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March 2016: JACL/OCA Leadership Summit

Monday, March 07, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nick Lee
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Advocates Monthly: March 2016
JACL/OCA Leadership Summit Participants Advocate for Fair Immigration and Education Policies
Each year, members of JACL and OCA convene for a unique leadership development opportunity in Washington, D.C. This allows young leaders to come from around the country, learn the basics of advocacy, and then use their new skills to advocate on issues affecting the AAPI community.

Secretary Norman Mineta with Summit participants
Participants heard from a number of experts from the civil rights community including Secretary Norman Mineta, Deputy Secretary Chris Lu, Karen Narasaki, and many others. Special issue briefings on immigration and education topics came from our community partners at the the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Southeast Asia Resource Action Committee, the National Education Association, and the National Council of La Raza.
Congresswoman Grace Meng with OCA Members Tina Lin and Wennie Chin
While on Capitol Hill, participants enjoyed a special briefing featuring AAPI members of Congress including Congresswoman Grace Meng, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman Ted Lieu, and Congressman Mark Takano. Advocacy conversations with various offices from around the country revolved around increasing access to higher education through affordability and commonsense language fixes and also helping immigrant families reunite through support for the Reuniting Families Act.
Ultimately participants were able to not only expand their knowledge of how to work with government officials to create meaningful change, but also advocate effectively even given the short amount of time they were given. This training was intensive and challenging, but will allow members to take these skills back to home so that they can realize change in their community as well. Many thanks to our sponsors State Farm and Southwest Airlines. Without these critical support, these future leaders would never have gotten this rapid boost to their advocacy experience!
OCA - Seattle Member Doug Chin Leads Fight to Recognize Donnie Chin
Longtime director of the International District Emergency Center, Donnie Chin was tragically killed in an early morning shooting on July 23, 2015. Donnie helped make Seattle's International District, containing much of the AAPI population of the city, a safer place for children and families.
Donnie's death came as a shock to the Seattle community, who were outraged that this pillar of the community became a victim of crime. Doug Chin, an OCA - Seattle board member, historian, and longtime community activist, helped fight to get a park that Donnie helped create named after Donnie after his passing.
"The Chinatown/International District Community commends Mayor Murray and the City Council for bringing forth the resolution to rename the International Children's Park after Donnie Chin," said Doug Chin. "The Asian American community and many others overwhelmingly want the name change so that Donnie's legacy as the founder of the park and the guardian who gave his life to helping others and making the community a safer place is preserved."
Though the park is an important step towards recognition, the fight to ensure that the International District is safe is still ongoing, as made clear byan editorialby the Seattle Times. However, we can count on both Doug Chin and OCA - Seattle to continue to be an important part of that fight! See the Seattle Mayor's statement on the renaminghere.
OCA goes to ECAASU at Rutgers!
We had a great time hanging with the enlightened students of the2016 ECAASU Conference at Rutgers. Nearly 100 students attended our signature APIAU program and learned about how to become better advocates. Thanks and looking forward to seeing you all next year!
Happy Womens History Month! Celebrate using #APAHerStory
The first entry from our Twitter campaign
Happy Womens History month! Its time to celebrate the women making the AAPI community stronger and we are celebrating by posting their stories all month! Tweet at us or message us on facebook to nominate somebody using the hashtag #APAHerStory.
In Efforts to Boost Teacher Diversity, Asians and Pacific Islanders Seek Inclusion
Please enjoy this article covering Sarah Ha, Senior Managing Director of the API Initiative at Teach For America, one of our organizational partners. Looking to make an impact next year? Join Teach For America:http://bit.ly/1n9tB9v

Sarah Ha didn't have any Asian-American teachers growing up.

Ha was born in the United States but moved to South Korea when she was six years old; she and her little sister were left there for two years while their parents established a life in the United States. Enveloped by Korean culture, Ha all but forgot the English she had grown up learning.

When she returned to Worcester, Mass., Ha found herself isolated and bullied, an English-language learner with no Asian peers, teachers, or subject matter in school.

"When I went off to college, I realized much of the curriculum I was exposed to or the educators that were in front of the classroom did not reflect my identity, nor did they create a space for dialogue in the classroom where I felt as though I connected with those experiences," she said.


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