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White House to Hold AAPI Forum in Columbus Friday

Senior White House and Cabinet officials will hold a summit in Columbus, on Friday with Asian American community members from across the Midwest.  In an interview with WYSO, Cabinet Secretary Christopher Lu said the event, will cover issues like job creation and economic recovery, healthcare, education, immigration and housing.

The President has made a commitment that no one should be invisible to their government, so, over the past three years, we on the initiative, not only myself, but our staff and the commissioners who serve on the initiative, have been crisscrossing the country talking about issues of importance to the Asian American community, more than fifty cities reaching more than 25,000 people.  

Secretary Lu who co-chairs the Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, says the event on Friday at Ohio State University is a continuation of those efforts.  He added that there is a perception that Asian Americans are, what some people call a “model minority” that near the top of the ladder on education, and economic factors, and to some degree that’s true but there is a disparity of experiences within the Asian community.

"You go to any of the best universities in the country and in Ohio, a large percentage of the population are Asian American, but then you look at certain pockets in our community, the Southeast Asian community, the Vietnamese community, the Laotian community, the Cambodian community... in those communities upwards of forty percent of the students are dropouts."

Lu also says that unemployed Asian Americans tend to stay unemployed longer than other segments of the population, and Friday’s open-to-the-public event will address similar issues facing one of the fastest growing communities in the region.

The event will take place in Meiling Hall on Ohio State University Campus, 370 West 9th Avenue, Columbus.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.