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Press Release: December 9, 2021

APAICS Applauds White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders Move to Health and Human Services and Announcement of Co-Chairs


WASHINGTON - Today, President Biden announced the relaunch of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) to be housed within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) along with the naming of co-chairs of the Initiative, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Krystal Ka’ai, former Executive Director of APAICS’ sister organization, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) will lead the Initiative as its first Native Hawaiian Executive Director.


“We applaud the move of the Initiative back to HHS and the expansion of the name of the Initiative to explicitly include Native Hawaiians,” said Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, APAICS president and CEO. Our community has faced tremendous hardship over the past years, especially with COVID-19, and this move signals that the Biden-Harris administration is listening, and taking steps to address the key concerns for everyone in our community - including on issues like data disaggregation, tackling the model minority myth, and health equity.


“Our community has been under consistent attack from hateful, xenophobic, and frankly, racist rhetoric. There is a dire need for leaders who can champion us, and we give our full faith and support of the co-chairs and Krystal to lead the Initiative and represent our community fully.”


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The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is a national non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office.


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