August 28, 2014

Statement Commemorating Congressman Mike Honda's Ten Years of Service to the United States Congress and Lifetime of Service to the Asian Pacific American Community

Ed. Note: The below is related to our immediate previous post DNC: Rep. Michael Honda’s Ten Years of Service to the US Congress.

Asian American Action Fund

CONTACT: Nasima Hossain (202.256.8419)

Washington, D.C. – In recognition of Democratic National Committee (DNC) Vice Chair and California C.D. 15 (San Jose) Congressman Mike Honda’s ten years of service to the United States Congress and lifetime of service to the national Asian Pacific American community, Asian American Action Fund (AAA-Fund) Executive Director Gautam Dutta issued the following statement on behalf of the AAA-Fund Board:

“I am proud to congratulate DNC Vice Chair and Congressman Mike Honda on a decade of outstanding service to the United States Congress, the Democratic National Committee, the national Asian Pacific American community, and, most importantly, his constituents in California’s 15th Congressional District.

“Rep. Honda’s congressional leadership has included membership on the Appropriations Committee and in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as service as House Democratic Senior Whip and Co-chair of the Democratic Caucus’ New Media Working Group.

“What we at the AAA-Fund most cherish, however, is the tremendous time and effort he expends on top of his duties to his C.D. 15 constituents to serve as Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. In that capacity, he has helped to educate his fellow Members of Congress on issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community, and has encouraged Asian Pacific Americans from all across the country to enter public service in elective and appointive office.

“Rep. Honda’s lifetime of service as a Peace Corps volunteer, teacher, school principal, state legislator and Member of Congress continues to inspire us, and his devotion to justice, fairness, and equal opportunity for all remind us that public servants can still retain their optimism and idealism after many years in the public arena.

“Thank you, Rep. Honda, for your ten years of service in Congress, and for your lifetime of exemplary service to Asian Pacific Americans and all Americans.”

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
_______________________________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2010

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key administration posts:

· Sefa Aina, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Debra T. Cabrera, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Kamuela J. N. Enos, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Frances Eneski Francis, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Farooq Kathwari, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Hyeok Kim, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Ramey Ko, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Rozita Villanueva Lee, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Sunil Puri, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Amardeep Singh, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Unmi Song, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Dilawar A. Syed, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Khampha Thephavong, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Doua Thor, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Hector L. Vargas, Jr., Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Hines Ward, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

· Admiral John B. Nathman, USN (Ret), Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy

· Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, USMC (Ret), Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy

President Obama said, “Our nation will be well-served by the skill and dedication these men and women bring to their new roles. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key administration posts:

Sefa Aina, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Sefa Aina is the Director of the Asian American Resource Center (AARC) at Pomona College. Prior to coming to Pomona, Mr. Aina worked at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center as a counselor, organizational advisor and instructor. He’s also a founding member of Pacific Islander Education and Retention (PIER), which does tutoring and mentoring for Pacific Islander youth in the Carson, Long Beach and Inglewood areas of Los Angeles. He’s a founding member of the National Pacific Islander Educators Network (NPIEN) and Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC). Mr. Aina graduated from UCLA with a BA in History and is currently starting the Masters program in Asian American Studies also at UCLA.

Debra T. Cabrera, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Debra T. Cabrera is currently a social science faculty member at St. John’s School located in Tumon, Guam. From 2008-2009, Dr. Cabrera was Dean of Academic Programs and Services at the Northern Marianas College in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Prior to that, she served many years as a faculty member at the college, earning recognition for her teaching in the social sciences. She has been active in community organizations, namely the Northern Mariana Islands Council for the Humanities, where she served as the board chair. Dr. Cabrera holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Kentucky, an M.A. in Sociology from Ohio University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Washington State University.

Kamuela J. N. Enos, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Kamuela Enos is currently the Director of Community Resource Development at MA`O Organic Farms, where he works with low income communities to combat major health issues and promote sustainable agriculture. He worked previously at Empower Oahu on economic and community development initiatives and with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, where he served as a research assistant in the Office of Youth Services Strategic Planning Process. He is a Director of the Hawaii Rural Development Council. Mr. Enos holds a B.A in Hawaiian Studies and a M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa.

