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Attracting Good Luck and Good Health in the Year of the Dog

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Welcome to the Lunar New Year!  Although it is also known as the Chinese New Year, it is actually celebrated with great joy all over the world. In the national capital region, D.C., as well as Virginia and Maryland counties, have joined the Asian American communities in festivities galore during the weekend of February 16, the …

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Looking Forward: Top Issues in 2018

By Jennie L. Ilustre Immigration, including the fate of some 750,000 Dreamers who entered the U.S. as undocumented children or minors, the healthcare law, voting rights, the midterm elections in November, and the 2020 Census top this year’s concerns among Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), according to major advocacy leaders.   “These are Mainstream issues as well, because they affect all …

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Top 2017 Stories Affecting Asian Americans

   By Jennie L. Ilustre   Asian American women joining the Women’s March, running for public office and posting historic wins, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and immigration issues in general, and the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Filipino and Filipino American World War II Veterans – these were among the top news in 2017 affecting Asian Americans, …

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Committee of 100 Mourns the Loss of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Mayor Lee Delivers Opening Remarks at the C100 Annual Conference
Gala Dinner 2014 in San Francisco

The Committee of 100 (C100) is saddened by the sudden passing of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee due to cardiac arrest. According to a statement made by the Mayor’s office, Lee passed away early Tuesday, December 12, just after 1 a.m. at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Mayor Lee was 65.   Mr. Lee was one of six children born to Chinese immigrant parents who came to …

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Kathy Tran, Kelly Fowler – 1st Asian American Women In Virginia State Assembly

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By Jennie L. Ilustre   Only in America can dreams like this come true. Kathy Tran came to the U.S. as a Vietnam refugee when she was less than two years old. Kelly Convirs-Fowler was the first in her family to graduate from college. Last November 7, these inspiring women made history when they were both elected to the Virginia …

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Fourth Diwali celebration in US Congress draws over 400 guests

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans and the first Hindu lawmaker elected to the House of Representatives, lighting the 'diya' (lamp) at the 2017 Diwali celebration on Capitol Hill

Twenty-three US lawmakers and three envoys address attendees in Senate office building By Geeta Goindi Washington, DC, November 9, 2017 – Some two dozen US lawmakers, joined by three ambassadors, graced the fourth Diwali celebration in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room of the US Senate. Looking on were about 400 guests, mostly members of the Indian-American community and some Congressional …

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Virginia’s Kelly Fowler – First-time Candidate

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Kelly Convirs-Fowler is a Virginia Beach local running for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 21st District. Women make up half (51%) of the U.S. population, she noted, adding, “But they comprise a much smaller percentage of representatives throughout our nation’s statehouses and the U.S. Congress. I am proud to be one of 43 women …

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Top DC officials celebrate third annual Diwali at Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery

At a Diwali celebration hosted by DC Mayor's Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA), held at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art, are seen: Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Hyesook Chung (center); Pandit Venkatacharyulu of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple (left); Atul Rawat, general manager of SSVT (second from left); emcee Sonya Gavankar (fourth from left); David Do, executive director of MOAPIA (fifth from left); Charon Hines, director of the Mayor's Office of Community Affairs (fifth from right); Brahmachari Vrajvihari Sharan, director of Hindu Life at Georgetown University (second from right); Debra Diamond, curator at the Freer-Sackler galleries (right); and DC AAPI commissioners

Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaims October 25 as ‘Diwali Day’ in Washington, DC By Geeta Goindi Washington, DC, October 27, 2017 – The DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA) held its third annual Diwali celebration at one of the finest venues in the nation’s capital: the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art. On a Wednesday evening, the 240-seat …

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President Trump celebrates Diwali by lighting ‘diya’ in Oval Office

President Donald J. Trump poses in a group photo with US United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley (left), following a Diwali ceremonial lighting of the Diya in the Oval Office at the White House, Tuesday, October 17, 2017, in Washington, DC.  Official White House photo by D. Myles Cullen

“I greatly value my very strong relationship with Prime Minister Modi”, Trump says By Geeta Goindi Washington, DC, October 18, 2017 – ‘Diwali’, the festival of lights, came early at the White House as President Donald Trump lit the ‘diya’ (traditional Indian lamp) in the Oval Office on a crisp afternoon for early Fall. “We wish all of America’s Hindus …

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Outrage over DACA’s Termination

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Asian American advocacy groups are unanimously condemning President Trump’s executive action on September 5, ending the 2012 Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) program signed by President Obama. They also strongly urged the 115th U.S. Congress to pass the 2017 DREAM Act, or a similar legislation protecting DACA. Remarked OCA National Vice President of Public Affairs …

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Virginia Candidate Kathy Tran and Her Passion for Public Service

Kathy Tran (D), candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates’ 42nd District.

