Washington, D.C. – GCC President Mary Okada, and 15 other members, were “ceremonially” sworn in Tuesday to President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
Sri Srinivasan, United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ceremonially swore in fourteen new and two returning Commissioners who will serve as the eyes and ears of the AAPI community for the Obama Administration. The Commissioners are:
· Dr. Tung Nguyen (incoming Chair)
· Dr. Mary Ann Young Okada (incoming Vice Chair)
· Dr. N. Nina Ahmad
· Michael Byun
· Ravi Chaudhary
· Lian Cheun
· Billy Dec
· Bill Imada
· Kathy Ko Chin
· Daphne Kwok
· Dee Jay Mailer
· Diane Narasaki
· Shekar Narasimhan
· Maulik Pancholy
· Linda X. Phan
· Lorna May Ho Randlett
The Commission is charged with working to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) through increased participation in and access to federal programs. They will advise the President on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the country and to improve their health.
The swearing in took place at the Department of Interior during a ceremony marking the start of the 2014 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the ceremony and highlighted the achievements of generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
The event was hosted by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
For detailed bios on the new commissioners, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/aapi/news-release-2014-commission/
Additionally, during the ceremony, the outgoing Commissioners were thanked for their efforts with the release of a report highlighting its accomplishments got here >>> http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/american-mosaic_digital_lores.pdf
This year, the theme for AAPI Heritage Month is “I Am Beyond,” led by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The phrase captures the aspirations of the American spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America.
During the opening ceremony, there was also a panel discussion on the “I Am Beyond” theme and its implications by Pancholy, Okada, activist and journalist Helen Zia, and Executive Director of the National Korean American Service & Education Forum DJ Yoon.
“The theme ‘I Am Beyond’ recognizes how Asian Pacific Americans have a rich, complex and inspirational American story,” said Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Director Konrad Ng. “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to enrich our appreciation of the American story and America’s Asian Pacific heritage.”
The AAPI Heritage Month celebration will continue throughout the month of May, with events happening nationwide, highlighting the community’s many contributions to the arts, sciences, government, military, commerce, and education.