CAPAC Members Celebrate AANAPISI Week

Sep 26, 2022 Issues: Education

Washington, D.C. — Today, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) recognize the start of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week, from September 26-October 2, 2022. 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. CAPAC Members are also celebrating the 15th anniversary of the AANAPISI program this year, which 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. To kick off AANAPISI Week, CAPAC members released the following statements:

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27):

“As a former educator, I know just how pivotal a good education can be and how it can open doors to change a person’s future. However, far too many students face barriers which can deter them from seeking out these opportunities, and this is especially true for communities of color, including Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. That is why Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) are so important—they have been working to close gaps in inequality and ensure low-income students have access to a quality education for the past 15 years. 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 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) that help close the education inequality gaps in our country."

CAPAC First Vice-Chair Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06):

“Today, and throughout this week, we recognize and celebrate the work of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) across our country. AANAPISIs play an especially critical role for the AAPI community, as they enroll almost half of all AAPI students in higher education. Given that AAPIs are among the fastest growing demographic group in our nation, the role and importance of AANAPISIs will only increase. As CAPAC Appropriations Taskforce Chair and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am committed to fighting for robust funding that AANAPISIs need to continue serving our community and our nation’s youth. I urge all Americans to join me in recognizing the extraordinary work AANAPISIs do daily on behalf of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.”

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

“I’m honored to join my CAPAC colleagues in recognizing AANAPISI Week and commemorate the great work Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) provide. MSIs bridge the existing gaps in educational opportunities and give underserved communities a fighting chance to succeed.

For a decade and a half, the AANAPISI Program has provided critical funding to Asian American and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) - serving institutions of higher education across the country. This funding is used to support the recruitment, retention, and graduation of low-income and first-generation AANHPI college students and offers the opportunity for these students to thrive.

Let’s celebrate the 15 years of success that the AANAPISI Program has achieved by supporting colleges and universities in serving their AANHPI students. I applaud the critical work that these institutions do to ensure that their student bodies reflect the diversity of the United States.”

CAPAC Whip Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33):

“It is an honor to celebrate Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week with my CAPAC colleagues. Today, we recognize the contributions of higher education institutions that provide critical services to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students. AAPI students are an important part of achieving equity in higher education, and my state of California has the greatest number of AANAPISI schools in the nation. As a member of the Democratic Caucus, we signed into law the FUTURE Act, permanently authorizing funding for AANAPISI’s and other minority-serving institutions. We commend these schools for their tireless commitment to improving equal access to education, and making it possible for every AAPI student to achieve the American Dream.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07):

“I’m proud to join with my CAPAC colleagues to recognize Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) week. A strong education gives students the tools to thrive, not just survive. AANAPISIs help to close education gaps and are critical in helping to provide AAPI students with the resources necessary to achieve their dreams. I’m thrilled to be able to celebrate all the work of AANAPISIs this week and to recommit to providing the very best education for AAPI students in my district and across the country.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“During Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Week, we recognize the 15th anniversary of the AANAPISI program and the critical role that they serve in offering opportunities for AAPI students no matter their income or zip code. I will continue working with my CAPAC colleagues to support high quality and affordable education through AANAPISIs and other Minority Serving Institutions.”

Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03):

“My parents chose to raise me and my sister in New Jersey because of the excellent public schools. Their choice gave us the opportunity to succeed. With gratitude for the pathways and doors that were open to me because of my education, I am committed to expanding opportunity and increasing access to high-quality education for future generations of Asian Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.  I'm grateful for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) and their work to provide more AAPI kids around the country access to excellent educational opportunities and programs so that we are well equipped for the challenges of tomorrow.”

Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03):

“Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) are essential to fulfilling the promise of equitable access to higher education in America.  These institutions play an important role in opening the door to a high-quality college degree for hundreds of thousands of low-income, first-generation Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students who otherwise may not have access to its lifelong benefits.  Moreover, AANAPISIs help break down the myth that AANHPI students are a monolithic group who do not face disparities in higher education by recognizing and meeting their unique needs.

As we celebrate AANAPISIs Week, I remain committed—as Chair of the Education and Labor Committee—to ensuring that AANAPISIs and other MSIs can continue their critical mission of providing an affordable, high-quality higher education for our diverse AANHPI communities."

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11):

“Today, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions program and recognize the impact made by Minority Serving Institutions. AANAPISIs are crucial for supporting low-income, first-generation APIDA students, enrolling 75% of all low-income APIDA students in the United States. Virginia’s 11th Congressional District is home to the AANAPISI Northern Virginia Community College, the recipient of a $1.4 million AANAPISI Grant used to implement a college-wide program designed to improve retention, enrollment, and graduation rates for APIDA students. This AANAPISI Week, let us recognize these institutions and recommit to expanding educational opportunities for the APIDA scholars to come.”