On July 13, 2012, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) convened senior Obama Administration officials and over 260 AAPI community members at a Midwest Regional Action Summit. Held in Meiling Hall at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, the Summit followed a series of open meetings with community leaders in Midwestern states experiencing rapid AAPI population growth. (Read more about the Summit in the Post-Event Press Release, The Columbus Dispatch, and on the Asian Indian Heritage Project blog). Read the full 2012 Asian American and Pacific Islander Midwest Regional Action Summit In Partnership with The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders report.
The Summit was a day of open dialogue between community participants and federal officials, who worked together to:
- Establish a space where community leaders informed the Obama Administration about issues of concern to the Midwestern AAPI community;
- Identify federal resources and programs available and develop solutions to address these issues; and
- Develop opportunities for community leaders to inform one another about innovative approaches to the needs of AAPI communities across the Midwest.
In addition to robust representation of Ohio’s AAPIs, the Summit also drew AAPI leaders from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. Participants included Americans of Bhutanese, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Mon, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Thai, and Vietnamese descent. Administration officials present at the WHIAAPI Midwest Regional Action Summit included Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of WHIAAPI, and Chris Lu, Cabinet Secretary, Assistant to the President, and the highest-ranking AAPI in the Obama Administration.
The WHIAAPI Midwest Regional Action Summit was organized in partnership with community-based organizations from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The lead Ohio host organizations were the Ohio Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Council and the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition.