Landmark Education Summit Held for AANHPI

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Tsu-Jae King Liu, Berkeley Engineering Dean, introduces Chancellor Carol Christ at the AANHPI summit

On Tuesday, April 2, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) hosted the nation’s first ever Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Higher Education Leadership Development Summit at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).

Berkeley Engineering, Berkeley Research, and The Division of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley partnered with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the WHIAANHPI to fill a gap in equitable professional development opportunities. The day-long conference hosted students, policy makers, and over 600 stakeholders and leaders in higher education

Breakout sessions and discussion panels fostered constructive dialogue around equity and inclusion. In addition to offering learning opportunities and networking, the event illuminated the crucial role of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (ANNHSIs) in facilitating access to workforce development and higher education for traditionally underserved communities. 

“It’s tremendous,” said Norman Chen, CEO of the Asian American Foundation, to KTVU Fox2 News, “One of the first times ever we’ve had our community come together like this. There’s a huge issue and we’re looking for solutions. We believe that education is one of those key solutions, teaching people about Asian American, Pacific Islander history in classrooms K-12 and also in higher education.”

The location at UC Berkeley is fitting — it was the birthplace of the term Asian American and one of the first institutions in the country to offer an Asian American studies program. In her remarks to attendees, Chancellor Carol Christ said, “We are honored to be hosting this essential gathering… and while I will admit to a certain degree of bias, I believe there could be no better location for this gathering than here, on the Berkeley campus.”