Presidential Proclamation — Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2015
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The rich heritage of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders spans the world and the depths of America’s history. Generation after generation, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have forged a proud legacy that reflects the spirit of our Nation — a country that values the contributions of everyone who calls America home. During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we honor the perseverance of those who courageously reached for their hopes and dreams in a new land, and we celebrate the important impact the AAPI community has made on our Nation’s progress.
From the more than one million immigrants who journeyed across the Pacific and arrived on Angel Island to the Chinese-American laborers who risked their lives to link our coasts by rail, the determination of this vibrant community represents the best of our national character. In each chapter of our country’s story — in places like Selma and the grape fields of Delano, during the moments where our Nation’s destiny has been decided — AAPIs of all backgrounds have set inspiring examples as leaders and trailblazers, united by a common hope for civil rights, equal treatment, and a better tomorrow for all Americans.
Through times of hardship and in the face of enduring prejudice, these women and men have persisted and forged ahead to help strengthen our Union. Native Hawaiians have fought to protect their treasured traditions, language, and lands. And AAPI patriots have defended the beliefs for which we stand. Seventy years ago, the United States and our allies secured a lasting peace throughout the Asia Pacific region and much of the world — a victory achieved in part by thousands of Filipino Americans who fought valiantly but were denied compensation, and also by Japanese Americans who served this country even as the freedom of their loved ones was denied.
Fifty years ago, the United States opened new doors of opportunity to more Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants through the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, ending the arbitrary and outdated policies that unfairly limited the potential of entire regions. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, which brought new Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, and Laotian communities to this country. But as we recognize the enormous progress America has made, we must also acknowledge the many struggles AAPIs continue to experience in the face of persistent inequality and bigotry, including barriers to equal access to education, employment, and health care. South Asian Americans — especially those who are Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh — too often face senseless violence and harassment due only to the color of their skin or the tenets of their faith. And to this day, many AAPIs continue to live in the shadows and are separated from their families due to our broken immigration system.
My Administration is committed to addressing these unmet needs and the ugly discrimination that still exists. I was proud to re-establish the White House Initiative on AAPIs soon after I took office, to foster opportunities for increased access to and involvement in Federal programs. As part of that effort, my Administration is expanding its regional network of Federal leaders and hosting community meetings across the country to better understand the needs of the diverse AAPI community. Last year, I announced my intent to take actions that would allow more high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, and I continue to call on the Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. To highlight the tremendous growth of the AAPI community and my Administration’s commitment to increasing opportunity for AAPIs everywhere, this month we will host the White House Summit on AAPIs — an unprecedented and historic all-day convening of senior Federal officials and community leaders from across the country.
As we commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we pay tribute to all those in the AAPI community who have striven for a brighter future for the next generation. Together, let us recommit to embracing the diversity that enriches our Nation and to ensuring all our people have an equal chance to succeed in the country we love.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2015 as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/AAPI to learn more about our efforts on behalf of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Ruthie Ann Miles, Helen Mirren, Kristin Chenoweth, Alex Sharp, Andy Karl, Annaleigh Ashford, Richard McCabe, Robert Fairchild Among 2015 Outer Critics Circle Winners; Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Leads with 5; The King and I, An American in Paris and Hamilton Each Receive 3
Hamilton Sweeps 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards with 10 Wins; Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 3
Photos: Aasif Mandvi, Sheetal Sheth, Jimmy O. Yang, Raymond J. Lee, Tobias Wong and more celebrate HBO’s AAPI Heritage Month Screening of Jonathan Yi’s “East of Main Street: Taking the Lead” Documentary
JASMINE and TWINSTERS Take Top Honors at the 31st Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival; ADVANTAGEOUS, MISS INDIA AMERICA, THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR among the winners