Frances Eneski Francis, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Frances E. Francis is currently a partner with Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP, a Washington DC law firm specializing in energy, telecommunications, and regulatory matters. Ms. Francis has primarily worked in the fields of hydroelectric regulation, nuclear decommissioning, and electric rate regulation and contract negotiations. She has also been a visiting professor at George Washington University Law School, an attorney with the Federal Power Commission, and a consultant for the Energy Policy Project and the New England River Basin Commission. Ms. Francis holds a B.A. from Dickinson College, an LLB from Yale Law School, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University.

Farooq Kathwari, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Farooq Kathwari is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ethan Allen Interiors. He has been President of the company since 1985, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1988. Mr. Kathwari serves on many non-for-profit organizations including the chair of the Kashmir Study Group; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a director of the International Rescue Committee, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University; a director and former chairman of Refugees International; and a director and former chairman of the National Retail Federation. He holds a B.A. degree in English Literature and Political Science from Kashmir University, an M.B.A. in International Marketing from New York University, and also holds two honorary doctorate degrees.

Hyeok Kim, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Hyeok Kim is currently Executive Director of InterIm Community Development Association, a nonprofit community development agency that works to preserve and revitalize Seattle’s Chinatown/International District, and which advocates on behalf of low- and moderate-wage residents and small businesses in the broader Asian and Pacific Islander community in the Puget Sound region. From 1999 to 2008, Ms. Kim worked for the Washington State Legislature, first as a Legislative Assistant to State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and then as a policy analyst for the House Democratic Caucus researching and analyzing child welfare, human services, and affordable housing issues. She has also worked as a lobbyist for the Children’s Alliance, a statewide children’s advocacy organization and for the Children’s Administration in Washington. Ms. Kim is a 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellow, as well as a 2010-2011 Fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children & Family Fellowship program. Ms. Kim holds a B.A. from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Ramey Ko, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Ramey Ko is currently Associate Judge of the City of Austin Municipal Court. Before being appointed a judge by the Austin City Council in January 2010, Judge Ko was an attorney at the Texas Advocacy Project, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Prior to his position with the Texas Advocacy Project, Judge Ko was an Equal Justice Works Fellow with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. and focused on direct representation, education, and outreach related to housing issues faced by survivors of domestic violence. Judge Ko is an Advisory Board Member of the Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce and serves on the City of Austin Public Safety Commission. Judge Ko holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Rozita Villanueva Lee, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Rozita Lee is currently the National Vice Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. From 1991 to 2010, she was the owner of RVL, Inc., a Polynesian/Hawaiian Entertainment company. Previously, she served as Vice-President of the Nevada Economic Development Company, as special assistant to former Nevada Governor Bob Miller, and as an administrator of the Diversity Training Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). From 1981 to 1983, she produced and hosted a television program called SPECTRUM for PBS Television Channel 10 KLVX TV featuring various ethnic groups in Las Vegas. She was the founding Chairwoman of the Board for the Asian Chamber of Commerce and President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.

Sunil Puri, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Sunil Puri is the President and sole owner of First Rockford Group, Inc., a real estate development firm he founded in 1984. He also sits on a number of boards including the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and the Rockford College Board of Trustees. Mr. Puri holds a B.S. in Accounting from Rockford College. He has also pursued graduate work at Rockford College, London Business School, as well as continuing executive courses at Harvard Business School.

