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Iowa Department of Human Rights Division of Community Advocacy and Services (DCAS) Commission on the Status of Iowans of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage.

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Presentation on theme: "Iowa Department of Human Rights Division of Community Advocacy and Services (DCAS) Commission on the Status of Iowans of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage."— Presentation transcript:


2 Iowa Department of Human Rights Division of Community Advocacy and Services (DCAS) Commission on the Status of Iowans of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage (CAPI) Established in 2004

3 CAPI Vision: All Asian and Pacific Islander Iowans live up to their potential, regardless of ethnicity, station in life, and religion Mission: To ensure Iowa’s Asians and Pacific Islanders have opportunities equal to other Iowans in education, employment, health care, housing, and safety and to publicize the accomplishments and contributions of the Asian and Pacific Islanders to the state.

4 Who are APIs? The “Asian” is defined as: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, Vietnam, and etc. The “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” is defined as: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. Source: U.S. Bureau of Census

5 Asian Americans in the U.S.

6 Demographics U.S.Iowa Total Population (2009)* 307 Million 3.0 Million Projection (by 2040)** 407 Million3.5 Million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (2009)* 16.6 Million (5.4%) 56,000 (1.9%) Projection (by 2040)** 40.6 Million (10%) 115,000 (3.3%) # of countries and ethnic groups represent over 30 (speak over 100 languages) over 20 Source: * U.S. Census Bureau; ** Woods and Poole Economics, Inc


8 API Population Change in Iowa


10 Refugees to Iowa July 1975: Governor Robert Ray created the Task Force for Indochinese Resettlement November 1975: Taidam refugees April 1979: Vietnamese "boat people“ and Cambodian refugees June 1980: Laotian February 1987: Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian February 1993: Bosnian September 1993: Burmese June 1995: Sudanese August 1998 : Liberian May 1999: Kosovar June 2008: Bhutanese

11 Immigrants and the Economy Contribution of Immigrant Workers to the Country’s 25 Largest Metropolitan Areas

12 The White House Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative The Initiative works to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs where they remain underserved. President Executive Order 2009-10-14

13 Overlook the challenges that certain AAPI communities are facing: Language barriers – particularly new Americans and refugees Lack of accurate data – lump all AAPI data into one category Health disparities – higher rates of diabetes, cancer, and Hepatitis B Educational disparities – high dropout rates, low college enrollment rates in some communities Economic disparities – higher rates of poverty in some communities, and barriers to employment and workplace advancement in others The myth of the "model minority"

14 Poverty U.S.Iowa (2008) Total12% Asians12%14% Pacific Islander16%20% Hmong38% Cambodian29% Laotian19% Vietnamese17% Source: * U.S. Census Bureau “Model Minority” Myth - A Bimodal Population

15 Health High rates of limited English proficiency, many cannot communicate effectively with healthcare providers Cancer is the leading cause of death - Cervical cancer incidence rates are among the highest for Laotian, Samoan, Vietnamese and Cambodian women. Hepatitis B chronically infects about 1.3-1.5 million people in the U.S., and AAPIs account for over half of the chronic hepatitis B cases and resulting deaths. High diabetic rate in the Pacific Islander community

16 “Model Minority” Myth - A Bimodal Population Labor and Employment In a Gallup Poll, 30-31% of AAPIs surveyed reported incidents of employment discrimination AAPIs only filed about 2-3% of the total employment discrimination complaints received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against private employers Unemployment rate: 4.5% Iowan, 3.9% Asian, and 19% Pacific Islanders (2008) 45.0 % of Asians in the management, professional, and related occupations field (2008) Business: 1,816 firms owned by APIs in Iowa; sales and receipts $475 million (The 2002 Survey of Business Owners)

17 “Model Minority” Myth - A Bimodal Population Immigration AAPIs make up one of the fastest growing racial groups in the U.S., Constitute about one-third of the one million legal immigrants who enter the U.S. annually Nearly two-thirds of AAPIs are foreign-born Housing One in five AAPIs experience discrimination in the rental and home buying process (U.S. HUD study) Homeownership: 74% Iowan vs. 52% AAPI

18 Town hall meetings Smithsonian traveling exhibit “Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon” Refugee Adjustment of Status Clinics Annual API Capitol Showcase and Awards Storm Lake School District ELL Policy change Interpreter Bill - Develop a mechanism to ensure the qualifications of interpreters for Asian and Pacific Islander persons Youth programs: Refugee Family Apartment Set-up to welcome newly arrived refugees, Annual “Support Local Talent” Fundraiser event, E-Mentoring Program, Vagina Monologues – API Youth style, Youth Leadership Summit, Refugee Youth Empowerment Program, etc. CAPI

19 Vietnamese Community Language Barrier Interpreters Youth Education CAPI Tops 3 Issues and Concerns in Iowa Burmese Community Language Barrier Education Employment Hmong Community Youth / Education Economics / Agriculture Housing / Home Rehab Siouxland Community Language Barrier Employment Legal Assistance – immigration status adjustment, etc.


