[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8508--APR. 29, 2010

Proclamation 8508 of April 29, 2010
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

For centuries, America's story has been tied to the Pacific. Generations
of brave men and women have crossed this vast ocean, seeking better
lives and opportunities, and weaving their rich heritage into our
cultural tapestry. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage
Month, we celebrate the immeasurable contributions these diverse peoples
have made to our Nation.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have shared common struggles
throughout their histories in America--including efforts to overcome
racial, social, and religious discrimination. This year marks the 100th
anniversary of the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco
Bay, a milestone that reminds us of an unjust time in our history. For
three decades, immigrants from across the Pacific arrived at Angel
Island, where they were subject to harsh interrogations and exams, and
confined in crowded, unsanitary barracks. Many who were not turned back
by racially prejudiced immigration laws endured hardship, injustice, and
deplorable conditions as miners, railroad builders, and farm workers.
Despite these obstacles, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have
persevered and flourished, achieving success in every sector of American
life. They stood shoulder to shoulder with their fellow citizens during
the civil rights movement; they have served proudly in our Armed Forces;
and they have prospered as leaders in business, academia, and public
service.
This month, as we honor all Americans who trace their ancestry to Asia
and the Pacific Islands, we must acknowledge the challenges they still
face. Today, many Asian American and Pacific Islander families
experience unemployment and poverty, as well as significant education
and health disparities. They are at high risk for diabetes and

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hepatitis, and the number of diagnoses for HIV/AIDS has increased in
recent years.
We must recognize and properly address these critical concerns so all
Americans can reach their full potential. That is why my Administration
reestablished both the White House Initiative and the President's
Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
These partnerships include leaders from across our Government and the
AAPI community, dedicated to improving the quality of life and
opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a vast and diverse community,
some native to the United States, hailing from Hawaii and our Pacific
Island territories. Others trace their heritage to dozens of countries.
All are treasured citizens who enrich our Nation in countless ways, and
help fulfill the promise of the American dream which has drawn so many
to our shores.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2010, as Asian
American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans
to learn more about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific
Islanders, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and
activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of
April, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
BARACK OBAMA