Several Indian-American leaders meet President and Vice President

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President Joe Biden gestures while speaking to Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo: Whitehouse.gov

The Aug. 5, 2021 meeting of President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris reveals Indian-Americans have arrived – among the pantheon of minorities in this nation — to address national policy and savor a slice of the American Pie. The significance of the meeting for Indian Americans was emphasized by the date on which it was held – when back in 2012, a white supremacist Wade Michael Page shot and killed 7  members of the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin, and wounded several others including the responding police officer..

The President and Vice President met with 13 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) leaders representing the rich diversity of the AA & NHPI communities to discuss a wide range of issues, including the Administration’s Build Back Better Agenda, a readout from the White House said.

The Indian-Americans at the meeting included Seema Agnani, executive director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development(National CAPACD); Satjeet Kaur, Executive Director, Sikh Coalition; Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF); and Neil Makhija, executive director of Indian American Impact.

The conversation focused on the importance of combating the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, economic opportunity, commitment to equity, protecting the sacred right to vote, and immigration reform, the White House said.

During the meeting, the President and Vice President reiterated their promise to work together to ensure the needs of the diaspora of the AA & NHPI communities are heard, uplifted and met.

Those present at the meeting also commemorated nine years since the horrific 2012 gurdwara mass shooting.

The President and Vice President restated their support for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, farm workers, Temporary Protected Status holders, and essential workers through reconciliation, pledging to work with the AA & NHPI community on immigration reform.

The President and Vice President acknowledged the AA & NHPI community record turnout in civic engagement and vowed to continue working to strengthen the nation’s democracy and the protection of voting rights.

Other Asian American and Native Hawaiin & Pacific Islander leaders at the meeting included:
Christine Chen, Executive Director, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote); Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC); Kūhiō Lewis, President & CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA); Gregg Orton, National Director, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA); Tavae Samuelu, Executive Director, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC); Chiling Tong, President & CEO, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE); John Yang, President & Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice –AAJC; Board Member, AAPI Victory Alliance; Alvina Yeh, Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA); and Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

 

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