Amardeep Singh, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Amardeep Singh is the co-founder and presently the Director of Programs at the Sikh Coalition, the nation’s largest Sikh civil rights organization. Prior to joining the Sikh Coalition in 2002, Mr.Singh worked as a Researcher in the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch (HRW). While at HRW, he authored its report, “We Are Not the Enemy: Hate Crimes Against Arabs, Muslims, and Those Perceived to be Arab or Muslim after September 11.” Mr. Singh was also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race where he taught a course on the intersection of ethnic identity and the law. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the South Asian Bar Association of New York. Mr. Singh holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Unmi Song, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Unmi Song is Executive Director of the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, a private foundation that awards $8 million in grants annually to nonprofits serving low-income communities in Chicago with a focus on Arts Education, Education, Employment, and Health. Prior to joining the Fry Foundation in 2003, Ms. Song handled employment program grantmaking, which covered job training and welfare policy issues, at the Joyce Foundation. Before she moved into the nonprofit sector, Ms. Song was vice president of Bankers Trust Company and held positions at Citicorp Investment Bank in New York City, at the First National Bank of Chicago and at Gold Star Tele-Electric Company in Seoul, South Korea. Ms. Song holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Dilawar A. Syed, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Dilawar A. Syed is President and CEO of Yonja Media Group, an emerging markets internet company. Prior to joining Yonja Media, Mr. Syed was head of business strategy and operations in the Platform division at Yahoo!. Mr. Syed was President of a non-profit entrepreneurship organization, OPEN Silicon Valley, and currently serves on the steering committee of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education. Mr. Syed holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin.

Khampha Thephavong, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Dr. Khampha Thephavong is currently a primary care physician at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Fresno, California. Dr. Thephavong also serves on the Board of the Lao-American Advancement Center. Dr. Thephavong holds a BSN degree from the California State University of Fresno and a D.O. degree from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Doua Thor, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Doua Thor is the Executive Director of Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), a national nonprofit organization advancing the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans through leadership development, capacity building, and community empowerment. Formerly she was a New Voices Fellow with Hmong National Development, Inc. (HND). Currently, she serves on the board of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), and the Red Cross National Diversity Advisory Council. Ms. Thor holds an undergraduate degree from Wayne State University and a graduate degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work with a concentration in social policy and evaluation.

Hector L. Vargas, Jr., Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Hector Vargas Jr. is Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), a non-profit association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) healthcare professionals working for equality in healthcare for LGBT people and healthcare providers. From 2001 until earlier this year, Mr. Vargas worked at Lambda Legal, first as Southern Regional Director and later as Deputy Director of the Education and Public Affairs Department, where he played key leadership roles in the organization’s education and communication strategies. Prior to joining Lambda Legal, he also worked at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Ethics Division and Equal Justice Works (formerly the National Association for Public Interest Law). Mr. Vargas holds a J.D. and B.A. from the University of Georgia.

Hines Ward, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Hines Ward is a professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers who was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL. Born to a Korean mother and an African American father, he has long been an advocate for biracial youths. He is actively involved in various philanthropic initiatives, including starting his own foundation, the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which seeks to help mixed-race children suffering from discrimination.

Admiral John B. Nathman, USN (Ret), Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy
Admiral John B. Nathman is a Distinguished Fellow and Member of the Military Advisory Board for the CNA Corporation. He retired from the U. S. Navy in 2007 as Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces. Admiral Nathman served for 37 years and held many high ranking positions including Vice Chief of Naval Operations; Commander, Naval Air Forces; Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements; and Commander, Battle Force Fifty in the Persian Gulf. His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star with Combat V. He serves on the board of directors for the Custiss Wright Corporation and the Strategic Advisory Board for Boeing Defense, Space and Security. Admiral Nathman received his MS in aero engineering in 1972, graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1970, and is a distinguished graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School.

Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, USMC (Ret), Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy
Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen is a veteran fighter pilot who served 38 years in the United States Marine Corps. In 1952 he became the first African-American pilot in the history of the Corps and in 1978 the first African-American Brigadier General. General Petersen served combat tours in Korea and Vietnam and held command positions at all levels of Marine Corps aviation, commanding a Marine fighter Squadron, Marine Aircraft Group and Marine Aircraft Wing. He retired in 1988 as Commander, Marine Corps Combat and Development Command, Quantico, Virginia and as senior ranking aviator in the U.S. Naval Service with the respective titles of “Silver Hawk” (USMC) and “Grey Eagle” (USN). After retirement from the military, General Petersen served as Corporate Vice President of the E.I. DuPont Company, managing the company’s international capital assets. He currently serves as Chairman Emeritus on the National Marrow Donor Board and Director Emeritus on the Education Credit and Management Corp. In 2009 General Petersen was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to serve on the Military Leadership Diversity Commission. He is a graduate of the National War College and received his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from George Washington University.

