Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute
Part of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) mission includes translating "... increased awareness of issues into improved leadership." Other responsibilities include "providing input to Defense Department leadership in formulating EO/EEO policy throughout the Armed Forces," as well as "collecting and disseminating information to assist EO/EEO professionals in performing their duties." Within these guidelines is an implicit obligation for DEOMI to encourage changes in the way the Department of Defense (DoD) personnel think about, act towards, and lead our diverse collection of cultural backgrounds.

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Mr. Francis M. Rush, Jr., the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy has issued memoranda proclaiming Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month within the Department of Defense and encouraging DoD attendance at these events.


The Asian Pacific Americans at Education (APAE), an Asian and Pacific American Organization of employees from the U.S. Department of Education, will celebrate the Presidential Proclamation on Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month with cultural activities; lecture series on Asian Awareness that includes its monthly "Lessons from Asia"; Asian food festivals, a childrens' Asian Awareness program; and a recognition program to highlight accomplishments and contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans (APAs) within our Department and in the federal government.

Other on-going programs, activities, and initiatives that support the mission of APAED include: the community affairs program that focuses on identifying opportunities that promote the community spirit -- a cornerstone APA value; the cultural awareness program that highlights the diversity and beauty of Asian cultures for non-Asian audiences; the growth and development program that is designed to enhance understanding about a variety of current issues through the APAED speaker series; the liaison program that brings together APA communities with the U.S. Department of Education and other private and public organizations; and the mentoring program that fosters mentoring relationships that focuses on supporting the growth and development of Asian Pacific Americans within the Department.


This year the Department of Energy is partnering with the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. State Department, and the Philippine Embassy to celebrate Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month. Through this partnership, the Department will highlight the centennial of U.S.-Philippine relations and celebrate one of the oldest Asian Pacific legacies. Filipino Americans will shortly become the most numerous Asian American groups with contributions to our country that commenced in the 1600s. The Department seeks to promote a better understanding of the distinctiveness among Americans and greater awareness throughout the Department and the communities it serves.


In February 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, and an accompanying Presidential memorandum to focus federal attention on the environmental and human health conditions in minority communities and low-income communities. In signing the Executive Order, the President directed the federal government to identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations and low-income populations; ensure that federal programs substantially impacting human health and the environment are non-discriminatory; and promote increased public access to information.

At EPA, Administrator Browner has made environmental justice one of the Agency's guiding principles. Among its many environmental justice programs and activities, EPA has established the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program to provide assistance to eligible community-based organizations and federally recognized tribal governments for projects that address environmental justice issues at the local level. Since the program's inception, EPA has awarded more than $11 million to approximately 550 recipients, including several Asian Pacific American organizations. For example, EPA awarded an environmental justice small grant to the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) based in California. APEN used the grant to develop a partnership between African-American and Laotian communities in Richmond, CA to address local seafood consumption issues. In particular, APEN worked with the local communities to evaluate and improve existing outreach and education efforts regarding contaminated fish consumption.


Manzanar to be Designated a National Historic Site

The City of Los Angeles has transferred land giving title to the National Park Service (NPS) to complete the process of creating the historic site on the grounds of the former Manzanar Internment Camp. The site will stand as a powerful witness to this tragic episode in our nation's history through its ability to educate future generations of Americans. In 1996, the NPS completed a General Management Plan for the historic site that proposes to maintain and manage the site as a cultural landscape based on the World War II relocation center period. Features proposed include conversion of the historic camp auditorium to an interpretive center and the creation of a network of wayside exhibits throughout the mile-square camp, accessible to visitors by a tour route around the periphery of the camp.

Japanese American National Museum Exhibit Opens on Ellis Island

The award-winning exhibition, "America's Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience," which drew record crowds to the Japanese American National Museum in 1994 and 1995, opened on April 2 at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, a part of the National Park Service, in New York City. Over 700 people, which included former internees and those Japanese Americans that were processed through Ellis Island, attended the opening. The exhibition details the World War II experiences of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry who were unconstitutionally forced to leave their homes and business on the West Coast and Hawaii and live in desolate camps located in seven states west of the Mississippi River. Japanese Americans as well as individuals of German and Italian ancestry were also held at Ellis Island and elsewhere by the U.S. Government. Ellis Island's role as a detention facility during World War II is explored in the exhibit. The exhibit will run through January 5, 1999.

