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Biden to appoint 3 Filipinas to advisory commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

By AYIE LICSI Published Dec 24, 2021 12:34 pm

US President Joe Biden has announced that he will appoint three Filipino Americans to the president's advisory commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

Amy Agbayani, Teresita Batayola, and Luisa Blue are among the 23 civic leaders that will be appointed to the commission, the White House announced on Dec. 20.

The appointees will advise the president on the ways the public, private, and non-profit sectors can work to advance equity and opportunity for every Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community.

They will also help the White House make policies addressing anti-Asian xenophobia and violence as well as intersectional barriers that AANHPI women, LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities face.

Get to know the Pinay appointees

Agbayani is an Emeritus Assistant Vice Chancellor for student diversity and equity at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She received her education from the University of the Philippines, East West Center, and the University of Hawaii.

Agbayani also formerly chaired the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and does research on AANHPI in higher education. She is also a member of the Patsy T. Mink PAC and the Legal Clinic for immigrant justice Hawaii.

Meanwhile, Batayola is currently the president and chief executive officer of Washington's largest Asian and Pacific Islander non-profit center, the International Community Health Services. This health center provides comprehensive health care for immigrants and refugees in need.

An advocate for health care access, Batayola has received awards and recognition such as Outstanding Business and Philanthropic Contributions from the Puget Sound Business Journal, Woman of Courage Undaunted from the University of Washington Women's Center, and Most Influential Filipino Woman in the World from the Filipino Women's Network.

Blue, on the other hand, is one of the highest ranking AAPI in the labor movement after serving as Executive Vice President in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Her term was responsible for the SEIU Asian Pacific Islanders Civic Engagement and Leadership program.

The proud grandmother of seven is a member of the Racial Justice Task Force, a chair of the Ethical Culture Committee, a board member of the Asian Health Services Community, a trustee on Almeda County Health Systems, and Vice President of the AAPI Victory Alliance Board.

Aside from this commission, Biden has also previously appointed Filipino Americans to other top White House posts.