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Presidential Proclamation: Asian American And Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2010

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 30, 2010

ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH, 2010

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

For centuries, America’s story has been tied to the Pacific. Generations of brave men and women have crossed this vast ocean, seeking better lives and opportunities, and weaving their rich heritage into our cultural tapestry. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we celebrate the immeasurable contributions these diverse peoples have made to our Nation.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have shared common struggles throughout their histories in America — including efforts to overcome racial, social, and religious discrimination. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, a milestone that reminds us of an unjust time in our history. For three decades, immigrants from across the Pacific arrived at Angel Island, where they were subject to harsh interrogations and exams, and confined in crowded, unsanitary barracks. Many who were not turned back by racially prejudiced immigration laws endured hardship, injustice, and deplorable conditions as miners, railroad builders, and farm workers.

Despite these obstacles, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have persevered and flourished, achieving success in every sector of American life. They stood shoulder to shoulder with their fellow citizens during the civil rights movement; they have served proudly in our Armed Forces; and they have prospered as leaders in business, academia, and public service.

This month, as we honor all Americans who trace their ancestry to Asia and the Pacific Islands, we must acknowledge the challenges they still face. Today, many Asian American and Pacific Islander families experience unemployment and poverty, as well as significant education and health disparities. They are at high risk for diabetes and hepatitis, and the number of diagnoses for HIV/AIDS has increased in recent years.

We must recognize and properly address these critical concerns so all Americans can reach their full potential. That is why my Administration reestablished both the White House Initiative and the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). These partnerships include leaders from across our Government and the AAPI community, dedicated to improving the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a vast and diverse community, some native to the United States, hailing from Hawaii and our Pacific Island territories. Others trace their heritage to dozens of countries. All are treasured citizens who enrich our Nation in countless ways, and help fulfill the promise of the American dream which has drawn so many to our shores.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2010, as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to learn more about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

Remote Area Medical Clinic at LA Sports Arena 4/27-5/3

Remote Area Medical is hosting a huge free medical clinic at the LA Sports Arena from Tuesday, April 27th – Monday, May 3rd. The clinic opens from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

IMPORTANT: An additional 1,000 wristbands are distributed this morning starting at 10 a.m. RAM will not treat any patient without an assigned wristband.

Help us spread the word, particularly to the Asian American communities in Southern California!

There are dozens of Asian American medical volunteers from Tzu Chi Charitable Foundation who are donating their time at the RAM clinic for the entire week. Many of the Tzu Chi medical and support volunteers, those with the blue lotus-shaped logo on their shirts, are bilingual speakers in Chinese/Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, etc. and can help non-native English speakers navigate the RAM clinic’s services if needed.

Additional medical and general volunteers are still needed throughout the week! See the volunteer sheet and 1,200 people treated at ram’s free clinic on day 1 for more details.

– Jenny Jiang

UCLA AASC: 2010 Stats of AA's, Native Hawaiians & Other PIs

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center, as an official U.S. Census Information Center, with co-partner National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development, is pleased to provide this 2010 statistical portrait of the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations produced by the US Census Bureau for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which will take place in May, 2010. The portrait provides current census data, population projections, and internet links that should be useful for research, planning, writing and general educational purposes. Please see the "Editor’s note" at the end of this announcement for more information.

The first major section provides information on "Asians," while the second major part highlights "Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders". The report begins with information on how the 2010 Census is undertaking outreach efforts and data collection in a large number of Asian languages to ensure an accurate and the fullest possible count of these diverse communities.