By Jennie L. Ilustre If and when she prevails in the November 7 general election, Kathy Tran would be the third Asian American delegate to the Virginia State Assembly. She would also be the first Vietnamese American elected at any level in Virginia.   But this is not the reason Tran is running for public office for the first time. …

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Ten-Day Ganesha Festival Draws Devotees to Workhouse Arts Center in Virginia

An awe-inspiring 20-foot Ganesha idol from Kolkata, India, is drawing devotees to a ten-day festival which opened August 25 at the Workhouse Arts Center in the Washington area

20-foot idol of Lord Ganesha, 1,000-pound Laddoo, fireworks among highlights of festival By Geeta Goindi Lorton, Virginia, August 25, 2017 – In one of the largest festivals of its kind in the national capital region, the Hindu god of beginnings, Ganesha, is at the heart and center of celebrations at the Workhouse Arts Center in the Washington area. The event …

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Asian American Groups Condemn Violence in Charlottesville Rally

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - JULY 08: Counter protestors gather during a planned Ku Klux Klan protest on July 8, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The KKK is protesting the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, and calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

Asian American organizations are united in their condemnation of the hatred and violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, which resulted in the loss of an innocent life. At press time, these organizations include the Migrant Heritage Commission MHC), OCA, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the National …

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Advocates Urge Congress To Pass 2017 Dream Act

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By Jennie L. Ilustre Advocates are urging Congress to approve the 2017 DREAM Act, introduced last July 20 by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, and Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, in the 115th U.S. Congress. The bipartisan bill seeks to provide legal status, as well as a pathway to citizenship, to undocumented children or minors raised and …

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Indian-American Lawmakers Kamala Harris, Ami Bera Co-Sponsor Fourth Annual Langar on Capitol Hill

Democratic Congressman Ami Bera of California is flanked by SikhLEAD interns and leaders of SALDEF at the fourth annual Langar on Capitol Hill

SALDEF’s SikhLEAD class of 2017 raises 10,000 dollars, packages 500 meals for the needy By Geeta Goindi Washington, DC, July 25, 2017 – The fourth annual Langar on Capitol Hill was co-sponsored by Indian-American lawmakers, Senator Kamala Harris and Congressman Ami Bera, both Democrats of California, and drew over 200 attendees on a Monday evening.  The event was held ahead …

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Conferred with Inaugural Zee Entertainment National Leadership Award

Ajit Pai (left), the first ever Indian-American to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is presented the inaugural Zee Entertainment National Leadership Award by Amit Goenka, CEO of International Broadcast Business, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), at a reception on Capitol Hill

Pai is the first ever Indian-American to head the Federal Communications Commission By Geeta Goindi Washington, DC, July 17, 2017 – Ajit Varadaraj Pai, the first ever Indian-American to lead the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), was conferred with the inaugural Zee Entertainment National Leadership Award at a special event on Capitol Hill. The 44-year-old Republican attorney was appointed to the …

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Continue DACA, Asian American Advocates Urge President Trump

Alvina Yeh

By Jennie L. Ilustre Asian American advocates are urging President Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, following administration announcement in mid-June that the program remains in effect pending review, while permanently ending the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). DACA, began in 2012 through an Executive Order by President Obama, allows adults who entered the …

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Indian-American Girl Ananya Vinay Crowned Champion of National Spelling Bee

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Indian-origin children have won the iconic competition for ten consecutive years By Geeta Goindi National Harbor, Maryland, June 1, 2017 – In one of the most riveting contests, a young Indian-American girl, Ananya Vinay, 12, of California, has been crowned champion of the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee.  It’s a historic triumph: for ten consecutive years, Indian-American children have won …

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Celebration and Resistance Mark APA Heritage Month

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  By Jennie L. Ilustre Ever wonder why the month of May was chosen to celebrate Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month? May honors two historic milestones: The arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in May 1843, and also the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869. In 1978, the U.S. Congress established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week through a …

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Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris Keynotes 2017 Madeleine K. Albright Luncheon to Promote Political Empowerment of Women

Senator Kamala Harris (Democrat - California), the first Indian-American elected to the upper chamber of the US Congress, delivering the keynote address at the 2017 Madeleine K. Albright Luncheon, inspiring the next generation of women leaders

Senator Harris credits her Indian grandmother and mother for being her role models at NDI event By Geeta Goindi Washington, DC, May 5, 2017 – Senator Kamala Harris, the first ever Indian-American elected to the upper chamber of Congress, delivered the keynote address at the 2017 Madeleine K. Albright Luncheon held in the nation’s capital to inspire the next generation …

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Georgetown EHLS Program Currently Seeking Linguistic Scholars – Deadline 7/17/17

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Sponsored Content The English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) is a program in professional English for speakers of critical languages. The National Security Education Program (NSEP) which funds the program, seeks to broaden the pool of individuals (our scholars) with languages and cultural expertise who are interested in long-term employment with the U.S. government and specifically with agencies involved in …

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APA Organizations Urge Probe, Boycott of UA for Using ‘Excessive Force’ in Removing Passenger

David Dao

By Jennie L. Ilustre Asian Pacific American (APA) organizations, outraged over the “use of excessive force” in the removal of Vietnamese American (initially thought to be Chinese American) passenger, identified by the media as Dr. David Dao, 69, from a United Airlines plane on April 9, are demanding: 1) a thorough investigation of the incident; 2) accountability on the part …

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UA 3411: On Being a Randomly Picked Asian

Dr. Dao being dragged off flight 3411

by Andrew Lam (New American Media) In America, when a source of authority says it randomly singles you out, you should always be wary. On Monday, video surfaced of a Vietnamese American, David Dao, being forcefully dragged from a United Airlines flight departing Chicago for Louisville, Kentucky. Dao, 69, had allegedly refused to voluntarily give up his seat on the …

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President Trump Condemns Kansas Shooting in First Major Address to Joint Session of US Congress

President Trump speaks to a joint session of the US Congress for the first time since being elected. Seen seated are his Vice President, Mike Pence (left), and House Speaker Paul Ryan (Republican - Wisconsin)

By Geeta Goindi Washington, DC, February 28, 2017 – After nearly a week of stoic silence, President Trump has condemned the shooting in Olathe city, Kansas, which left one Indian engineer dead and two other men injured. Under fire for not speaking earlier, the president opened his first major address to both houses of the US Congress, Tuesday night, by …

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