EMBRACING THE HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS OF ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICANS
What is OCA?
Founded in 1973, OCA is a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. OCA's goals are:
To achieve these objectives, OCA is engaged in organizing its 80+ chapters and affiliates across the nation and its Hong Kong chapter to develop both leadership and community involvement. Our chapters and college affiliates work to establish strong local programs that empower the APIA community through cultural awareness programs, leadership training, education workshops, legislative monitoring, public policy initiatives, APIA conferences, internships, scholarships, publications, and community activism across the country.
- to advocate for social justice, equal opportunity and fair treatment;
- to promote civic participation, education, and leadership;
- to advance coalitions and community building; and
- to foster cultural heritage.
OCA's base in Washington, D.C. gives the national office an effective vantage point for monitoring legislation and policy issues affecting Asian & Pacific Islander American communities. In the D.C. metro area, OCA is able to build national support and to work in coalition with other national groups around issues affecting APIAs. In addition, OCA publishes IMAGE magazine, which serves as a communications link for chapter members as well as an informative source on federal and legislative initiatives and policies relevant to the APIA community.
For more information about OCA, email us at OCA@OCANATL.ORG, call us at (202) 223-5500, or write to us at 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 601, Washington D.C. 20036.
What is OCA Houston?
The Greater Houston Chapter was established in 1979, after OCA National founder and president, K.L. Wang encouraged local community leaders at that time to become part of this new national effort and advocate for protecting and advancing the rights of Chinese Americans and Asian Pacific Americans.
OCA-Greater Houston can boast about its successful record in participating both at the national and local levels in accomplishing its mission. OCA-GH has earned the National Chapter Excellence Awards Chapter of the Year for 3rd place in 2004 & 2005. Houston has provided three officers on the national executive board: Theresa Chang (VP for Public Affairs, VP for Education, VP for Finance and VP for Economic Affairs), Raymond Wong (Treasurer, Executive VP, President) and Ida Eng (Treasurer). Besides hosting the 1991 National Convention, the Houston Chapter also hosted the 1998 OCA National Corporate Achievement Banquet. In addition, OCA-Houston has:
- Conducted educational seminars and programs on topics such as: Workplace Rights, Affirmative Action, Vincent Chin & Hate Crimes, the Gates Millennium Scholars program & other OCA national scholarships, Voter Awareness, and the Los Alamos Wen Ho Lee "Spy" incident
- Supported APA cultural awareness programs such as bringing nationally known exhibition of Angel Island, "Gateway to Gold Mountain" for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in 1998, The H.T. Chen APA dance company in 2003 & 2004, David Henry Hwang's new version of Flower Drum Song, and the Sun Lai: An Awakening program with our college affiliate at Rice University which features national APA spoken word & performance artists
- Hosted nationally known APA speakers such as: Bill Lann Lee, Paul Igasaki, Angela Oh, Phoebe Eng, Daphne Kwok, Helen Zia, George Takei, Karen Narasaki, S.B. Woo, Laura Efurd, Robert Gee and Edward Chow, Jr.
- Initiated collaborations to establish the Asian American Legal Center of Texas, Coalition Against Asian American Bashing (CAAAB) and APA Vote 2000 and co-sponsored events to host the APA White House Initiative and Candidates Forums as well as, helping establish & sponsor the Asian American Women's Forum, recognized by OCA National as an outstanding Chapter Program
- Received the 2000 OCA Outstanding Chapter Program Award for its "They Serve with Honor…" annual fundraising banquet honoring Houston's Chinese American World War II Veterans.
- Worked with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and United States Department of Labor on an educational outreach project entitled "TIGAR," or "The Information Group for Asian American Rights" & co-produced & distributed free of charge nationally, an educational video concerning our employment-related civil rights
- Coordinated community service projects supporting efforts such as voter registration, the OCA Summer Internship in Washington, D.C., Habitat for Humanity, the People for People project, and APA book donations to college & public libraries, as well as being one of the initial supporting groups to help establish YLC, the APA Youth Leadership Council
- Wrote op/ed articles and letters to the media on APA issues
- Led public awareness campaigns on issues such as the Los Angeles Lakers Center Shaquille O'Neil racial taunting of Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets Center, the 2000 Census, and the boycott/protest of retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's racially biased line of T-shirts with derogatory & stereotyped images of Asian Americans