Angel Island to be Designated as a National Historic Landmark
Angel Island was the point of entry for many Chinese Americans immigrants. It is know as the Ellis Island of the west. Many immigrants were detained for long periods of time on the island, some for years. Their stories and plight are memorialized in poems that were carved on wooden posts in the Immigration Station. The celebration will include huge blow-ups of historic photographs of immigrants on Angel Island dotting the grounds with actors in period costume bringing the images to life and interacting with visitors. The actors will play a Japanese picture bride, Chinese detainees, a Russian immigrant and a missionary.

The President's signing of Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act

The President's signing of Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act in November 1996 was an historic achievement for generations of native Hawaiians who have waited patiently for the homesteading benefits promised under the original Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. Since that time, the Department of the Interior has worked closely with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and other Federal agencies to fully implement the Recovery Act. The Department believes that it is close to reaching a settlement that identifies the value of "available lands" to be retained by the U.S. Government in exchange for the conveyance of specific federal excess lands to DHHL for the use of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Once a settlement is finalized, the DHHL will have available for homesteading purposes hundreds of acres of valuable land on Oahu, the Hawaiian island on which the homesteading need is the greatest.

Russian Plane Brings American Aid to the Marshalls.

If, a dozen years ago, the gigantic Russian Antonov airplane had landed in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, a Pacific islands nation, the Pentagon would have paid close attention.

Earlier this month when the plane, which is larger than a 747, arrived it was flying in the service of the U.S. government, carrying seven very large reverse osmosis machines for producing potable water in the drought-stricken islands. The FEMA-sponsored flight from the U.S. mainland came to the Marshalls by way of Alaska because Honolulu airport authorities refused to waive the noise regulations, even on a one-time basis, for the Antonov.

The arrival of this equipment was a dramatic indication of how the United States continues to help the three Freely Associated States, the Marshalls, and, further west, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau.

Bikini Council Secures Assurances from Secretary Babbitt.

The Bikini Atoll Government Council met with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt on April 21 seeking an assurance of continuing U.S. commitment to the Bikini people after the year 2001/2003. In that period funding for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is scheduled to end under the terms of the Compact of Free Association between the U.S. and the RMI.

Secretary Babbitt, in a meeting in Washington, assured the Bikini delegation that the U.S. would always honor its commitment to the people of Bikini, whose islands were heavily damaged by the atomic blasts of the 1950s. The Secretary made it clear that the trust fund set up for the Bikinians was quite separate from the Compact arrangements with the RMI. The Bikini Trust Fund was established by the Congress to make it possible for the Bikinians to return to their homeland after they, the Bikinians, have decided that it is safe to do so.


As the largest law firm in the Nation, the Department of Justice serves as counsel for its citizens. It represents them in enforcing the law in the public interest. Through its thousands of lawyers, investigators, and agents, the Department plays the key role in protection against criminals and subversion, in ensuring healthy competition of business in our free enterprise system, in safeguarding the consumer, and in enforcing drug, immigration, and naturalization laws. The Department also plays a significant role in protecting citizens through its efforts for effective law enforcement, crime prevention, crime detection, and prosecution and rehabilitation of offenders.

For more information about the Department of Justice and how its Civil Rights Division impacts Asian and Pacific Americans, checkout To view the Civil Rights Division website, scroll down and then go to the Division's homepage where you'll find recent speeches by Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Bill Lan Lee, and others. Note Mr. Lee's recent speech titled "Day of Remembrance", which he delivered in Utah on the anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

The Office of Redress Administration (ORA)
The Department of Justice includes the Office of Redress Administration (ORA), which was established to identify, locate, and pay Japanese Americans interned during World War II. During World War II, approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry were interned, relocated, or evacuated from their homes in the United States because of their race. Under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the Attorney General was given responsibility for making payments of $20,000 to each such person who suffered as a result.

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A Prepared Workforce, Quality Workplaces, and a Secure Workforce
A Prepared Workforce:
The U.S. Department of Labor and its state and local government partners advance the future of America's workers by promoting improvements in training of our nations's working women and men, and by fostering changes in skill levels to expand future job choices.

