Queensborough Hosts White House Listening Tour on Asian American Issues

Published: December 05, 2012

White HouseThe White House came to Queensborough on November 30, 2012.

Representatives from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders embarked on a listening tour in Queens, New York, concluding the day with a roundtable discussion at QCC’s Flushing Center. Welcoming the group to the session were Queensborough Interim President Diane B. Call and CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenson.

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders works with a variety of federal and lcoal agencies to increase Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in programs in education, commerce, business, health, human services, housing, environment, arts, agriculture, labor and employment, transportation, justice, veterans affairs and economic and community development. 

As part of its tour, the group visited the Queens neighborhoods of Woodside, Jackson Heights, Richmond Hill, and Flushing, before gathering at QCC’s Flushing Center to hear from community members on a wide range of issues affecting Asian Americans and others.

White House listening tour

Pictured left to right: In Hwan Rim, President, Union Street Business Association; John Hong, President, H.M. Investment and Development; Diane B. Call, QCC Interim President; Joyce Moy, Executive Director, CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute; and Florence Tse, Director, QCC's Port of Entry Program and Community Outreach. Photo by Eve Cho Guillergan.

Special guests from Washington included Don Yu, Special Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Dennis E. Gonzalez, Executive Officer, Region II, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Jorge Silva-Puras, Region II Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration;  Timothy Houghton, Queens Field Office Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Francey Lim Youngberg, Deputy Asstistant Secretary for Public Engagement, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; and Debbie Lau, Assistant District Director, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor. Gautam Rhagavan from the White House Office of Public Engagement spoke at a reception following the roundtable and Audrey Buehring, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, was also present.

Roundtable participants included  QCC Asian Community Advisory Board Member Peter Tu, Executive Director, Flushing Chinese Business Association; In Hwan Rim, President of the Union Street Business Association; and John Hong, President of H.M. Investment and Development. Queensborough Community College was represented by Denise Ward, Dean, Continuing Education and Director, CUNY Start; Jeffrey Chen, Program Manager, Professional and Workforce Development; Florence Tse, Director, Port of Entry Program and Community Outreach; and Kathleen Lee, Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations.  

Lead organizers for the event were Joyce Moy, Executive Director of CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute; White House Commissioners May Ying Chen, adjunct faculty at CUNY’s Joseph A. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, and Amardeep Singh, Program Director (National) of The Sikh Coalition; and Christina Chang, Advocacy and Organizing Associate, Minkwon Center for Community Action.

View more photos from the Queens listening tour here.

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