CAPAC Member Statements on AANAPISI Week

Sep 27, 2021 Issues: Education

Washington, D.C. — Today CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and CAPAC Education Task Force Chair Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41) introduced a resolution recognizing September 27– October 3, 2021 as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week. This week commemorates the achievements and goals of AANAPISIs and their work to provide quality educational opportunities to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students. The AANAPISI program was first authorized in 2007 through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act in order to improve the availability and quality of postsecondary education programs to serve AANHPI and low-income students. CAPAC members released the following statements:

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu, (CA-27): 

“As a former educator, I know the power of an education to change a person’s future, opening them up to new opportunities and careers they may have never imagined for themselves. But I have also seen firsthand the ways people of color and lower income students have been disadvantaged in seeking that education. That is why support for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) is so important to me. AANAPISIs and other Minority Serving Institutions have been critically important in closing the inequality gaps in education, and in fact three-quarters of low-income Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders attend an AANAPISI. But the needs of AANAPISIs and other MSIs have only increased during the pandemic, as schools have had to address transitions to online learning, food insecurity, job loss, and more. That is why I am proud to be recognizing AANAPISI Week so that we can celebrate the important contributions made by these institutions and call attention to the need to support AANAPISIs and all MSIs that help close the education inequality gaps in our country.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng, (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

 "This week, we celebrate the amazing contributions that Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) make to our nation. AANAPISIs are instrumental in helping AAPI students achieve their educational dreams. AANAPISIs serve almost half of all AAPI students in higher education, which makes support of these institutions critical to ensuring that more AAPIs have equitable access to achieving their American Dream through higher education. As the only AAPI Member of Congress on the House Appropriations Committee, I am committed to securing robust federal funding for AANAPISIs."

 Congressman Mark Takano, (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair and Education Task Force Chair:  

 “As a former public school teacher and current member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, I’m glad to be recognizing AANAPISI Week and the many Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) that bridge the existing gaps in educational opportunities and give underserved communities a fighting chance to succeed. It must be our goal to reject the myth of the model minority, and fully support AANAPI students seeking educational opportunities to improve their quality of life by investing in the institutions, resources, and programs that cater to our diverse population. Education is a hallmark of the American Dream that everyone should have equal access to.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

 “I am honored to celebrate Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week and commend the critical work of our nation’s Minority Serving Institutions. Through providing grants and related assistance, the AANAPISI program ensures that institutions serving Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander students are well-equipped to provide quality post-secondary education to our nation’s fastest growing demographic group. I am pleased to recognize AANAPISI week and help provide visibility to its important mission.”

Congressman Ed Case, (HI-01):

 “I am honored to join with my CAPAC colleagues to commemorate Asian American and Native American Pacific Island-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) . In my Hawai’i, there are 14 such institutions that have benefitted or are qualified to receive grants from the AANAPISI.  As students across the country struggle with either distance learning or coping with COVID protocols while receiving in-classroom instruction, the grants will go a long way to helping these students achieve their education goals.”

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, (WA-10):  

“As a proud graduate of a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), I know I wouldn't be where I am today without the opportunities I received through higher education. Like other MSIs, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) are invaluable to supporting low-income, first generation AAPI students, and enroll nearly 40% of all AANHPI undergraduates nationally. This AANAPISI Week, as we acknowledge the vast contributions of these universities, let us recommit to supporting their work to expand educational opportunity for the next generation of AAPI students.”

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, (NY-12):

“During Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Week, we celebrate the ambitions and objectives of AANAPISIs and their hard work to provide excellent educational opportunities to AAPI students across the country. I commit to doing everything in my power to ensure all Americans have an equal chance to flourish, contribute, and thrive – which must include support for AANAPISIs and other Minority Serving Institutions. Let’s achieve better access to higher education opportunities for AAPI students!”

Congressman Gregorio Sablan, (CNMI):

“Education is the best way for each of us to fulfill our potential. But opportunities to learn have been limited for Pacific Islander and other minority groups in America. That is the inequity Congress addressed in 2007 by making Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, like Northern Marianas College, eligible for special financial assistance. And that is the inequity we are working on in Congress right now with President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda that aims to lower tuition at AANAPISIs and other Minority Serving Institutions nationwide. So everyone has more opportunity to learn and lead fulfilling lives.” 

Congressman Adam Smith, (WA-09):

“Today I am proud to recognize Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) Week to commemorate the educational and workforce opportunities these institutions provide to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and low-income individuals across the United States. These institutions bring immense value to the young people they serve – as well as their families and their communities – by preparing them for their futures. As the fastest growing demographic in our country, members of the AAPI community are a growing part of our workforce – and AANAPISIs are ensuring these future workers are set up for success.

“I am honored to serve on the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and will continue to support the work that AANAPISIs do to advance higher education and workforce opportunities for young people in the 9th District and throughout the United States.”