Quality Workplaces:
A vital part of the Department's mission is to ensure all Americans a safe, healthy and equal opportunity workplace. Common sense and business necessities provide strong incentives for creating and maintaining such a workplace environment, but these incentives are not always sufficient. The Department has an important role to play in protecting workers and promoting equal opportunity workplaces. If an employer's practices threaten workers' safety and health, discriminate against women, minorities, veterans, or people with disabilities, or deprive workers of fair wages, tough enforcement is necessary. The ultimate goal is compliance with employment laws.

A Secure Workforce:
Secretary Herman's key priorities for this strategic goal are to increase compliance with minimum wage and overtime requirements, ensure that working Americans are economically secure when they retire, provide more pensions for women and employees of small businesses, provide better access to health care, and facilitate community readjustment in those areas serves all American workers. Its may activities affect virtually every family in our country. The Department's responsibilities include: protecting the wages, health and safety, employment and pension rights of working people; promoting equal employment opportunity; administering job training, unemployment opportunity; administering job training, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation programs; strengthening free collective bargaining, and collecting, analyzing and publishing labor and economic statistics.


The State Department's Professional Development Program
A century of U.S.-Philippine relations and Asian Pacific (APA) leadership development are the twin themes of the Department's Professional Development Program. U.S.-Philippine political, economic, and cultural relations will be addressed by illustrious panels featuring Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Congressman Robert Underwood, Philippine Ambassador Raul Rabe, Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth, EXIMABANK Director Maria Haley, and President of the Bishop Museum Donald Duckworth. J.D. Hokoyama will lead a seminar on APA leadership issues.

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Recently, VA's Center for Minority Veterans was instrumental in obtaining funding for a research project to assess cultural challenges faced by Asian Pacific Americans who have experienced post traumatic stress disorder as a result of their service to our country.

For further information, contact Willie Hensley, Director, Center for Minority Veterans, at 202-273-6708.

The programs will explore and enhance the theme for 1998 "Pursuing Progress." They are designed to educate and inform on matters concerning individuals of Asian Pacific heritage. VA is also issuing an all station letter that announces Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and provides suggested activities for VA offices and facilities to assist them in planning programs to observe Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

For further information contact Mari Horak, Human Resources Management, at 202-273- 9721, or Ellis Jones Hodges, Director, Affirmative Action, at 202-273-7632.


East Asia and Pacific Division: VOA TO BOOST ITS CHINA PROGRAMMING Using special funding provided by the U-S Congress, the Voice of America's China Branch in 1998 is expanding both the quantity and quality of its broadcasting into China. Its shortwave broadcasts will increase from 13 to 16 hours a day in Mandarin, Tibetan and Cantonese. Its television programming will increase from two hours a week to seven, it will significantly expand its coverage of events inside China by placing correspondents in Beijing and Shanghai. Some of its more interesting program changes include a new radio drama project that will provide Chinese listeners with insights into basic institutions in America through dramas depicting the experience of a Chinese immigrant family. Another series will trace the growth of democratic institutions in countries around the periphery of China and will discuss the question, "When China?" A light series will use American folk music and popular songs to teach English by going through each song word for word before inviting listeners to join in a performance.


In an initiative that will bring many American public television programs to China, the Voice of America and Worldnet television on October 1, 1998 (China's National Day) will launch "The Heartland USA Hour" in Mandarin, bringing to Chinese viewers thousands of hours of public television programs. The programs, drawn from the archives of PBS stations, have never been shown outside the United States due lack of means to translate programs into other languages and distribute them overseas. With its strength in languages and its network of radio and television affiliates overseas, VOA was an obvious ally. Heartland*USA's collection is divided into 14 program categories: Arts, Crafts, Farms, Health History, Issues, Education, Outdoors, People, Performing Arts, Sports and Travel. The current collection is only a fraction of the programming potentially available. In a year or so, Heartland*USA Mandarin programs could grow to four hours a day on VOA satellites and an even larger number of Chinese viewers could see Heartland programs rebroadcast by their local television station.

APA Heritage Month
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