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Vice President Kamala D. Harris Joins APAICS for Annual Legislative Leadership Summit“Our Communities. Our Leaders. Our Legacy.”

WASHINGTON - On Monday morning, Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a fireside chat with actor, writer and comedian Jimmy O. Yang at the Annual APAICS Legislative Leadership Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The Legislative Leadership Summit kicks off May events hosted by APAICS as the organization celebrates its 30th anniversary during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AA & NH/PI) Heritage Month. 


Founded by the late former Secretary Norman Y. Mineta in 1994, APAICS continues to drive dialogue and action to increase AA & NH/PI participation and representation in the political process. This year’s theme, “Our Communities. Our Leaders. Our Legacy.” gathers attendees from across the country, including nonprofit and corporate leaders, subject matter experts, as well as local, state and federal elected officials to discuss issues of importance to the community.


The Vice President was introduced by Alisha Chen, an APAICS Fellow with Office of the Vice President, who spoke about the Vice President’s historic nomination and victory as the first South Asian American, first Black American, and first woman to become Vice President of the United States, and her continued advocacy for justice, equity and representation. 


On breaking barriers, the Vice President Harris told attendees: “Breaking barriers does not mean you start on one side of the barrier, and you end on the other side. There’s breaking involved. And when you break things, you get cut. And you may bleed. And it is worth it every time.” 


On having the courage to use your voice, Vice President Harris said: “Especially the young people here I say to you: when you walk in those rooms being the only one that looks like you, the only one with your background, you walk in those rooms chin up and shoulders back…you walk into those rooms knowing we are all in that room with you, applauding you on.” 


View the full recording of the fireside here and the transcript here.



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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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