On June 22nd, President Barack Obama hosted a very special reception at the White House for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The program was led by Ms. Kiran Ahuja – the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. There were many community leaders from the AAPI community invited by the President to attend this reception. Among them was our famous South Asian talk show host queen – Ms. Gurmeet K. Sodhi. This is the first time ever an Indian talk show host has been invited to the White House for such a prestigious event by the President. She not only attended the event, but, also interviewed Ms. Ahuja to bring the work of the White House AAPI Initiative to her viewers.
There was a special AAPI Community Leaders Briefing held at the Cash Room at the Department of Treasury prior to the reception. The briefing was led by Ms. Kiran Ahuja – Executive Director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She was followed by Mr. Bryan Jung, Director of Special Projects, Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs; Education Reform Update was presented by Mr. Frank Chong; Budget Update was presented by Ms. Martha Coven; Economic Updates about Our Economy, Job Growth, and the Deficit was presented by Mr. Ronnie Chatterji; an Immigration update was presented by Ms. Felicia Escobar and Closing Remarks were presented by Mr. Chris Lu, Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to the President.
The briefing was provided to update all the guests on policy areas impacting the AAPI community and to learn more about the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Guests were also welcomed to ask questions and express their concerns that they may have about their communities. Ms. Sodhi inquired about South Asian Professionals that migrate from India to the US and undergo hardships to reestablish their professions in America.
The briefing was followed by a grand reception at the White House where the guests were lavished with Asian and Pacific Islander cuisines. While a live band played the most beautiful music, the White House opened their doors to welcome their guests to tour and enjoy the grandeur of the beautiful rooms and libraries where the greatest President resides (and have resided) and ruled the most powerful nation in the world.
Ms. Gurmeet K. Sodhi had a chance to shake hands with President Barack Obama and thank him for reestablishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Ms. Sodhi also commends Mr. Amardeep Singh (who initiated her invitation to the White House) for his hard work and efforts he has put forth as a Commissioner on the AAPI Commission. Mr. Singh was appointed as a Commissioner by President Barack Obama and he is the first Sikh ever to serve on this Commission.