In the spirit of the President’s commitment to engaging the American public, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is proud to announce that we will be hosting a weekly web chat/conference call with the community every Wednesday from 3-4pm EST. This is your opportunity to interact with officials from across the Administration, ask questions, and share your concerns and ideas on how our government can effectively work with you. In addition, you will receive information on how to better access federal programs and services.


To kick off the series, please join a conference call/web chat on Obama Administration Efforts to Alleviate Student Debt on Wednesday, February 1 at 3 PM EST.Hear from officials from the White House, Department of Education, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn about federal income-based repayment programs, college cost comparisons, federal student financial aid, and other programs.  

WHAT:          Conference call/ Web chat on Initiatives to Alleviate Student Debt

WHO:             Chris Lu, Assistant to the President, White House Cabinet Secretary, and Co-chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Zakiya Smith, White House Domestic Policy Council

Phil Martin, Department of Education          

Rohit Chopra, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

WHEN:          Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 3PM EST

HOW:             Email WhiteHouseAAPI@ed.gov with “RSVP for 2/1 Call” in the heading by Jan. 31 at 12PM EST. Call-in details will be emailed to registrants.

This call is hosted in partnership with the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Additional topics include but are not limited to the following:

February 1, 2012         Financial Literacy: Alleviating Student Debt

February 8, 2012         Immigrant Rights: How Federal Policies Impact the AAPI Immigrant and Refugee Community                            

February 15, 2012       Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Listening Session: Tell Us Your Priorities

February 22, 2012        Small Business Administration Educational Series: Government Contracting

February 29, 2012       Youth Engagement: Internships

March 7, 2012             Financial Literacy: Making Home Affordable

March 14, 2012           Language Access: Updates, Tools, and Resources for the Community

March 21, 2012           Women’s Issues: Labor & Health

March 28, 2012           Small Business Administration Educational Series: Access to Capital

April 4, 2012               Civil Rights: Harassment and Discrimination

April 11, 2012             Civil Rights: Voting Rights for the AAPI community and LEP individuals

April 18, 2012             Financial Literacy: Social Security benefits

April 25, 2012             Health: Affordable Care Act

May 16, 2012              Education: Higher Education

May 23, 2012              Health: AAPIs and Diabetes


Information on how to join each week’s web chat will be provided in the Initiative’s Weekly Highlights. To join our distribution list and receive the Weekly Highlights, please email whitehouseaapi@ed.gov.

Are there additional topics you would like to see? Post on the White House AAPI Facebook page or tweet us at @WhiteHouseAAPI with topic suggestions or issues you would like to discuss!

generasian:

The DREAM Act movement strives to provide citizenship to undocumented students pursuing a higher education. Previously, we wrote a post on the national DREAM Act, which failed to pass through Senate last December. Though a state-level act cannot grant citizenship to such undocumented students, the recently passed California DREAM Act will grant undocumented students access to state funds to aid in their schooling expenses.

After former Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill three times, current Gov. Jerry Brown passed the two acts going into the state level DREAM Act for California. Put simply, this Act has two parts: AB130 and AB131. AB130, which was passed this past July, allows undocumented students to attain privately funded scholarships. The more recently passed AB131, which Gov. Brown signed into action this past Saturday, allows students to state funded financial aid programs. 

AB131 is naturally more controversial and complicated, as many of those opposed to the DREAM Act will argue that undocumented students should not receive state-funded support, especially when the debt-ridden California budget is cutting back on education expenses.

However, the significance of the California DREAM Act is much bigger than that of allowing undocumented students more funding in California, although that is quite a noteworthy feat in and of itself. The bigger picture is that the California DREAM Act could create momentum to eventually bring up the national DREAM Act once again, so that citizenship can then be guaranteed under the conditions described in the bill. 

In the aforementioned post from the past, I talked about a friend I knew for whom the DREAM Act would have changed his entire life. There are many people I know who also would and could benefit from this DREAM Act. No matter what arguments could be made for or against this piece of immigration legislation, I find the DREAM Act to be a personal issue because it (or the lack of it) has not just changed the lives of “undocumented students,” but the lives of my friends.