programs from states, territories, Washington, DC, and Tribal governments must be completed by February 11, 2022. More details here.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. Learn more about this program in multiple languages, including Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese here.

ICYMI: Webinar on the Importance of COVID-19 Booster Shots for AA and NHPI Communities


In a joint webinar from Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and HHS’ We Can Do This campaign, experts shed light on and answer the community’s questions about booster eligibility, safety, accessibility, and effectiveness against COVID-19 variants. You can access the webinar
here.

Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge


The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge aims to get Americans back to work by building and strengthening systems and partnerships that bring together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills that lead to good paying jobs. These systems and partnerships will create and implement industry-led training programs designed to provide skills for and connect unemployed or underemployed workers to existing and emerging job opportunities. The application deadline is January 26, 2022. You can find more details
here.

AmeriCorps: MLK Day of Service


The commemoration of the MLK Day of Service is a call to act on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of social justice and equity. This day marks our opportunity to recommit as citizens by volunteering in service to others. Through those efforts, we can strengthen ties to our communities and one another while we address critical issues that divide us. This year, MLK Day will take place on Monday, January 17, 2022. Follow the digital conversation on MLK Day and the days leading up to it on AmeriCorps’ 
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn. Visit here to find information, including:

  • How to add your MLK Day volunteer opportunity to the AmeriCorps search tool
  • How to find in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities on MLK Day
  • Tools, resources, and informational webinars for participating and planning MLK Day service projects in your community.

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