SAN Executive Director Attends AAPI
Briefing at the White House


On Wednesday, June 22, Manjusha Kulkarni, South Asian Network (SAN) Executive Director, traveled to Washington, DC to attend a briefing for the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) at the White House.

“The AAPI Leaders Briefing and Reception was a great opportunity to meet other Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders who are committed to social justice work across the country,” said Manju of her visit.

During her visit, Manju and nine other AAPI community leaders were invited to meet President Barack Obama. Manju was also able to meet Representative Judy Chu of California; Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President; and Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The White House AAPI Initiative, which hosted the Briefing, was formed two years ago to ensure that AAPI communities remain connected to vital services and important legal protections. The AAPI Initiative recognizes urgent needs across AAPI communities, including national health care concerns, workplace safety violations, harassment, and bullying as well as regional issues impacting post-Katrina Gulf Coast.

Many of SAN’s collaborators also attended the Briefing and Reception, including DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), the Sikh Coalition, Manavi, and the Chinatown Service Center.

Reflecting on the event, Manju noted, “When Michelle Obama, the First Lady, arrived in DC, she shared her vision of the White House as ‘the People’s House.’ With so many AAPI community-based organizations there on Wednesday afternoon, it certainly felt like the People’s House.”

The White House visit also presented an opportunity for SAN to discuss the upcoming ten-year anniversary of 9/11 and its impact on South Asian American communities. SAN will continue this dialogue at its upcoming August 20th Community Hearing. The hearing will be held in Artesia, CA with community members, federal and state policymakers, and partner agencies offering testimony on their experiences and civil rights and national security implications.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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