One Year In: An Update from the AAPI Steering Committee

Posted on 09/26/22

A Little More than a Year In, AARP Maryland’s AAPI Steering Committee Making Gains

Dr. Haley with Senator Van Hollen

In the summer of 2021, AARP Maryland formed the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Steering Committee under the leadership of Sudha Haley, Ph.D. It’s goal – to ensure that the Maryland’s diverse AAPI communities (roughly 8% of the Maryland population according to the American Community Survey) are properly represented within the organization's planning and aims.

With a distinguished roster of community leaders on board (see “AARP Maryland Launches Asian American/Pacific Islander Outreach Initiative”), the committee aims to:

  • Facilitate the representation of Maryland’s AAPI community in AARP’s advocacy work
  • Grow partnerships with smaller organizations to create more events and spread awareness for the AAPI community
  • Combat violence and hate against the AAPI community as a whole
  • Connect AARP to the AAPI community

Noting an increase in violence towards the AAPI community, Haley believes that increasing awareness of the role of AAPI-Americans throughout the nation’s history is crucial to promoting inclusion and understanding. She wants to spread the word that members of the AAPI community have been present within this country and interwoven into its fabric since the earliest days. Haley hopes that by connecting smaller organizations already representing AAPI Marylanders to AARP Maryland, they can become stronger, more united and more visible.

An initial steering committee project is the 2023 Asian American Pacific Islander Cultural Festival in Southern Maryland, in partnership with Calvert County Parks and Recreation, Calvert Library, Charles County Public Library and St. Mary's County Library. Featuring food, art, performances and exhibits representing multiple cultures such as Korean, Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, Indian and Thai, the festival is a showcase of Maryland’s rich and diverse AAPI culture. (Originally slated for August 2022, the event was postponed due to a statewide heat wave.)

The steering committee is raising AARP’s profile among AAPI leaders by facilitating briefings to the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, and the Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs. Monthly meetings provide an opportunity to share news, exchange information and brief local officials, including AAPI delegates Aruna Miller and Kumar Barve, on issues of concern to AAPI Marylanders age 50-plus.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Steering Committee remains hard at work on behalf of Maryland’s AAPI elders, caregivers, veterans, retirees and their families. To learn more about their efforts and to get involved, send an email to mdaarp@aarp.org.

This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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