Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL)

Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL)

Both CAPAL’s and Heritage Series' mission align in developing future public servants of AANHPI descent. Understanding the complexities of service on a local, state, and federal level is critical to this mission. The Asian Pacific American Members of Congress History Project will give insight to representative government and celebrate the

Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL)

Both CAPAL’s and Heritage Series' mission align in developing future public servants of AANHPI descent. Understanding the complexities of service on a local, state, and federal level is critical to this mission. The Asian Pacific American Members of Congress History Project will give insight to representative government and celebrate the ways in which AANHPI's have overcome great challenges to serve their nation. The project will consist of seven interviews with the longest sitting Members of Congress of APA descent and one documentary short honoring Hiram Fong, now deceased. The short will emphasize him as the first Senator of APA descent to represent Hawaii when it became a state in 1959 as he served in Congress. We intend to interview the two sitting U.S. Senators of Asian descent: Senator Mazie Hirono; Senator Tammy Duckworth; plus, five of the most senior Representatives of AAPI descent: Congresswoman Judy Chu; Congressman Ami Bera; Congressman Mark Takano; Congressman Ted Lieu, and Congresswoman Grace Meng and produce a documentary short about Senator Fong, depending on the size of the grant awarded. The new oral history interviews and documentary short will be developed, produced and completed by the end of the calendar year of 2023, with public screenings (in-person when possible, otherwise virtual) hosted by CAPAL and its partners as they are completed. Successful completion of these deliverables on time and on budget is an important impact. We evaluate our success by keeping to a set schedule dedicated to research, interviews, and production time and seeing the fruition of our work once it is completed in either its publication and the project’s availability for viewing to an audience. While engaging in this work, the digital resources and archives will not only increase awareness of the contributions of AAPI community history, but also of the similarly challenging political context in which they lived in the past and now in the present. Creating and recording the history of these leaders will not only show a path for other ethnic groups but will also help unify our voices to play a part in empowering and safekeeping our cultures and community’s representation. For example, the Heritage Series previous work partnered with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, to produce the Yielding the Floor series in 2006-2009 which was acquired in 2010 by the Asian Division of the Library of Congress. This series contains the histories of Congressman Norman Y. Mineta, Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Daniel Akaka, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Mike Honda, Congressman David Wu and Elaine Chao, who served as both Labor Secretary and Transportation Secretary. CAPAL has developed a robust feedback and evaluation process to assess the effectiveness of its programs. These metrics align with our program goals and organizational goals to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth through education and build a strong AANHPI public service pipeline. Our Programs Evaluation Task Force creates, conducts, and analyzes data to inform future program development. Data and feedback provided by our scholars/interns, mentors, mentees, program attendees, project supervisors, and partners ensures that CAPAL not only adheres to goals and outcomes but delivers impactful programming aligning with our positive youth development model.

About the Organization:

Both CAPAL’s and Heritage Series' mission align in developing future public servants of AANHPI descent. Understanding the complexities of service on a local, state, and federal level is critical to this mission. The Asian Pacific American Members of Congress History Project will give insight to representative government and celebrate the ways in which AANHPI's have overcome great challenges to serve their nation. The project will consist of seven interviews with the longest sitting Members of Congress of APA descent and one documentary short honoring Hiram Fong, now deceased. The short will emphasize him as the first Senator of APA descent to represent Hawaii when it became a state in 1959 as he served in Congress. We intend to interview the two sitting U.S. Senators of Asian descent: Senator Mazie Hirono; Senator Tammy Duckworth; plus, five of the most senior Representatives of AAPI descent: Congresswoman Judy Chu; Congressman Ami Bera; Congressman Mark Takano; Congressman Ted Lieu, and Congresswoman Grace Meng and produce a documentary short about Senator Fong, depending on the size of the grant awarded. The new oral history interviews and documentary short will be developed, produced and completed by the end of the calendar year of 2023, with public screenings (in-person when possible, otherwise virtual) hosted by CAPAL and its partners as they are completed. Successful completion of these deliverables on time and on budget is an important impact. We evaluate our success by keeping to a set schedule dedicated to research, interviews, and production time and seeing the fruition of our work once it is completed in either its publication and the project’s availability for viewing to an audience. While engaging in this work, the digital resources and archives will not only increase awareness of the contributions of AAPI community history, but also of the similarly challenging political context in which they lived in the past and now in the present. Creating and recording the history of these leaders will not only show a path for other ethnic groups but will also help unify our voices to play a part in empowering and safekeeping our cultures and community’s representation. For example, the Heritage Series previous work partnered with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, to produce the Yielding the Floor series in 2006-2009 which was acquired in 2010 by the Asian Division of the Library of Congress. This series contains the histories of Congressman Norman Y. Mineta, Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Daniel Akaka, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Mike Honda, Congressman David Wu and Elaine Chao, who served as both Labor Secretary and Transportation Secretary. CAPAL has developed a robust feedback and evaluation process to assess the effectiveness of its programs. These metrics align with our program goals and organizational goals to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth through education and build a strong AANHPI public service pipeline. Our Programs Evaluation Task Force creates, conducts, and analyzes data to inform future program development. Data and feedback provided by our scholars/interns, mentors, mentees, program attendees, project supervisors, and partners ensures that CAPAL not only adheres to goals and outcomes but delivers impactful programming aligning with our positive youth development model.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

