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Asian American / Pacific Islander Emphasis Program (AAPI)

Jenifer Coleson, (509) 323-2964
Washington's Asian American/Pacific Islander Program Manager

Jenifer Coleson, Asian American and Pacific Islander Emphasis Program Manager on Civil Rights Committee

My name is Jenifer Coleson and I am the Asian American Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program Manager. I have been interested in the work of the Civil Rights Advisory Committee for many years and am excited for the opportunity to play a part in serving the needs of employees and customers in Washington State.

I was born and raised in Western New York but have had the good fortune to have either worked or travelled to many fascinating places including Dutch Harbor Alaska, Rwanda, Zanzibar, and Indonesia. I started my NRCS career on the Pacific Island of Guam while working on a Masters of Biology degree. After several years as a Soil Conservationist assisting diverse farmers on Guam, I transferred back to New York to be a District Conservationist. I am currently an Environmental Specialist at the Spokane State Office. During my free time I enjoy gardening, yoga, cross country skiing and hiking as well as exploring the beautiful State of Washington with my husband and two children.


Program Goals:

  •  Promote and establish effective and equitable participation of Asian Pacific Americans in the work force.
  • Enhance career development and advancement of Asian Pacific American employees in NRCS and improve under-representation of Asian Pacific Americans.

  • Encourage awareness of the impact of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures and contributions.

  • Market natural resource conservation programs to the Asian Pacific American communities.


May is Asian-Pacific Heritage Month

Asian-Pacific Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

President Carter introduced a week of recognition in 1978 and, in 1990, George Bush declared the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students.

Presidential Proclamation--Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2011


Links on this page may require Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint.


Thismap (and list of countries) are all considered to be part of the Asian-Pacific Islander Complex.   (PDF; 100 KB)

Specialty items of interest


Related Links:

  • Asian Pacific Islander Organization (APIO): The purpose of APIO is to provide a forum for NRCS employees, retirees and friends to exchange ideas, network, mentor, train, and add value to the agency by being a linguistic, cultural and ethnic bridge to our communities and other employee organizations.  Asian Pacific Islander Organization

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