On May 4, EDR member Herpreet Singh attended the 2016 Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Gala featuring leading figures from the Asian American community. APAICS, a nonprofit organization, promotes Asian Pacific American participation and representation at the local, state, and federal level through a variety of programs held in its national and regional leadership academies, and fellowships. For more information about APAICS, click here.
Experts gathered at this event to recognize the achievements of Asian minorities at all levels of society, and celebrate ongoing developments in Asian leadership. EDR joined to support this auspicious gathering and consider partnerships for its education initiatives in East Asia. During the event, EDR learned from and engaged with functional and regional experts in the D.C. community about the role of civic engagement and education in the nation and abroad.
The event highlighted key achievements made by the Asian American community over the past several decades including the number of AAPI representatives who serve to-date in Congress and State Legislature, and as Governors and statewide officials. Speakers at the event included President Barack Obama, APAICS Board Chair Susan Jin Davis, APAICS President and CEO S. Floyd Mori, House Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), Actors Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari, among many others. The event was generously supported by a number of sponsors including Toyota, Comcast NBC Universal, Walmart, Southwest Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Google.
During this event, President Obama formally recognized May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To read the official proclamation, click here. He emphasized the importance of national initiatives taken on by his Administration such as the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Task Force on New Americans, and AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force. He concluded the evening with these memorable remarks: “…That’s our job: To exercise our most precious inheritance — citizenship. And that means we have to be well-informed, we have to engage with our government, and we have to vote — not just when it’s time to elect a president, every single election. School boards matter. County offices matter. State attorneys races matter. State legislative races matter. That’s how we honor the trailblazers who sacrificed so that we could be here today and how we fulfill our promise as a nation. That’s how we’re going to ensure that the freedoms secured by those who came before us will always be the birthright of our children. ” To read the President’s entire remarks, click here.
EDR continues to seek engagement opportunities with the Asian community and work with stakeholders who truly value education as the vehicle for promoting global citizenship awareness and most importantly- affordable access to high-quality educational resources worldwide. APAICS partners will inspire EDR to seek further collaboration in civic engagement education. Through support from Congress and minority leaders both locally and abroad, EDR can also pursue initiatives in human development, human security, and global citizenship education, and continue reforming the educational gap between privileged and underprivileged communities.
Moving forward, EDR plans to participate in the AAPI community and garner support for EDR’s programs. Through these programs, EDR will contribute to the rich dialogue of education, public health, and security reform taking place across the nation and world.