WASHINGTON—Today, Juliet K. Choi, chief executive officer of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement on the Presidential Memorandum President Biden signed to disavow discrimination against Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs):
“We applaud President Biden’s bold declaration squarely condemning racism, xenophobia and intolerance against Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander families in the first week of his administration. In his memorandum, the President directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, to promote and advance culturally relevant practices and language access for the whole of our community in the country’s COVID-19 response. This type of commitment to engage with our communities is absolutely crucial to mitigate against the devastating and disproportionate toll COVID-19 has had, particularly on our Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families.
Words matter, and it is heartening and critical to denounce and rescind the use or reference to inflammatory and harmful narratives like ‘China Virus.’ Calling upon the Department of Justice to intentionally engage with our community leaders, together with state and local governments, to prevent discrimination, bullying, harassment and hate crimes is the right path forward to ensure our communities feel safe, honored and respected.
Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are not a monolith. The diversity of our cultural and community voice and community contributions, particularly as frontline and essential workers, should be celebrated and uplifted. We look forward to working with the Biden administration in fulfilling the promise of this Presidential Memorandum, making sure that the unique and individual needs and challenges of different ethnicities in our vibrant community are met.”
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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.