Editor’s Note (6/18/2014 at 12:01 p.m.): In the June 4, 2014 print edition and in a previous version of this post, the International Examiner ran an early and incorrect draft of a letter to University of Washington President Dr. Michael Young by the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington State (APIC) and the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition of King County (APDC). The International Examiner regrets the mistake and apologizes to APIC, APDC, and our readers for the error. What follows is the final and correct letter dated June 2 that was sent from APIC and APDC to President Young. The letter thanks President Young for committing to meet with the community on July 31 at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS). The letter also indicates that APDC has members who helped pave the way for earlier Asian inclusion in the Office of Minority Affairs (not paved the way for the Office of Minority Affairs as was mentioned in the earlier draft of the letter). This final draft of the letter below has 74 signers.


Dear Dr. Young,

The Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington State and the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition of King County look forward to meeting with you on July 31, Thursday, 3:30 p.m. at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) to discuss restoration of the South East Asian student recruiter position in the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity. It is a matter of deep concern in our community. We are joined in this concern by University of Washington faculty such as Dr. Stephen Sumida and Dr. Connie So of American Ethnic Studies, and by state legislators such as Senator Bob Hasegawa, and Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, who wish to attend the meeting as well. Rogelio Riojas has also been invited and accepted our invitation.

The Asian American population is a community of contrasts which is extremely ethnically diverse. While some parts of the community have attained educational and economic success, other parts of the community have alarming educational and economic indicators. The Southeast Asian communities face significant disparities. For example, 37% of the Hmong community, 29% of the Cambodian community, 18% of the Laotian community, and 16% of the Vietnamese community live in poverty. High School dropout rates in these communities are shocking: 40% of Hmong, 38% of Laotian and 35% of Cambodian students drop out of high school. Like other groups which have student recruiters employed by OMAD, these communities clearly experience poverty and all the barriers of the opportunity gap. Like the other groups which have much needed student recruiters, the Southeast Asian communities require the support of a culturally competent student recruiter that comes from the relevant community.

The Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) is a statewide coalition of community and business leaders and members with chapters in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Yakima and Spokane Counties. APIC advocates on issues of concern to our communities, including equal access to education and closing the opportunity gap. APIC mobilizes our communities with civic engagement, voter registration, voter education, and public policy advocacy. APIC annually organizes 1,500 to 2,000 community leaders and members in 25 languages spoken by Asians and Pacific Islanders to attend our Asian Pacific American Legislative Day events in Olympia. Community and business leaders meet with Governor and legislative leadership and community members meet with their legislators. These events and statewide summits have been endorsed by over 100 community organizations, businesses, churches, and labor organizations statewide. APIC works closely with the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and with legislators on educational equity issues.

The Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC) is a countywide organization with over 40 members, with leaders of Asian Pacific American community based organizations addressing a variety of policy issues, including equitable access to publicly funded education. APDC’s membership includes a former Seattle School District Board President, distinguished and award winning UW alumni, UW activists who helped pave the way for earlier Asian inclusion in the UW Office of Minority Affairs, and others with experience at all levels of public education.

Thank you for committing to meet with us and our community members; we look forward to seeing you soon at this important community meeting.

Sincerely,

Diane Narasaki, King County Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Chair, Asian Counseling and Referral Service Executive Director, UW alumna, Dr. Samuel E. Kelly Award 2013

for

Lua Pritchard, Pierce County Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Chair, Asia Pacific Cultural Center Executive Director

Van Dinh Kuno, Snohomish County Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Chair

Vang Xiong, Spokane County Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Chair

Dori Peralta Baker, Yakima County Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Chair

Lin Crowley, South Puget Sound Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Chair

Mark Okazaki, Asian Pacific Directors Coalition Chair, Neighborhood House Executive Director

Monica Ng, Asian Coalition for Equality Seattle Chair, UW Alumna

Bob Hasegawa, Washington State Senator, 11th District, UW MPA, Distinguished Alumnus 2013, UW Nikkei Alumni Association

Alan Sugiyama, Executive Development Institute (EDI) Executive Director, UW alumnus, President Charles Odegaard Award, UW President’s Minority Community Council former member, UW Multicultural Alumni Partnership Community Service Award, UW EOP Student Leadership Award, UW Asian Student Council former Chair, UW Ethnic Planning Committee former member, UW Asian American Studies Planning Committee former member, Seattle School Board former President

Frank Irigon, UW Alumni Board former Trustee, UW Alumni Association Multicultural Alumni Partnership Club former President and current Board Member, Dr. Samuel E. Kelly Award, UW Alumni Helping Hand Award, first Asian on ASUW Board of Control, first Asian ASUW 2nd Vice President

