OCA, a national membership driven organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is proud to announce its new organizational name of "OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates” as a rebranding effort that reflects OCA’s initiative of diversity and inclusion.
Founded as Organization of Chinese Americans in 1973, OCA has since grown to a robust national advocacy organization to advance the civil rights of APAs and aspiring Americans. In 2013, at its 40th Year, the organization presently has over 100 chapters, affiliates, and partners, impacting more than 15,000 individuals all across the country through local and national programming. While the organization’s headquarters remains in Washington, DC, allowing OCA to directly engage in critical public policy issues on a macro level, it continues to largely remain as a grassroots constituency of lay advocates from all walks of life and diverse ethnic identities addressing uniquely local level issues impacting over 19 million Asian Americans across the country.
The new brand for OCA enhances the following key consistent organizational propositions:
Since the late 90’s, OCA has begun its branding transition, referring to itself by the acronym brand of OCA instead of the founding formal name of Organization of Chinese Americans. This transition has largely been embraced by members as well as external supporters with the understanding that this new brand serves to accurately acknowledge and advance both the history and current constituent make-up of the organization. This intentional strategy is implemented to support a more inclusive and diverse national organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of all Asian Pacific Islanders.
- Fundamentally OCA will continue to be an "advocacy” organization which urges APAs and allies to act as advocate(s) [noun] and one who advocates [verb] for important issues.
- OCA is committed to diversity and inclusion as a APA social justice organization, with the hope that the new name reflects its members (advocates) as well as the communities it serves.
Consistent with the national resolution passed in January of 2013, OCA has embarked on a formal brand transition this year. The legal name of the organization therefore will be changed to "OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates.” In practice, the organization will continue to be referred to as OCA. The new logo and "listing” change will be reflected as follows:
OCA’s branding transition reflects the arc of the Asian Pacific American and broader social justice movement in the United States by actively promoting diversity and inclusion in all social sectors and institutions. As such the organization’s National Board, as well as the National Center’s team of staff, has ensured that OCA’s core organizational ethos continue to be implemented in its programmatic practices through the inclusion of all individuals from various APA ethnic communities (East Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders). These opportunities include leadership, scholarship, internship, mentorship, professional development, the National Convention, and Corporate Achievement Award programming.
Therefore, OCA aspires to acknowledge the importance of the intersections of identity with the social, economic, and political implications of traditionally marginalized communities. Consistent with its past national resolutions, OCA continues to reach out to those who are the first in the household to attend college, the economically disadvantaged, as well as those that are isolated. OCA is also dedicated to working with APA communities that are largely considered invisible including aspiring Americans, such as DREAMers, as well as the LGBT community members who continue to face barriers in obtaining fair and equal treatment.
The following are excerpts from several OCA constituents and colleagues about the brand transition:
"I was a bit skeptical at first and believe me, I have a strong Chinese American identity that goes long way back, but I think this is a good direction for OCA because even though most of our members are Chinese Americans, our membership is changing a lot not to mention we need a pan-Asian national civil rights organization that actually represent members.”
--Long time Chinese American OCA Member
"I am so glad to know that OCA is changing its name…I am very grateful for the Chinese American founders for starting a great organization, for a new comer to this country like me, I really appreciate the opportunity to learn and to be involved so that I can advocate for my community and all communities.”
--South Asian OCA Member
"You know a lot of (ethnic specific) organizations talk about being pan-Asian, but OCA just did it…I think this is a good thing for OCA and a great thing for the community!”
-- Member of Congress
"I think OCA is very smart to have rebranded to a pan-Asian identity…while I see a benefit to representing a certain ethnic group, if the membership base is diversifying and there needs to be a strong national organization to advocate for causes directly from the community, I think this new brand is a strong signal that OCA is serious about diversity and as a corporate partner, we are glad to support such organization with the programming strategies to match.”
--A member of the Business Advisory Council representing a Fortune 100 company
In addition to the implementation of the rebranding effort, the organization is proud to announce the launch of its new website www.ocanational.org. The new website interface reflects the organization’s commitment to providing members and advocates with critical information and resources to grow and develop their local communities. We encourage everyone to check out our new efforts to bring OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates into a new decade of empowerment and prosperity.