Tanya Joshua of the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders

Last month I was part of a town hall style meeting of Pacific Islanders in Southern California who met with Tanya Harris Joshua. Tanya provides support for Pacific Islander outreach and Environment / Veteran’s Affairs issues. She is a staff member of the new White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. She joined the Initiative from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA).

The meeting began with an awesome meal where dishes from each of the island groups represented was served. Ono!

Afterward community members were given a chance to speak about their most pressing community concerns. The video about is just a small slice of what happened that evening.

I have forwarded this video on to Tanya who is passing it on to others. I hope that it can be helpful in raising the profile of Pacific Islander people and the challenges faced by the community.

Here is snippet of a reaction from congressional staffer Jed Bullock “I hope progress and results in the area of health data for AAPI populations and the territories will be yielded from the leadership and focus of IGIA (Interagency Group on Insular Areas). I know there once existed – if it does not still exist – an IGIA subgroup or task force on health data collection. The Delegates and Governors have repeatedly called for it over the years at the IGIA plenary sessions as you know, and the Chamorro gentleman as well as the Marshallese community leader captured on the video meeting with you touched on the need for a comprehensive cancer study/registry and diabetes survey among data. I hope these needs can be priorities within the Administration and through IGIA and the WHIAAPI.”

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