Britt Yamamoto, iLEAP Executive Director, Ph.D., M.S., UW alumnus, UW Excellence in Teaching Award 2004, Antioch University Core Faculty

Tracy Lai, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Seattle Chapter President, UW Alumni Lifetime Member

Debadutta Dash, Washington State India Trade Relations Committee (WASITRAC) Co-Chair, UW Foster School of Business Center for International Business, Education & Research Advisory Committee

Ay Saechao, Southeast Asian American Access in Education (SEAeD) Coalition Founder and Co-Chair, TRiO Student Support and Retention Services, UW alumnus

Frieda Takamura, Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, Education Chair

Khoua Xiong, Spokane Hmong Association President

Seng Vue, Hmong Association of Washington President

Sinoun Hem, Cambodian Women Networking Association President

Sing Phoxay, Lao Association of Snohomish County President

Myle Shaffer, Vietnamese Association President of Snohomish County

Tuyet Nguyen, Vietnamese Community for Mutual Support of Pierce County President

Trong Pham, Greater Seattle Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, President

Narad Dahal, Bhutanese Association of Snohomish County President

Kyaw Thu, Burmese Association of Snohomish County President

Maria Batayola, Filipino American Political Action Group of Washington President, UW alumna

Alma Kern, Filipino Community of Seattle President

General Oscar Hillman, Filipino Community Alliance President

Roman Valisi, Filipino American League President

Ron Chew, Organization of Chinese Americans—Greater Seattle Co-President, UW alumnus

Rebecca Chan, Organization of Chinese Americans—Greater Seattle Co-President, UW alumna

Toshiko Hasegawa, Japanese Americans Citizens League Seattle Chapter President

Yuko Toth, Tanpoponokai Japanese Women’s Association President

Kilioni Prescott, Samoan Seniors of Pierce County President

Gary Lizama, IMAHE Guam Association President

Clarence Chun Fook, Hawaii Canoe Association of Washington President

Marissa Vichayapai, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Seattle Chapter Co-Chair, UW MSW

Lisa Chen, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Seattle Chapter Co-Chair

Jeffrey Hattori, Nikkei Concerns Chief Executive Officer

Dorothy Wong, CISC Executive Director

Beth Takekawa, The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Executive Director

Andrea Akita, Interim Community Development Association Executive Director

High Chief Peter Leota Strickland, Samoan Pacific Organization Executive Director

Siniva Driggers, Samoa Nurses of Washington Executive Director

Reueta Doiron, Samoan Family Support Center Executive Director

Sili Savusa, Pacific Islander Resource Coalition; White Center Development Association Executive Director

Ira SenGupta, Cross Cultural Alliance Healthcare Program Executive Director

Rich Stolz, OneAmerica Executive Director

Lisa Chin, YearUp Executive Director

Pran Wahi, India Association of Western Washington Seniors Program Director

Dr. Ulisese Sala, Minister, Tacoma Congregational Christian Church of America Samoa

Reverend Suipi Vaielua, Fort Lewis Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa

Bernadette Agor Matsuno, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Director, UW MSW

Rosie Rimando—Chareunsup, Ed.D., South Seattle Community College Vice President of Student Services, UW MPA

May Toy Lukens, South Seattle Community College Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions Project Director, UW MPA

Tony Lee, Solid Ground Advocacy Director

Bev Kashino, YMCA of Greater Seattle Talent Acquisition Director, SPHR

Stella Chao, UW BASW, MSW

Cheryl Lee, UW JD 2016

Eunice How, UW Lutheran Campus Ministry Board Member, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Seattle Chapter member, UW MPHA

Tagoipah Mathno, Cham Community of Seattle member

Deborah Sary, UW Khmer Student Association President

Michelle Lee, UW Myanmar Student Association President

Johnson Nguyen, UW Vietnamese Student Association President

Taylor Paul Anuhea Ahana-Jamile, ASUW Pacific Islander Student Commission Director

Tony Vo, ASUW Asian Student Commission Director, UW Alumnus

Yukimi Mizuno, Bellevue College Asian Pacific Islander Student Association (APISA) President

Michael Stewart, Bellevue College Asian Pacific Islander Student Association Marketing and Public Outreach Chair

Monica Chan, Seattle University Student Government Multicultural Representative

Camille Debreezeny, Asian Coalition for Equality

Surabhi Mahajan, Asian Coalition for Equality

Xengie Doan, Asian Coalition for Equality

Carol Li, Asian Coalition for Equality

Tiffany Chan, Asian Coalition for Equality

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