Biden to name 3 Filipinas as White House advisers
WASHINGTON—US President Joe Biden will appoint three Filipino Americans to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The commission includes civic leaders from across the country.
The Filipino Americans tapped by Biden are labor leader Luisa Blue, educator-activist Dr. Amy Agbayani and community health leader Teresita Batayola.
Biden will tap 20 other Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander American civic leaders to the body that advises the president on how the public, private and nonprofit sectors can collaborate to promote equity and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.
It also advises the White House on policies dealing with anti-Asian xenophobia and violence, capacity building through federal grantmaking and policies on the intersectional barriers facing AANHPI women, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.
Blue, one of the highest-ranking Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) officials in the labor movement, retired from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in August 2020 after serving as an executive vice president for four years.
Blue was responsible for the SEIU Asian Pacific Islanders Civic Engagement and Leadership program. She was a member of the Racial Justice Task Force, chair of the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, and chair of the Ethical Culture Committee.
Blue was on the SEIU executive board prior to her election as executive vice president. She continues to be active in the community and serves on the Asian Health Services Community Board, is a trustee on Alameda County Health Systems Board of Trustees, and vice president of the AAPI Victory Alliance Board. Blue is the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren.
Agbayani is an emeritus assistant vice chancellor for student diversity and equity, University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Agbayani was born in the Philippines and received her education from the University of the Philippines, East West Center and the University of Hawaii.
Agbayani is a member of the Patsy T. Mink PAC and The Legal Clinic for immigrant justice in Hawaii. She is a former chair of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and does research on AANHPI in higher education.
Batayola is the president and chief executive officer of International Community Health Services (ICHS), Washington state’s largest Asian and Pacific Islander nonprofit health center providing comprehensive and affordable health care, especially to immigrants and refugees.
Batayola is an advocate for health-care access, equity and ways to address social determinants of health. ICHS has received awards for its high quality of care, and Batayola has been recognized in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Award for Outstanding Business and Philanthropic Contributions. She is among the University of Washington Women’s Center’s Woman of Courage Undaunted and the Filipino Women’s Network’s Most Influential Filipino Woman in the World. —INQUIRER.NET
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