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OCA National Convention Seeks to Unify Asian Pacific Islander America

Thursday, July 2, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nick Lee
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 OCA National Convention Seeks to Unify Asian Pacific Islander America

Ken Lee, OCA CEO, opens up OCA National Convention by speaking with youth about their career goals and how they can be successful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2 July 2015

CONTACT:  Michael W. Kwan | National President

202 223 5500 | mkwan@ocanational.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates officially begins its 42nd Annual National Convention at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco, CA today. It will run from Thursday, July 2 through Sunday, July 5, 2015. 

The OCA National Convention is one of the preeminent annual events for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community that draws together hundreds of community members, affiliates, and partners from across the country. Over 500 advocates are expected to arrive over the course of Convention to discuss important policy issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. These discussions will take place in panels and workshops featuring prominent Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders, as well as in youth, college, and professional programs that will foster the next generation of community advocates and leaders. This year’s convention has been particularly successful in generating interest in the community and many programs including the civic engagement and Asian Pacific American – Youth trainings were filled to capacity.

“This year’s Convention theme is ‘Unifying Asian Pacific Islander America’ and this year we resolve to move forward united as one in our fight for equity and equality,” said Michael W. Kwan, OCA National President. “In the past, the Asian American and Pacific Islander movement has been driven by Asian American voices, while Pacific Islander issues have been largely voiceless. However, the fact remains that this status quo of exclusivity is only hurting the movement by decreasing our political influence.” 

“Our voices are stronger united as one than when they are splintered into many, so we must speak out with one united voice or risk having all of our voices suppressed by society,” continued Kwan. “While in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of meeting with several leaders of the Samoan American community to discuss how OCA can become more responsive to their needs. This conversation at Convention and others like it that will take place across the country will generate the understanding and awareness necessary to unite the Asian American and Pacific Islander movement.”

“Convention has changed substantially since its humble inception as an ambitious gathering of Chinese Americans in 1973 by our two founders, K.L. Wang and Alex Mark. Since then, our organization has grown from three chapters to over 100 chapters and affiliates and has come to embrace not only the Chinese American community, but the entire Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Though we may have suffered the loss of both of our founders this past year, their spirit and vision live on in our efforts to unify our diverse constituency and protect the civil rights of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” concluded Kwan.

Workshops and plenaries are free for all community members to attend and do not require registration. Topics for this year’s convention include Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the media, maintaining close communal and familial ties in Pacific Islander communities, rediscovering racial solidarity in 21st century America, and embracing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in our families and communities. More information on tracks can be found online at http://www.ocanational.org/?2015generaltrack. 

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).

 

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