2010 Census

3 Number of Asian languages 2010 Census questionnaires are available in upon request: Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Source: 2010 Census Web site <http://2010.census.gov/2010census/>
13 Number of Asian languages 2010 Census ads are in: Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese. The Census has gone to great lengths to be true to the ethnicities it is trying to reach. For example, Chinese Americans are depicted in ads for Chinese Americans, rather than generic images of the Asian population. Source: 2010 Census Web site <http://2010.census.gov/2010census/>
19 Number of Asian languages 2010 Census Language Assistance Guides are in: Bengali, Burmese, Cebuano, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Hindi, Hmong, Ilocano, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Malayalam, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese. In addition, they are available in the following Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander languages: Chamorro, Chuukese, Marshallese, Samoan and Tongan. Source: 2010 Census Web site <http://2010.census.gov/2010census/>
Asians
15.5 million The estimated number of U.S. residents in July 2008 who said they were Asian alone or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised about 5 percent of the total population. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013733.html>
5.1 million The Asian population in California, the state that had the largest Asian population on July 1, 2008, as well as the largest numerical increase from 2007 to 2008 (105,000). New York (1.5 million) and Texas (956,000) followed in population. In Hawaii, our nation’s only majority-Asian state, Asians made up the highest proportion of the total population (54 percent). Asians were the largest minority group in Hawaii and Vermont. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013734.html>
2.7% Percentage growth of the Asian population between 2007 and 2008, the highest of any race group during that time period. The increase in the Asian population during the period totaled more than 400,000. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013733.html>
3.62 million
Number of Asians of Chinese descent in the U.S. in 2008. Chinese-Americans were the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos (3.09 million), Asian Indians (2.73 million), Vietnamese (1.73 million), Koreans (1.61 million) and Japanese (1.30 million). These estimates represented the number of people who were either of a particular Asian group only or were of that group in combination with one or more other Asian groups or races. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance
$70,069 Median household income for single-race Asians in 2008. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Median household income differed greatly by Asian group. For Asian Indians, for example, the median income in 2008 was $90,528; for Vietnamese-Americans, it was $55,667. (These figures represent the single-race population.) Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
11.8% Poverty rate for single-race Asians in 2008, up from 10.2 percent in 2007. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wea lth/014227.html>
17.6% Percentage of single-race Asians without health insurance coverage in 2008, not statistically different from 2007. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wea lth/014227.html>
Education
50% The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. This compared with 28 percent for all Americans 25 and older. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
85% The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma. This compared with 85 percent for all Americans 25 and older. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
20% The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had a graduate (e.g., master’s or doctorate) or professional degree. This compared with 10 percent for all Americans 25 and older. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Voting
600,000 How many more Asians voted in the 2008 presidential election than in the 2004 election. All in all, 49 percent of Asians turned out to vote in 2008; up about 4 percentage points from 2004. A total of 3.6 million Asians voted. Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008 <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/voting/013 995.html>
Businesses
Source for the statements referenced in this section, unless otherwise indicated: Asian-Owned Firms: 2002 <http://www2.census.gov/econ/sbo/02/sb0200csasian.pdf>
1.1 million Number of businesses owned by Asian-Americans in 2002, up 24 percent from 1997. The rate of increase in the number of Asian-owned businesses was about twice that of the national average for all businesses.
More than $326 billion Receipts of Asian-American-owned businesses in 2002, up 8 percent from 1997. An estimated 319,468 Asian-owned businesses had paid employees, and their receipts totaled more than $291 billion. There were 49,636 Asian-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more, accounting for 4 percent of the total number of Asian-owned firms and nearly 68 percent of their total receipts.
In 2002, more than three in 10 Asian-owned firms operated in professional, scientific and technical services, as well as other services, such as personal services, and repair and maintenance.
2.2 million Number of people employed by Asian-owned businesses. There were 1,866 Asian-owned firms with 100 or more employees, generating nearly $52 billion in gross receipts (18 percent of the total revenue for Asian-owned employer firms).
47% Percentage of all Asian-owned firms that were either Chinese-owned or Asian Indian-owned.
Nearly 6 in 10 Proportion of all Asian-owned firms in the United States in California, New York, Texas and New Jersey.
112,441 The number of Asian-owned firms in New York City, which led all cities. Los Angeles (47,764), Honolulu (22,348) and San Francisco (19,639) followed.
28% The proportion of Asian-owned businesses that were home based. This is the lowest proportion among minority respondent groups. Source: Characteristics of Businesses: 2002 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/business_o wnership/007537.html>
Languages
2.5 million The number of people 5 and older who spoke Chinese at home in 2008. After Spanish, Chinese was the most widely spoken non-English language in the country. Tagalog, Vietnamese and Korean were each spoken at home by more than 1 million people. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Serving Our Nation
276,079 The number of single-race Asian military veterans. About one in three was 65 and older. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Jobs
48% The proportion of civilian employed single-race Asians 16 and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses. Additionally, 22 percent worked in sales and office occupations, 16 percent in service occupations and 11 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
The "Net"
73% Percentage of Asians living in a household with Internet use, the highest rate among race and ethnic groups. Source: Computer and Internet Use in the United States: October 2007 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/communicat ion_industries/013849.html>
Counties
1.4 million The number of Asians (self-identified as Asian alone or in combination with one or more other races) in Los Angeles County, Calif., in 2008, which tops the nation’s counties. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013734.html>
