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OCA Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
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OCA Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2007

Contact: 
Hope Chu 
Communications Manager 
hchu@ocanational.org | 202-223-5500

OCA Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Washington DC - Almost thirty years ago, OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, economic, and political well-being of Asian Pacific Americans, pushed for the establishment of a week honoring the accomplishments, heritage and contributions of Asian Pacific Americans. Asian Pacific American Heritage Week was officially declared for the first time by then-President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

In 1992, the U.S. Congress designated May of each year as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen for this celebration to pay tribute to the arrival first Japanese immigrants in the United States on May 7, 1843, and to the labor of Chinese Americans on the transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.

"Pursuing Excellence through Leadership, Diversity and Unity" is the theme for this year’s APA Heritage Month. OCA Chapters around the country are celebrating with cultural and educational events. Information follows.

OCA-Central Illinois – OCA-Central Illinois, in collaboration with MCIA, will host "Taste of Asia” on May 6 (2-5 pm, DoubleTree Hotel Conference Center in Bloomington). This is the second year for this public event that features signature dishes from local Asian restaurants, Asian marketplace shopping, a "fashion show” of traditional cultural clothing, door prize drawing for two AirTran airline tickets, local artist exhibits, silent action, and children’s crafts/activities. Contact: ocaCentralIllinois@yahoo.com.

OCA-Cleveland - Asian Pacific American Federation (APAF) is a coalition of seventeen different Asian ethnic communities in Northern Ohio. This year we are sponsoring two events. May 15: APA Heritage Month kick-off (noon, Cleveland City Hall). Guest speakers: Mayor Frank Jackson, Blaine Griffin (Community Relations Board), and Khamwai Kaye (Laotian Community). May 19: all-day event open to the public at the Saigon Plaza (5400 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland). The main part of this event will be from 1-4 pm. Keynote speaker: Jay Goyal, State Representative and the first elected APA representative in Ohio.

OCA-Dallas/Fort Worth - Attended Dragon Boat Festival on April 29. OCA formed a team to compete in the dragon boat race, and hosted a booth for membership recruitment. On May 6, we will host the feed the homeless program at Fort Worth women’s and homeless shelter. Also on May 6, join us for the Plano Asian Festival. OCA will have a booth, membership recruitment and youth leadership promotion activity. Volunteers please contact Shannon Chen at Shannon_chen@dfwtechnology.com.

OCA-Detroit - ACA/OCA Detroit joins the Michigan APIA community to celebrate APA Heritage Month. May 4: OCA-Detroit joins the Council of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) to host a culture show (Ford Community Center for the Performing Arts, Dearborn). May 5: OCA-Detroit joins the APACC’s annual banquet to celebrate the contributions of APA residents and businesses in Michigan. May 15: OCA-Detroit joins the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration at the State Capitol, in Lansing (10 am-2 pm). The event is co-sponsored by State Representative Hoon-Yung Hopgood and includes Asian cuisine, cultural performances, and visits with legislative leaders.

OCA-Georgia - OCA-GA celebrates the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and the OCA-GA Scholarship Awards with a banquet at the Oriental Pearl Restaurant (5399 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA). Friday, May 18 from 6:30 – 10 pm. Corporate ticket: $50/person (VIP Seating). Individual ticket: $30/person. Reservation required, call 770-408-0546. For more information, please visit www.oca-georgia.org.

OCA-Greater Los Angeles - OCA-GLA celebrates APA Heritage Month this year by holding a benefit for LA’s Chinatown Branch Library, Sunday, May 20 at 1:00 pm, at 639 N. Hill Street. Speakers include the Honorable Judy Chu, the Honorable Mike Eng, Naomi Hirahara, Marjorie Lee, Ruby L. Louie, Sunny Seki and Icy Smith. Admission is free. Proceeds from an opportunity drawing for books and Southwest airline tickets will benefit the Library’s Chinese Heritage Collection. Contact: Clara Chiu, cchiu@ocanational.org, 213-250-9888.

OCA-Greater Seattle - OCA-Greater Seattle is an active partner in the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration scheduled for Sunday, May 6 at the Seattle Center. The free festival will be held at the Center House from 12 – 5 pm and include a diverse range of APA performing arts. OCA-GS will have a booth to showcase our social justice work and conduct bilingual voter registration.

