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October 20, 1999
Addressing The Health Needs Of NY's Asian American Children
A P Kamath in New York
Shamina Singh, a recent presidential appointee, will present the keynote speech at 'Speaking Out: Addressing the Unmet Needs of New York City's Asian American Children'.
Singh is executive director of the White House initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific islanders. She oversees a presidential advisory commission and a federal interagency working group that implements federal programs for Asian Americans.
The conference, organized by the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, brings together, for the first time, leaders of Asian American community organizations and city commissioners to address the impact of recent immigration and the need for better children and welfare services. It will be held on October 29, from 9 am to 12.30 pm at AT&T, 32 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. Registration and breakfast is scheduled to start at 8.30 am.
Over a hundred community leaders and policy makers are expected to attend the event sponsored by, among others, AT&T.
Among the panelists are Navneet Kathuria, associate chief of medicine at St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital center, the Reverend Daniel David, the executive-director of New Vision Asian Youth Services and David Chen, executive-director of the Chinese-American Planning Council.
"Between the persistent `model minority' stereotypes and the many Asian languages and dialects, children's services have not kept up with today's Asian American population," says Jessica Lee, executive-director of CACF.
Asian Americans are often called the "model minority" because some achieve high levels of educational attainment and high median incomes, CACF believes. "However, many Asian American children and families do not fit this stereotype. One result of this myth is that policy makers do not view Asian American children's health and human service needs as a priority," Lee adds.
"The Asian American community is the most readily expanding percentage of the city's population. Few services and outreach efforts are prepared to deal with families' languages and cultures, nor are services adequately developed in neighborhoods where new immigrants are settling." There are over 150,000 children of Asian origin among the 8.5 million New Yorkers.
CACF was founded in 1986 by concerned health and human service providers to address the changing health and human service needs of the Asian American community. CACF was initially housed in the offices of the Chinese-American Planning Council. In 1992, CACF was incorporated as an independent non-profit and hired its first executive director in 1995. In recent years, it has reached out to other Asian communities.
Among its board of directors is Kala Ganesh, a community leader.
For information, contact the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families, 120 Wall Street, Third Floor, New York, NY 10005. Phone: (212) 809-4675, fax: (212) 344-5636, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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