19,000 Santa Clara County, Calif.’s Asian population increase from 2007 to 2008, the largest in the nation. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013734.html>
58% Percent of the population of Honolulu County, Hawaii, that was Asian in 2008, which led the country. Honolulu was the only majority-Asian county in the nation. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013734.html>
Age Distribution
35.8 Median age of the single-race Asian population in 2008. The corresponding figure was 36.8 years for the population as a whole. Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2008-asrh.html>
The Future
40.6 million The projected number of U.S. residents in 2050 who will identify themselves as Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. They would comprise 9 percent of the total population by that year. Source: Population projections < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /012496.html>
162% The projected percentage increase between 2008 and 2050 in the population of people who identify themselves as Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This compares with a 44 percent increase in the population as a whole over the same period of time. Source: Population projections < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /012496.html>
Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
1.1 million The estimated number of U.S. residents in July 2008 who said they were Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, either alone or in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised 0.4 percent of the total population. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013733.html>
California had the largest population (282,000) in 2008 of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (either alone or in combination with one or more other races), followed by Hawaii (281,000) and Washington (55,000). California had the largest numerical increase (6,000) of people of this group. In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders comprised the largest proportion (22 percent) of the total population. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013734.html>
2.4% Percentage growth of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population between 2007 and 2008 second to Asians among race groups. The increase in the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population during the period totaled about 26,000. Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013733.html>
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance
$57,721 The median income of households headed by single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
16.3% The poverty rate for those who classified themselves as single-race Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
18.5% The three-year average (2006-2008) percentage without health insurance for single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wea lth/014227.html>
Education
15% The percentage of single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 25 and older who had at least a bachelor’s degree. This compared with 28 percent for the total population. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
87% The percentage of single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma. This compared with 85 percent for the total population. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
5% The percentage of single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 25 and older who had obtained a graduate or professional degree. This compared with 10 percent for the total population this age. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Businesses
Source for the statements referenced in this section: Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-Owned Firms: 2002 <http://www2.census.gov/econ/sbo/02/sb0200csnhpi.pdf>
28,948 Number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in
2002, up 49 percent from 1997. The rate of growth was more than three times the national average. The 3,693 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses with paid employees employed more than 29,000 and generated revenues of $3.5 billion.
2,415 Number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms in Honolulu.
$4.3 billion Receipts for Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in 2002, up 3 percent from 1997. There were 727 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more. These firms accounted for 3 percent of the total number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms and 67 percent of their total receipts.
In 2002, nearly 21,000 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms operated in health care and social assistance; other services (such as personal services, and repair and maintenance); retail trade; administrative and support and waste management and remediation services; professional, scientific and technical services; and construction.
28 Number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms with 100 or more employees. These firms generated $698 million in gross receipts ? 20 percent of the total revenue for Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned employer firms.
53% Percentage of all Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms in Hawaii and California. These two states accounted for 62 percent of business revenue.
Serving Our Nation
26,810 The number of single-race Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander military veterans. About one in five was 65 and older. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Jobs
24% The proportion of civilian employed single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 16 and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses. About the same percent worked in service occupations. Meanwhile, 28 percent worked in sales and office occupations and 14 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations. Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>
Counties
179,000 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population (alone or in combination with one or more other races) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, in 2008, which led the nation. Among counties, Clark County, Nev. (home of Las Vegas) had the largest numerical increase in this race since July 2007 Ñü 857. Hawaii County, Hawaii, had the highest percentage of people of this race (30 percent). Source: Population estimates < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /013734.html>
Age Distribution
29.8 The median age of the single-race Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population in 2008. The median age was 36.8 for the population as a whole. Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2008-asrh.html>
The Future
2.6 million The projected number of U.S. residents in 2050 who will identify themselves as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander in combination with one or more other races. They would comprise 0.6 percent of the total population by that year. Source: Population projections < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /012496.html>
132% The projected percentage increase between 2008 and 2050 in the population of people who identify themselves as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander in combination with one or more other races. This compares with a 44 percent increase in the population as a whole over the same period of time.Source: Population projections < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population /012496.html>

