N.Y. based SACSS attends White House bill-signing ceremony

On the left, President Joe Biden signs the Bill Establishing the Commission to study creation of a potential National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture.
On the right, Congresswoman Grace Meng looks on as the President signs the Bill.
Photo: courtesy South Asian Council for Social Services

Executive Director Sudha Acharya of the South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS), Flushing, New York recently attended the signing of a Bill by the President at the White House.

President Joseph R. Biden June 13, 2022 signed a Bill to establish a Commission to study creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. The bill was submitted last year in May by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY, 6th District) of Queens, the borough where a majority of the Asian community resides. The bill was brought to the Senate floor by Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-H). Senator Hirono has long advocated on behalf of APIA communities in Hawaii, the U.S., and Pacific Island nations and territories. Congresswoman Grace Meng has been actively working for issues related to the Asian and other communities of color, young people and women, and helped secure resources for local small businesses.

Many Asian and South East Asian organizations were invited to be present at the signing of the bill, among which was SACSS from Flushing, New York. SACSS has been serving the South Asian and Asian communities, helping the needy link with city and federal benefits. It has also been operating a food pantry making provisions available to more than 300 families every week in Flushing and its neighborhoods. Among its other services are a senior center which organizes recreational and educational activities on general health and mental health.

In the center, Congresswoman Grace Meng and Executive Director of SACSS Sudha Acharya at the White House signing of the Bill, with other notable members. Photo: South Asian Council for Social Services.

The Bill establishes an 8 member Commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. The eight members of the commission will be appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The members will be selected from among individuals or representatives of institutions or organizations who have shown a demonstrated commitment to the research, study, or promotion of Asian American history, art, political or economic status or culture or fundraising for non-profit or cultural institutions.

The Commission will also consider the feasibility of the proposed museum to become part of the Smithsonian museum. The Commission would be responsible for submitting a report with recommendations to the President and Congress on the potential creation of a museum. Congress would then need to act on those recommendations to establish the museum. As part of its reporting, the commission would also convene a national conference of individuals committed to the advancement of the life, history and culture of Asian Pacific Americans.

Senator Hirono was quoted in an official press release, saying, “Establishing a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture would help combat …harmful narratives by helping us to better understand each other, and our shared history as Americans.

President Biden was quoted s saying, “Museums of this magnitude and consequence are going to inspire and educate. More than anything else, it’s going to help people see themselves in the story of America – the story that has made us a better America.”



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