The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Meeting of July 22, 2008 - Issues Facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the Federal Workplace

Statement of Linda Bradford-Washington, Director, Office Of Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity, U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development

Chair Earp, Vice Chair, Commissioners, Colleagues, and Friends,

It is truly an honor to appear before the Commission to address this critically important topic. My name is Linda Bradford Washington and I am the Director, Office of Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity (ODEEO) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

ODEEO is responsible for implementing the goals of the EEO Statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Commission’s regulation 29 CFR 1614.

Today I will address HUD’s Asian American/Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program and Conference Best Practices.

The ODEEO, Affirmative Employment Division (AED), has the ultimate responsibility for hosting all of the Special Emphasis Programs for HUD. The AED staff consists of a full-time Director and three full-time Equal Employment Specialists. However, in an effort to ensure inclusiveness and to develop events that capture various cultural perspectives, the AED encourages and facilitates the participation of HUD-wide affinity groups in the planning and implementation stages of Special Emphasis Programs. In the case of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month the affinity group is HUD’s Asian Pacific American (HAPA).

AED utilizes several venues to market our AAPI Special Emphasis Program and Conferences. These venues are:

The Department’s Internal Website, known as HUD@work

AED uses HUD@work to promote the AAPI special emphasis program by listing the keynote speakers, dates, times, and locations of the upcoming AAPI Special Emphasis Events on the website at the beginning of the observance month;

Posters and Banners

In collaboration with the Visual/Graphics Department, AED designs and develops posters and banners for AAPI Heritage Month for display throughout the particular special emphasis observance. The banners are hung in every lobby of the Department’s headquarters and the posters are displayed in strategic locations, areas experiencing the heaviest foot traffic, including the lobbies, throughout the building;


In tandem, once again, with the Visual/Graphics Department, AED contributes to the

creation of flyers and programs for the AAPI special emphasis observance. AED staff, along with other members of ODEEO, volunteers from the Special Emphasis Program committee, as well as employees from throughout HUD, pass the flyers out the morning of each AAPI Special Emphasis Event and provide the program to all of the attendees at each event.

ODEEO Messenger, which is an e-mail message sent to all of the Department’s employees

An e-mail message is forwarded to all HUD employees the day before, as well as the morning of, each AAPI Special Emphasis Event. AED makes certain to identify the participation of senior staff members and special guests in order to ensure that the entire HUD workforce is aware of the support offered by principal and senior Department staff.

To ensure that AAPI programs are well-attended, AED invites the Secretary of HUD and principal staff, including AAPI executives, to participate in each Special Emphasis Program event. For example, they may be invited to serve as a keynote speaker, provide the welcome, or serve as a moderator. The presence and involvement of senior staff members tends to draw the support and attendance of the Department’s workforce.

Additionally, AED invites and acknowledges external special AAPI guests. In the past, AED has invited Charles Fan, President, Federal Asian Pacific American Council; Gail Demers and Alicia Whittington, Treasury Department; Juanita Tamayo Lott, Census Bureau; Aurelia Lopez, Veterans Affairs; John D. Moon, Federal Reserve Board; Franklin Odo and Noriko Sanefuji, Smithsonian; Roger Peralta, Transportation Department; Alison Tanaka, Peace Corps; Rita Gerona-Adkins, Asian Fortune Monthly; Emilie Dearing, National APA Families Against Substance Abuse; Franklin Chow, (retired) founder of Federal Asian Pacific American Council; Betty Lee Hawks, (retired) founder of Pan Asia Women; and Ying Wang and Chang Wonlee, University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program.

AED also sends formal invitation letters to our “Adopted Schools,” and other neighboring schools and institutions in Washington, D.C., requesting that they join us for one or more of the Special Emphasis Programs being held during AAPI Heritage Month.

To ensure that AAPI conferences are well attended by HUD employees, AED provides the conference notices to every Program Office well in advance of the scheduled events so that the employees have substantial opportunity to request the necessary training and travel costs.

To obtain support for AAPI programs from HUD staff, AED assists the AAPI Heritage Month committee to develop a strategic plan. The selection of AAPI Heritage Month committee members, as with all Special Emphasis Program committees, is based on a first-come, first-served method with strong consideration in favor of having representation from each of the program offices. Having representation from each program office increases the probability that special emphasis events will be supported by the committee member’s program office co-workers.

To obtain support for AAPI conferences, AED ensures that each program office is issued the official OPM endorsement letter. By ensuring that this is done, AED succeeds in encouraging the Managers and Supervisors to support the scheduled AAPI conferences.

AED has a budget of $2,500 for each of the seven federally-recognized observances, including Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. These funds are used for the planning and implementation of the events for each observance. The AAPI budget, for example, is used for the following: advertisement; graphics; keynote speakers; cultural foods; gift tokens; plaques; and a webcast of the particular event.

Thank you for the opportunity to present the critical work my office continually does in promoting equality and understanding during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and all Special Emphasis Observances.

I will be glad to address any questions you may have.

This page was last modified on July 22, 2008.

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