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail:

The Asian American LEAD 11th Annual Dinner

Click here for more information about Asian American LEAD.

AAPI Health Reform Action Guide

We post the White House Office of Public Engagement’s “AAPI Health Reform Action Guide. The packet is designed as an outreach tool, not a policy piece, and will thus answer some outreach-related questions.

A keynote address to the University of Southern California Asian Pacific Graduation Ceremony

The following is the keynote address given by Jay Chen at the Asian Pacific Graduation for the University of Southern California, held on May 14th 2009 at the Fischer Art Gallery, South Lawn.

Good evening Trojans.  It’s a pleasure to be here, and I want to thank the Asian Pacific Alumni Association, Asian Pacific American Student Assembly, and Asian Pacific American Student Services for inviting me to share in this celebration with you all.

I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that graduation season coincides with the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage month.  Our legislators must have known this was the favorite time of year for tens of thousands of Asian parents who are just thrilled that they will no longer be receiving a tuition bill.  Let’s give a hand to those parents in the audience who have made this day possible.

There is also a more historic reason for celebrating APA Heritage month in May, and I wish to discuss that briefly today.  May 7, 1843 marked the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants, and May 10, 1869 marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad, built in large part by Chinese laborers.  I don’t think any of the early Asian immigrants for whom this month is dedicated, could imagine the scene before us today, in which APAs have reached such size and clout that they command their own graduation ceremony.

The fact is, the earliest immigrants from Asia were subject to some of the worst forms of legalized racism our nation had ever seen.  In 1880 a California law was passed forbidding marriage between Whites and Asians.  In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, which marked the first and only time in US history that any ethnicity or nationality was banned from the United States.

The Japanese community fared no better; in 1907 the Gentleman’s Agreement halted all Japanese emigration to the United States and in 1942 more than 100,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent were removed from their homes and shipped to internment camps across inland America; more than 60% of them were United States citizens, their only crime was sharing the same appearance as those we were at war with at the time.

For this same war, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were recruited to fight and die alongside US soldiers with the promise of full veteran benefits.  However, after the war ended in 1946, President Truman signed the Rescission Act which took those benefits away.

I raise these anecdotes in this forum because it is impossible to appreciate the accomplishments we celebrate today, without acknowledging the trials and tribulations of those that came before us, upon whose shoulders we now stand.  The remarkable thing is, despite the extraordinary obstacles that have been placed before our community, we have always risen above and beyond the occasion.

Ironically, the most highly decorated military combat unit in American history remains the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of World War II, known as Go for Broke.  It was comprised primarily of Japanese Americans who had every reason to not fight and die for a government that treated them like the enemy and that had incarcerated their family.  Instead of harboring bitterness however, the regiment accumulated 21 Medals of Honor and nearly 10,000 Purple Hearts, quelling any notion that patriotism was related to color.

Most recently, the APA community was instrumental in electing what could be considered the first APA presidency.  We now have a President born in Hawaii, who grew up in Indonesia, has a half-Asian sister and a Chinese-American brother-in-law, who has now appointed more APAs to the White House cabinet than all previous presidential administrations combined.  One of President Obama’s first acts was to repay benefits to the surviving Filipino veterans who had so long been denied their right.

