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President Obama Hosts White House Reception to Celebrate Asian Heritage Month

WASHINGTON: May 24, 2010. President Barack Obama welcomed Asian American leaders to the White House to observe Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The President said Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have not always been given credit for their accomplishments and have been subjected to "tremendous unfairness and injustice during our history."

Generations of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders " helped to build this country, defend this country and make America what it is today," The President added, "more than 16 million Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders whose talents and efforts strengthen our economy and protect our security and enliven our communities each and every day, Obama noted he has signed an Executive Order to re-establish the White House Initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, to be led by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "The goal is to make sure that our government is successfully working to address disparities in healthcare, in education and economic opportunity that exists within various AAPI communities, Obama said.

Kumar Barve, Majority Leader of Maryland House of Delegate, Dr. Kamala Edwards, Commissioner, Maryland Governor's Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and President, Indian American Leadership Council (IALC), Rajan Zed, President, Universal Society of Hinduism and Ohio House of Representative Majority Whip, Jay Goel, from the Indian American community participated in the Asian Heritage Month Celebrations. DJ Rekha Malhotra was praised by the President for mixing hip-hop beat with sounds of her heritage as the celebration commenced in the East Room while Indian American appointees mingled with the guests.

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