21 Minority Purchasing Power: 2000 to 2045 U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency By 2045, Minority purchasing power may reach $4.3 trillion (1998 dollars) or as high as $6.1 trillion if income disparity were eliminated by 2045. Minority population may contribute 44% or as much as 70% of the total increase of purchasing power from 2000 to 2045. Minority purchasing power may represent an increasing share of total purchasing power, from 20% in 2000 to 32 % in 2045.

22 Asian consumer annual buying power in the United States has reached $427 billion (59% increase since 2000) Asian annual buying power already represents 53% of Hispanic buying power. Source: The Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, 2006 Asian Americans Annual Buying Power

23 Norman Mineta – Secretary of Commerce in 2000, then Secretary of Transportation (2001 – 2006) Elaine Chao – Secretary of Labor (2001- 2009) Gary Locke – Secretary of Commerce Steven Chu – Secretary of Energy Eric K. Shinseki – Secretary of Veteran Affairs AAPI Gaining Political Power

24 Swati Dandekar Marion, IA The first Indian-born, first Asian Pacific American to be elected State Representative (2002-2008), then Senator (2008-present) Born in Nagpur, India

25 Minoru Amemiya (1922-2000) Ames, IA Born in San Francisco, CA Detained in a Japanese internment camp in Utah Joined the U.S. Army and worked for Army Intelligence Received Ph.D. in soil physics at Ohio State University in 1950 Worked as a soil scientist with the USDA in CO, TX, and IA Appointed as Agronomy professor at Iowa State University, and Extension Agronomist

26 Grace Obata Amemiya Ames, IA Parents emigrated from Japan in the early 1900’s Forced to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona – an internment camp in 1942 Volunteered as a nurse aide and later was able to leave the camp Eventually completed her nursing education at St. Mary’s in Rochester, MN and became one of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp Married to Dr. Minoru Amemiya (1922-2000), ISU plant science professor University of California granted her a honorary degree in Dec. 2009, 67 years after her studies were cut short as result of her internment

27 Lori Phanachone Storm Lake, IA Born in California Checked her home language “Laotian” 3.98 GPA, A's in speech, accounting, chemistry and English composition Protested to take the English proficiency test 3 days of in-school suspension for her “insubordination” and revoked from the National Honor Society The SLCSD has adopted a new ELL policy - notify parents of students’ placement into the ELL program and provide other necessary and pertinent information Oral interpretation and written translations will be utilized as needed to ensure families with linguistic barriers are fully informed

28 Lang Deng Ankeny, IA Born in Beijing, China Ph. D in Geography/Urban Planning, University of Utah GIS IM Leader at Pioneer Provides Chinese culture and business training to Iowa companies Arranged a few business trips to China for Dr. T.H. Bell, former U.S. Secretary of Education during the Reagan Administration and Mr. Mike Leavitt, former Governor of Utah and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Introduced medical equipment manufacturer to Chinese partners and helped them set up joint- ventures in China

29 Kim Poam-Logan Urbandale, IA Born in Cambodia Grew up in Oskaloosa, IA Attended Central College and college in France Founder of Iowa Asian Alliance Executive Director of Des Moines Metro Arts Alliance – a regional arts service organization Connecting them (the artists) to opportunities in the community (more than 500 artists and provides 200 artist referrals per year) Jazz in July (15,000) and Two Rivers Festival (4,500)

30 Lan Samantha Chang University of Iowa Born in Appleton, Wisconsin Parents emigrated from China A professor of English Director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop The first female director The first Asian American director

31 Doua Lor Des Moines, IA Born in Laos Hmong heritage Father worked for CIA The first Asian Outreach officer DMPD Organizes Asian Citizens Academies

32 Vinh Nguyen Des Moines, IA Born in Vietnam Came to Iowa as a “boat people” at age 22 Struggled with his language skills An educator and cultural specialist Head of DMPS English Language Learner program The Vietnamese American Community in Iowa (VACI) – celebrate Tet annually

33 Ying Sa, Community CPA (China and Canada) See Rodari, V.P. of Bankers Trust (Thailand) Ian Loo, community leader (Burma) Swallo Yan, community leader (China) Joseph and Kuman Song, retired medical doctors (Korea) Paul Shao, ISU professor, designer of Robert D. Ray Asian Garden (China) Suku Radia, President of Bankers Trust, former Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Meredith Corporation (born in Uganda, Indian heritage) Many more……

34 “Our AAPI communities have roots that span the globe, but they embody a rich diversity, and a story of striving and success that are uniquely American.” ~ President Barack Obama

35 Questions ?


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