Feds Host Meeting On Guam To Discuss Islander Issues

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Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders convenes conference

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, March 27, 2014) – A number of federal representatives from various agencies are coming to Guam next week for a community tour and regional conference to be hosted by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Payu-ta Inc., an umbrella organization of nonprofit groups on Guam.

Attending the White House Initiative's Federal Regional Summit, to be held at Westin Resort Guam on April 3 and 4, will be leaders of the U.S. Associated Pacific Island Jurisdictions along with officials and community leaders from Pacific islands.

"The purpose of the community tour and regional conference is to strengthen the understanding and appreciation of the unique conditions that Pacific Islanders in Micronesia face in their quest for good health, quality health care, affordable housing, and employment and training opportunities, among other issues," according to the Payu-ta program.

"Participants of the community tour and regional conference include 75 to 100 federal and local government officials, as well as community-based, business and philanthropic leaders," Payu-ta said.

Payu-ta added that the regional conference aims to draw more attention to the significant disparities affecting Pacific Islanders and to fulfill the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders executive order mandate to increase access to federal programs for underserved Asians and Pacific Islanders.

"The conference will consist of presentations by federal, community, and philanthropic leaders, and will culminate in a plan of action and policy recommendations to be considered for incorporation into (the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) agency plans," according to Payu-ta. "Many of these efforts will also culminate in a report out by agencies at a (White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) administration-wide conference in May 2015."

This is the first time for the initiative to convene outside of the continental United States.

Among the federal departments to be represented at the summit are the Department of Commerce, Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Interior, the Department of Labor, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Small Business Administration

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