HBO® Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month With Jonathan Yi’s “East of Main Street: Taking the Lead” Documentary Featuring Lucy Liu, Daniel Dae Kim, BD Wong, Aasif Mandvi, Russell Wong, Lucille Soong, Jimmy O. Yang, Melanie Kannokada, Dennis Oh, Sheetal Sheth, Raymond J. Lee, Nivedita Kulkarni, Tobias Wong, Michelle Goike, Veronica Reyes-How and Katarina Zhu
Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed to star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ, directed by Amy Morton, at Atlantic Theater Company, May 20-June 28
THE KING AND I Broadway Revival Cast Recording Starring Tony Award nominees Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles- now available for pre-order, release date on June 2
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS AND FUN HOME Lead 2015 Tony Award Nominations with 12 each; Ken Watanabe, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kelli O’Hara, Chita Rivera, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Nighy, Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan, Ruth Wilson, K. Todd Freeman, Patricia Clarkson Among the Nominees
Hamilton leads 2015 Drama Desk Awards Nominations with 13, along with An American in Paris, Something Rotten!, The Visit, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
81st Annual Drama League Awards Nominations
Hamilton tops Lucille Lortel Award Nominations along with Into the Woods, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Invisible Hand, The Nether and The Fortress of Solitude
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
2014-15 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations; Something Rotten!, On the Twentieth Century, An American in Paris garner most nods
Production Photos: Tony Award Winners Chita Rivera and Roger Rees star in Terrence McNally’s THE VISIT
Photos: Garth Kravits, Laura Benanti, Brian Nash, Lena Hall, Erin Davie and More in “Broadway Sings Tori” Benefit Concert for RAINN
Photos: David Byrne, Alex Timbers, Jaygee Macapugay, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Guettel, Sarah Saltzberg and More Celebrate Jose Llana’s Lincoln Center American Songbook Debut
Jennifer Phang, Nikole Beckwith and Stewart Thorndike Receive SFFS Women Filmmaker Fellowships
POV Documentary ‘American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs’ Wins a Peabody Award
15th Annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) Lineup includes Shonali Bose’s MARGARITA WITH A STRAW & Aparna Sen’s SAARI RAAT; May 4-9
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee, Joycelyne Lew
Jose Llana, Jill Paice,Telly Leung and more featured on TOKIO CONFIDENTIAL Recording; Set for Release May 12
An Intimate Evening with Author Amy Tan at the New-York Historical Society
Video: The cast of HAMILTON at The Public Theater pays tribute to A Chorus Line on the 40th anniversary of its first performance in the Newman Theater at The Public
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Photos: Inside THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE CD Release Concert with André De Shields, Kevin Mambo, Adam Chanler-Berat, Michael Friedman and More
David Henry Hwang, Laura Poitras, Amitav Ghosh, Deeyah Khan, Bill Rauch, Robert Battle, Carrie Mae Weems named among 13 Ford Foundation “Art of Change” Fellows
Thom Sesma, Emily Padgett, J. Elaine Marcos and Thai Superstar Bie Sukrit lead the cast of the world premiere of WATERFALL at The Pasadena Playhouse, May 29 – June 28 and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, October 1-25
Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of THE KING AND I starring Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora and Ashley Park opens to raves
Joe Mantegna receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Film and Television from The Riverside International Film Festival
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call
Sinatra: An American Icon Exhibit on View through September 4 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
“Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men” on view at Museum of the Moving Image through June 14; Required Viewing: Mad Men’s Movie Influences Film Series Screenings through April 26
Disney Developing Live-Action ‘Mulan’
“Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong,” – Retrospective of Disney Legend at MOCA through September 13
Dining out at élan with Artist Arlan Huang; New Paintings on view at Trestle Gallery Award Winning Actor Raul Aranas Talks THE BLACKLIST, NAAP’S OLIVER!, Songwriting and the Zen of Cycling
Signature Theatre Company’s Founding Artistic Director James Houghton To Step Down After 2015-16 25th Anniversary Season
May 1: A/P/A Institute at NYU presents Remembering SlutForArt: Tseng Kwong Chi with Muna Tseng, Ping Chong, and Bill T. Jones
Photos: Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Spring Exhibition, CHINA: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, May 7–August 16
Photos: National Black Theatre Festival 2013; NBTF runs August 3-8, 2015 and will include Act III – A Celebration of Life Reception saluting the late theatre icon Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.
Star Trek’s George Takei & Broadway Bound ALLEGIANCE Create Indiegogo Campaign as Endowment for the Japanese American National Museum
Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and Telly Leung Set to Co-star with George Takei in ALLEGIANCE; Previews Begin at the Longacre Theatre on October 6
Photos: John W. Kuo, Jessica Hagedorn, and Neal Katyal Receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards Crafting a Career
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