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USDA Supports Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders with Site Visit

Posted by MD Sharman, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement in Equity Initiatives
May 07, 2024
Lihan Wei with the Kagman Cattlemens Association in the Mariana Islands

Guam is often called “where America’s day begins” as the sun rises 14 hours earlier than the nation’s capital. USDA Program Coordinator Lihan Wei recently traveled to Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to visit these underserved communities and engage in outreach and partnerships.

Wei is the first ever program coordinator for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) at the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE). This initiative works to improve the quality of life for AANHPI individuals and communities across the nation through increased access to and participation in federal programs.

During her trip, Lihan visited local universities, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices in Saipan and Guam and met with staff from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) who were conducting the Census of Agriculture for this region. The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial information about agriculture in the region, and the accuracy of its collection and results are critical for policymaking over the next five years. “This is the first of its kind trip for OPPE, and I engaged with as many stakeholders as possible,” said Wei.

Wei works directly with the White House Initiative and seeks to highlight the unmet needs in the AANHPI community and the dynamic community assets that can be leveraged to meet many of those needs.

This month, the White House and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are preparing to host a momentous celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month on May 13, 2024, in Washington, D.C. This event brings together current and former leaders from five presidential administrations to reflect on the progress AANHPI communities have made over the past 25 years.

In May, we celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month and honor Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, who have brought an invaluable diversity of cultures, languages, and religions to the United States. The contributions, strengths, and legacies of AANHPIs are forever linked to America’s story and have played a crucial role in building this country across successive generations. Without their contributions, America’s story would be incomplete.

Category/Topic: Equity Initiatives