As Trojans, you should take pride in the enormous role that your alma mater has played in shaping the course of APA history.  The first Chinese American to practice law in California was educated at USC.  You Chung Hong obtained his law degree in 1925, and worked vigorously to repeal the aforementioned Chinese Exclusion Act.  He became the first Chinese American to argue before the Supreme Court, and was instrumental in building the Los Angeles Chinatown we enjoy today.

USC being the dominant sports school that it is, it’s probably not surprising that the first Asian American to win a gold medal for the United States was trained and educated on this campus.  In fact, Korean American Sammy Lee became the first diver to ever win 2 gold medals at the Olympics, in 1948 and 1952.  Of course, not wanting to be seen as a slacker, he first completed his MD at USC in 1947, much to his parent’s relief.

You are joining a special family of high achieving alumni.  If history is any indication, you have all been educated well by this fine university, and will make a name for yourselves as prior Trojans have.  There probably isn’t a whole lot more I could add to your education, but since I am the keynote, I have to at least offer a few words of advice for your graduation.

The first piece of advice is: embrace your heritage.

As Americans of Asian descent, you will play a critical role in the evolution of a new world order.  As countries such as China and India strive for their potential, our nation will depend upon natural ambassadors such as yourselves to help navigate an environment in which American supremacy cannot, and should not, just be taken for granted.

Take the time to travel and to understand the cultures that make you who you are, and know that there is nothing more American than doing so, and that only in America would a story such as yours be possible. Thank your parents, in their native tongue if you can, for raising you in a multilingual household, and if they did not, make a promise to yourself that your own children will be given such an advantage.

My second piece of advice is: always live with your eulogy in mind.

At the age of 25 I had the unfortunate distinction of having attended more classmate funerals than weddings.  I have no misconceptions of my own mortality and how capricious fate can be, and that is partly what motivates me to do what I do.  My challenge to you all is to think, if you were to die today and be eulogized tomorrow, what would be said and would you be satisfied with it?

Don’t always put off the good works and deeds for a later date, after you have been established or made your fortune, because that date may never come.  Get the most meaning out of your life, now.

This class has the unique distinction of graduating into the worst economic recession of our lifetimes.  But in every crisis there are opportunities.  The silver lining before you is the drastically reduced opportunity cost of doing something you actually enjoy that adds true value to the world.  You no longer have to choose between a soulless but lucrative job in finance or something more inspiring and creative, because those finance jobs no longer exist.

In a way, you have more opportunities than any class before you since expectations of what a suitable job are have finally and rightfully been deconstructed and dismantled.  Take this golden opportunity to produce something of value for our society, a value fit to be eulogized.

My last piece of advice is this: no matter what career you ultimately choose, from sports to science, to everything in between, never assume that politics will not affect you.

It was less than a year ago that the LPGA tried to create an English-only rule targeting Asian players for suspension from a tour that they were clearly dominating.  If not for the efforts of APA legislators in California who stopped the policy, the world that your defending champion women’s golf team would graduate into would be a very different place.

And if you think a life hidden in a lab can keep you insulated from politics, just remember the story of Dr. Wen Ho Lee, who a mere decade ago was falsely accused of spying for China and had his career ruined for no reason other than his race.  Take pride in knowing that the lawyer who sued the government and New York Times on Dr. Lee’s behalf and won an unprecedented settlement and apology, was Brian Sun, himself a Trojan.

And if you have no plans on getting a job and want to be a student for life, and I’m sure your parents must love you for that, remember that 67 years ago, 130 students from this very school, some on the verge of graduating, were shipped off to internment camps across inland America because of their Japanese heritage.

As easily as your lives can be affected by politics, it’s just as easy for you to affect the political system.  Engagement in civic society does not have to mean running for public office as I did or working on a political campaign.  It can start with simply breaking the cycle of political apathy and consistently exercising your right to vote, a privilege that those for whom this month is dedicated, did not have.

In closing, I wish to congratulate the class of 2009 on completing this chapter of your young lives, and beginning the next.  Enjoy your accomplishments, but do not forget the multiple paths and dead-ends that had to be walked by others so that you could have an opportunity to walk today.  I look forward to seeing what trails you will blaze for future generations.  Thank you, and congratulations once again.