CAPAC Members Commemorate 10th Anniversary of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institutions Program

Sep 27, 2017 Issues: Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institutions (AANAPISI) program, which was established under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. To commemorate this anniversary, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“For the past decade, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institutions have ensured that Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students across the country have access to equitable opportunities in higher education. Despite the model minority myth that all AAPI students are academically successful, we know that significant disparities in educational attainment continue to persist for many AAPI communities. For instance, 40% of Hmong, 38% of Laotians, and 35% of Cambodians do not complete high school. And only 14% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have attained a bachelor’s degree.

“AANAPISIs, which enroll nearly half of all AAPI undergraduate students nationwide, play a critical role in addressing these educational disparities. As we celebrate the ten year anniversary of this important program, I look forward to continuing to work with our nation’s AANAPISIs to strengthen opportunities for AAPI students and to build a brighter future for generations to come.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“Since 2007, AANAPISI programs have supported thousands of AAPI students pursuing higher education—providing these students with the resources they need to succeed in the classroom and in life. I was proud to cosponsor the original legislation that established these programs, and will continue fighting for AANAPISIs and for other minority-serving institutions to ensure that all of our nation’s students receive the necessary services and supports to achieve the American Dream.”

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce:

“Each year, more and more Asian American and Pacific Islander students enroll in college. AAPI students represent nearly 50 different ethnicities, speak over 300 languages, are from various socioeconomic statuses, and have different immigration histories. This increase in enrollment puts a demand on schools, particularly AANAPISIs, to better serve its student body. This is why Congress must continue to support AANAPISIs and ensure these institutions have the resources needed to flourish. Our students deserve no less.”

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

“Equal opportunity in education is fundamental to ensuring that all young people, especially those from underserved communities, have a fair shot at success in the classroom. The Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program serves that goal by revealing the wide gaps in educational attainment within the diverse Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. Ten years after it was established, the AANAPISI program continues to have vital role in rejecting the myth of the ‘model minority’ and shining a light on the reality that we must do more to ensure underserved AAPI students have the resources and guidance they need to reach their full potential.”

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

“Today we commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions program. The AAPI community is the fastest growing racial group and is expected to double in size to 47 million by 2060, representing over 48 ethnicities and 300 languages. While some AAPIs have achieved the American Dream, not all AAPIs have been able to. The ‘Model Minority Myth’ has regrettably clouded our perception of AAPI success and AANAPISI is an important tool that creates more opportunities for students to achieve their dreams. The skyrocketing costs of college should not prohibit or deter AAPIs from pursuing their goals. I join my colleagues in commemorating the 10th Anniversary of AANAPISIs.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02):

“For the past ten years, the AANAPISI program has transformed the lives of Asian Americans, Native American Pacific Islanders, and low-income students through educational opportunities, enabling them to achieve their dreams of pursuing a higher education that was once out of reach. The AANAPISI’s grants and assistance to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islanders has not only changed the lives of students in Hawaii and across the country, but has helped ensure the strength and diversity of America’s future leaders.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“At schools across the country, including Mission College and Santa Clara University in my district, AAPI and low-income students benefitted from the AANAPISI program. Students are our future and the building blocks of our society. I pledge to continue advocating for programs like AANAPISI that set students up for success.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“In 2007, Congress reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all students have equal access to a quality education by authorizing the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institutions (AANAPISI) program. AANAPISIs like Laney College in my district have used these grants to expand services to Asian Americans, Native American Pacific Islanders, and low-income students. On this tenth anniversary of the AANAPISI program, I’m proud to represent Laney College and other minority serving institutions which level the playing field for American students.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):

“This year, we celebrate 10 years since the AANAPISI program was established by Congress to help educational institutions better serve the AAPI community. AAPIs remain the fastest growing demographic in the country and represent a wide range of ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, cultures, and religions. AANAPISIs are especially vital in serving low-income AAPI students and increasing the number of AAPIs who graduate from college. I’m proud to fight in Congress to provide AANAPISI students with better resources and opportunities, and in July, the House approved an initiative I championed to encourage the military to recruit officers from Minority Serving Institutions like AANAPISIs. I will continue to do all I can to ensure that AANAPISIs are in the best possible position to serve our community.”

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07):

“Since its creation, the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institutions program has helped countless AAPI students thrive in higher education institutions around the country. We must maintain federal funding for minority students, so they can continue to break barriers and pursue their passions.”

###

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.