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OCA Annual Convention will honor civil rights leaders Bill Lann Lee and Helen Zia
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OCA Annual Convention will honor civil rights leaders Bill Lann Lee and Helen Zia

June 13, 2007

Hope Chu, Communications Manager | 202 223 5500

Linda Ng, OCA-Sacramento Chapter 
916 996 3770

Ken Avelino, OCA-Sacramento Chapter 
916 941 6100 | 916 941 0892

National event to be held in Sacramento, CA, 28 June-1 July, 2007

Sacramento, CA – OCA, a national Asian Pacific American organization with 80 chapters and affiliates dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of APAs, announced the honorees for the OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award today. This year’s recipients of the award are former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Bill Lann Lee and noted journalist, author and activist Helen Zia (biographies below).

"The contributions of Bill Lann Lee and Helen Zia to the Asian Pacific American community and to the story of struggle in America are innumerable. We are honored to be able to recognize them at this year’s convention for their dedication to civil rights and to advancing the social well-being of all Americans,” said Ginny Gong, OCA National President.

OCA will also honor its members with the Chapter of the Year Award, the Unsung Hero Awards, and several college scholarships.

This annual event draws thousands of Asian Pacific Americans from around the country and is one of the largest gatherings of APAs in the US. This year the convention features three days of workshops; exhibits and job fair; youth and college programs; community health fair; senior day; cultural events; and many notable speakers and guests, including celebrity chef Martin Yan. Convention activities also include a tour of Locke, the only town built by Chinese Americans for Chinese Americans; and dinner at the California State Railroad Museum.

Workshops, exhibits, job fair, college/youth and senior days, and community health fair are free and open to the public. Tickets for all meals, Locke tour, Railroad Museum tour and dinner, and Homeland musical performance are available for purchase online at or at Special hotel rates end Thursday, 14 June 2007. The conference will take place at the Sacramento Convention Center and the Sheraton Grand Hotel.


Honoree Biographies

Born in New York City to Chinese immigrants, Bill Lann Lee has dedicated his life to civil rights – first in the South helping to desegregate public schools, throughout his career as a civil rights lawyer, and in his position as the first APA U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The biggest influence on Lee’s life has been his father, who instilled in Lee and his brother the determination and faith in the American Dream which led Lee to rise to the highest civil rights enforcement post in the U.S.

Helen Zia is an award-winning journalist and scholar who has covered APA communities and social and political movements for decades. Zia is a former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine and her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications. A second-generation Chinese American, Zia has been a leading voice on issues ranging from civil rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia.
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