Prominent Filipino-American civil leaders Dr. Amy Agbayani, Teresita Batayola, and Luisa Blue are set to be welcomed by United States (US) President Joe Biden as members of his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI).
The three appointees will be working alongside other civic leaders in advising Biden on how to bolster opportunity and equity for AANHPI citizens through collaborative efforts among public, private, and nonprofit groups.
Born in the Philippines, and a graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP), Agbayani went on to pursue further education from East West Center in Washington, and at the University of Hawaii.
Agbayani, the former chair of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, and is currently a member of The Legal Clinic for immigrant justice in Hawaii, Patsy T. Mink PAC, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa student diversity and equity emeritus assistant vice-chancellor.
Meanwhile, Batayola’s work as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Washington’s biggest nonprofit health center for Asians and Pacific Islanders, International Community Health Services (ICHS), has made her a stalwart of the community health sector by offering accessible healthcare, particularly to refugees and immigrants.
Recognizing her contribution to the field of public healthcare, the University of Washington Women’s Center named her one of their Women of Courage Undaunted, while the Filipino Women’s Network awarded her the title of Most Influential Filipino Woman in the World.
Within the labor sector, Blue established herself as one of the top-ranking Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders, formally serving as the executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) before retiring in August of 2020.
As the former head of the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, Ethical Culture Committee, and member of the Racial Justice Task Force, Blue made waves within the labor movement and continues to do so within the Asian Health Services Community Board.
The selected civic leaders will also provide guidance to the White Houses with regard to policies that tackle racism, violence, and inequity directed towards AANHPI, LGBTQIA+, and persons with disabilities, communities.
Photos: Good News Pilipinas