OCA-Las Vegas – OCA-Las Vegas will be celebrating APA Heritage month by recognizing Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, newly elected to Henderson City Council (Ward 1) and active advisory board member. All proceeds will be donated to the local internship fund. The event will be held on Thursday, May 3, at Satay Malaysian Grille.

OCA-New Jersey - OCA-New Jersey holds its 8th annual APA High School Essay Contest and 7th annual College Internship Programs to celebrate APA Heritage Month. Essay Contest winners will each receive scholarship up to $800. Internship recipients will spend four weeks working in offices of public officials and will each receive $800 stipend. Application deadline: May 15. Award ceremoney and luncheon on June 10th in East Hanover, NJ. Contact Linda Lee 973-239-1985 or LL16Meadow@yahoo.com.

OCA-Philadelphia - OCA-Greater Philadelphia and the Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs proudly present the 2007 APA Heritage Month Celebration on Saturday, May 5 from 1-5 pm at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch Street, Entertainment Hall D, Philadelphia). Featuring free performances, including music by the Philadelphia School District orchestra, taiko drumming, Chinese opera, Filipino dance, Indian music, and OCA-GP's Children's Fair! Contact Anna Perng at 215-981-3732 andanna.perng@gmail.com for more information.

OCA-Pittsburgh - OCA will participate in the luncheon hosted by Asian American Heritage Committee, Federal Executive Board, on Friday, May 4, and present the annual scholarship awards to three outstanding students. Recipients this year: Elise Liu, Yue Zhang and Lily Chen. On May 5, there will be a celebration, including dancing and cultural demonstration, at the John Heinz Regional Historical Museum (10 am-3 pm, 1212 Smallman St, Pittsburgh). Darlene Zhou, an OCA Youth member, will receive the Gold Metal Congressional Award later in May at Washington, DC.

OCA-Sacramento – Saturday, May 5, we will hold the Dragon Boat Festival Banquet, our annual signature fundraising event. Banquet honoree: State Controller John Chiang, the highest ranking API elected official in the State of California, former OCA National intern, and former board members of OCA-Greater Los Angeles. Special recognition: CAIR Executive Director Basim Elkarra for his courage and leadership in bridging the gaps among Sacramento diverse communities. National Internship Award: Kyle Chin, currently a student at UC San Diego. May 20, we will have a booth at the 15th Annual Pacific Rim Street Fest in Old Sacramento. Attendance is expected to be over 10,000.

OCA-San Francisco - OCA-San Francisco is a founder and charter member of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration Committee. This will be the third year that the Mayor will sign a proclamation, followed by a reception to celebrate the event. The committee has also developed a poster calendar that is being distributed citywide to promote APA events during the month of May, as well as produced ads for the exterior of the city buses and bus shelters. OCA is also a founder of the APA Heritage Foundation. OCA Past National President Claudine Cheng is the founder and Chair of both organizations.

OCA-South Florida - OCA-South Florida is proud to work with local community to present the 9th APAHM cultural series throughout South Florida. The programs feature food, entertainment, and cultural performances from different Asian countries, and are free to the public. May 1 to 31: APAHM Exhibit at Broward County Southwest Regional Library - 16835 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines, FL. May 12 (2-4 pm): Susan B. Katz Theater of the Performing Arts at the River of Grass ArtsPark - 17195 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines, FL. May 13 (2-4 pm): Broward County Main Library - 100 S. Andrews Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL. May 20 (2-4 pm): Broward County Northwest Region Library - 3151 University Drive, Coral Springs, FL. May 26 (1-3 pm): Alexander "Sandy” Nininger State Veterans’ Nursing Home - 8401 West Cypress Drive, Pembroke, FL. May 5 (6:30-10 pm): OCA-SFL Excellence Awards V Banquet at Bamboo Garden Banquet Hall - 1232 NE 163 Street, N Miami Beach, FL 33162. Honorees: Dan DeCarlo, Ann Carlton, Coral Springs Chinese Culture Association, Synix International, Inc., United Chinese News of Florida, and the late Sir Fernando Chang Muy. Ticket: Member - $50; Non-member - $60; Couple - $90 and Table - $450. 

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