“Everyone Deserves to be Seen:” HEP and SEARAC Release Recommendations for Improved Federal Data on AAPI Communities

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities are growing at a faster rate than any other racial group in the United States. The opportunity to address significant inequities impacting this community is hiding in our country’s postsecondary data. Collections of data at the U.S. Department of Education and our institutions of higher education aggregate AAPI communities under the umbrella categories of “Asian” or “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.” As a result, the data mask inequities and decrease efforts to provide intentional student supports.

To address this missed opportunity, the Institute for Higher Education Policy and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center have released Everyone Deserves to be Seen:” Recommendations for Improved Federal Data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The report sets forth clear policy recommendations for Congress, federal, state, and local agencies, and institutions of higher education. The actionable recommendations look to the race and ethnicity categories used by the US Census Bureau, which are informed by empirical research, collaboration between statistical agencies across the federal government, and engagement of diverse communities.

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