31+ YEARS

The Issue:

The story of AAPIs and their civil rights struggles has not been chronicled, leaving many Americans ignorant of periods in our nation’s past. Recently there has been a sharp rise in xenophobic rhetoric, anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes. An important way to counter exclusion and violence is to enable greater understanding of the contributions of AAPIs and how they have enhanced our nation’s culture and governance. The process of capturing history for inclusion into textbooks and K-12 curriculum planning has been hampered by Boards of Education and other entities that are not inclined to promote immigrant history and multiculturalism. However, powerful resources from the 1990s up to today have broken barriers to getting AAPI stories into the nation’s K-12 and college classrooms. There is a lack of AAPI representation in government matters, and it is up to us, members of the AAPI Community, to tell the stories of the leaders who first paved the pathways for us to recognize those who continue to represent our shared interests and to be seen, heard, empowered, and united. These stories are an important contribution to the fabric of American history and deserve to be told. AAPIs remain the fastest growing populations in the United States -- between 2000 and 2010, these two populations grew at a rate of 46% and 40% respectively, increasing at four times the rate of the overall U.S. population -- they lag behind other racial and ethnic groups in civic and political participation. AANHPIs are only 6.4% of the federal workforce, limiting our participation in influential decisions that directly affect our communities. CAPAL recognizes that citizen involvement is key to the functioning of a democratic government; if AANHPIs do not participate in these civic and political processes and are not in positions to influence policy decisions, the U.S. government cannot effectively meet the needs of this key demographic. Our programs employ multiple methods to promote AANHPI participation in civic and political processes and the diversification of the public service pipeline. CAPAL provides students with the knowledge, and mentorship they need to successfully launch their own public service careers.

The Solution:

Both CAPAL’s and Heritage Series' mission align in developing future public servants of AANHPI descent. Understanding the complexities of service on a local, state, and federal level is critical to this mission. The Asian Pacific American Members of Congress History Project will give insight to representative government and celebrate the ways in which AANHPI's have overcome great challenges to serve their nation. The project will consist of seven interviews with the longest sitting Members of Congress of APA descent and one documentary short honoring Hiram Fong, now deceased. The short will emphasize him as the first Senator of APA descent to represent Hawaii when it became a state in 1959 as he served in Congress. We intend to interview the two sitting U.S. Senators of Asian descent: Senator Mazie Hirono; Senator Tammy Duckworth; plus, five of the most senior Representatives of AAPI descent: Congresswoman Judy Chu; Congressman Ami Bera; Congressman Mark Takano; Congressman Ted Lieu, and Congresswoman Grace Meng and produce a documentary short about Senator Fong, depending on the size of the grant awarded. The interviews of AAPI Members of Congress will highlight the diverse culture of the United States, capture inspiring personal stories, explore overlooked issues, and record highlights of the Members’ service. The documentary will feature the issues that propelled Senator Fong into office and of his career accomplishments. The interviews of the sitting Senators and Representatives will be conducted throughout 2022 and 2023. Research for the Hiram Fong short will take place in Fall 2022. Interviews with Senator Fong’s family, colleagues, and friends will be incorporated into the short where appropriate. These resources will be available for use in school curricula, AAPI programming, and other outlets to enhance awareness of AAPI contributions and empower other members of the AAPI community to become more engaged. Throughout this project CAPAL will engage AANHPI youth in highlighting the history of their community. Compiling this oral history will not only be a source of education but will empower and inspire AANHPI youth to carry on the work and actively be seen, heard, engaged, and united.

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