NHPI Representation

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) populations have historically been excluded from national media and government policies. Even as a subsection of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American identity, the issues that affect NHPI are not the same as those that may affect other Asian Americans. NHPI face higher poverty rates and lower college education matriculations than other Asian Americans. When they are grouped under the umbrella of “Asian American”, we cannot see the NHPI-specific obstacles they may be facing in their lives. With one of the largest growth rates out of any ethnic group, NHPI deserve a voice in the policies that affect them.

In the struggle for more representation, MALO advocates have only recently been successful with pushing for dis-aggregated data in government statistics. Meanwhile, there is much data mixed with the wider Asian American identity that confuses the data for both groups. This obscurity leaves NHPI out of policy decisions that cannot identify and focus on their difficulties. Therefore, MALO is trying to bring NHPI perspectives to the policy table. Bringing more NHPI representation into policy decisions lets us reach more families who may benefit from these policies and government assistance programs.

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