National AANHPI Unity Summit: A Successful Platform Advocating for Our Rights

By SK Lo, President of AAUC

The Asian American Unity Coalition (AAUC) successfully hosted its inaugural 2023 National AANHPI Unity Summit from September 25-27, 2023 in Washington D.C. The summit served as a crucial platform for Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) organizations and leaders to come together and collaborate on pressing community issues. The event drew over a hundred thirty diverse and multigenerational crowd of AANHPI community leaders.

Before the commencement of the summit, a highly attended Potomac River Dinner Cruise offered excellent networking opportunities for participants aboard the Spirit of Washington.

During the Unity Summit on September 26th, event attendees passionately advocated with their congressional members and senators for five important bills: Teach Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander History Act; Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act; Afghan Adjustment Act; Preemption of Real Property Discrimination Act; Eliminating Backlogs Act.  These bills encompassed critical areas such as discrimination, civil rights, hate crime prevention, immigration, and the promotion of Asian American history education.

Additionally, the summit marked the launched of the online AAPI community Hub powered by ESRI ArcGIS technology, creating the largest network of AAPI nonprofit organizations, totaling approximately 15,000 members.

Several distinguished individuals received well-deserved recognition for their outstanding contributions during the summit:

  • US Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi was honored with the Dalip Singh Saund Political Leadership Award.
  • US Rep. Grace Meng received the Norman Mineta Public Service Award.
  • Dr. Romesh Japra was celebrated with the Community Service Award.
  • Mr. C. C. Yin was acknowledged as Philanthropist of the Year.
  • Ms. Tammalivis Salanoa and Ms. Jessica Wu were both presented with the President’s Young Person and Youth Awards, respectively.

During the congressional reception Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, US Rep. Judy Chu, Grace Meng, Sri Thanedar emphasized the significance of elevating our community’s voice within the House and Senate. The reception enjoyed a strong turnout, with the presence of visiting House and Senate staff members. The event concluded in a mesmerizing classical sitar recital by a talented young musician.

On September 27th, a delegate of 20 community leaders had the privilege of attending a White House Briefing to engage in discussions addressing the issues raised during their congressional visit.
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