As part of the government’s ongoing efforts to fight the pandemic-fueled rise in AAPI hate — and to improve opportunities for Asian Americans across the nation — the White House has established a new AAPI visibility task force. The group will be tasked with advising President Biden and other D.C. lawmakers on issues important to the AAPI community.
Sakshi Venkatraman of NBC News reported that “as part of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, the group of academics, nonprofit leaders and activists will use their new roles to combat anti-Asian hate that has come to the fore during the pandemic.”
Among the 23 individuals named to the task force is Daniel Dae Kim, Korean American actor who rose to fame on the popular TV drama Lost who has since emerged as one of the most staunch and visible advocates against anti-Asian hate during the past two years of the pandemic.
“One of the best things about people speaking up and speaking out has been a groundswell movement unlike anything that I’ve experienced in my lifetime,” Kim said in an interview on NBC’s TODAY show last spring. “More Asian Americans have spoken up; more marches have happened around the country than I’ve even seen.”
Venkatraman reported that “the commission was established to advise President Joe Biden on the needs of the country’s growing AAPI population, and its leaders promise to address the concerns of those who exist at cross-sections. Members of the LGBTQ community, women and those with disabilities will all be given priority.”
According to Venkatraman, some initiatives the task force will be working toward include adding more language options in federal programs, disaggregating AAPI data to improve policy changes and rehabilitating small businesses crippled by the ongoing pandemic.
In addition to Kim, the task force will also include advocate Mia Ives-Rublee, Director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress; entrepreneur and Silicon Valley executive Ajay Bhutoria; and Kerry Doi, President and CEO of Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), one of the largest Asian-led community development corporations in the country.