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Celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month – Honoring our Partners and Building New Bridges For Collaboration and Outreach

by: Diana Coho, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Specialist, Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau

May 20, 2013

In June 1977, a House resolution called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Over time, additional resolutions passed and in 1992, the official designation of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month was signed into law. This year’s theme is: BUILDING LEADERSHIP: EMBRACE THE CULTURAL VALUES AND INCLUSION.  Click on the link below to see this year’s White House proclamation on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/30/presidential-proclamation-asian-american-and-pacific-islander-heritage-m.

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau works to build dynamic partnerships with the Asian American community. To that end, we have begun plans for an interactive dialogue among Asian American leaders with FCC leaders and subject matter experts to address stakeholder concerns and provide technical assistance.  This event will be announced and held sometime in the next few months – stay tuned to our website as more details are posted.  We also plan to expand our Asian American outreach to the Asian owned business community, another rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population that continues to contribute greatly to our economy.

The FCC is dedicated to working with this unique and diverse constituency.  The term “Asian-Pacific Islander” encompasses the entire Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 17.3 million Asians and 1.2 million Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders in 2010.  These are the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population, with a 46 percent growth rate in Asians and a 40 percent growth rate in Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders in between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.  Another significant point: 80 percent of Asians live in a household with Internet use — the highest rate among race and ethnic groups as of 2009.  For more information on these and other U.S. Census data, visit http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff09.html

As a further testament to the FCC’s ongoing commitment to fostering cultural awareness for all staff members, the FCC’s Office of Workplace Diversity held an event for employees on May 15, 2013, in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month which included informative presentations, speakers, a small hand drum dance performance, and a cultural food tasting.  For information on additional events and celebrations scheduled in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in the Washington, DC area, visit http://www.asianpacificheritage.gov/

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