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  • Fri, January 08, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous



    8 January 2021

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, DC - OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates makes the following statement on the recent Biden Administration Nominations for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ):

    We congratulate Judge Merrick Garland, Lisa Monaco, Vanita Gupta, and Kristen Clarke on their nominations to lead the DOJ. These dedicated public servants and Justice Department veterans will restore the independence and integrity of the Justice Department, renew Americans’ faith in the rule of law, and work tirelessly to build a more equitable justice system. 

    In particular, we are thrilled about the nomination of Vanita Gupta to serve as Associate Attorney General. A former Acting Assistant Attorney General and one of the best-known and most respected civil rights attorneys in America, Gupta has spent her career fighting successfully for greater equity in our justice system and advancing the rights and dignity of every American. She is also the Indian-American daughter of immigrants, and would be the first woman of color in this role. 

    OCA hopes to see a future where justice, equity, and fairness are seen in courts across this country. With few nominations left to be announced, it is imperative that President-elect Biden recognize talented AAPI individuals to help lead the United States in high-profile cabinet positions.

    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).


  • Thu, January 07, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous



    7 January 2021

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, DC - OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates is extremely distressed at the events that transpired at the Capitol yesterday. In efforts supported by President Trump, mobs of [armed] domestic terrorists and insurgents stormed the Capitol building when Congress was in session to certify the election results from November 2020. President Trump held a rally addressing his supporters hours prior, in hopes to overturn the Election results.

    Reports from news outlets and evidence from social media clearly show incidents of violence, trespassing, destruction of government property, and other activity which disrupt the process of democracy and peaceful transition of power.

    “At the start of the new year, it’s a shame to see this kind of behavior manifest when we have the opportunity to build a better America together. Individuals that have taken part in any of these activities do not deserve to call themselves Americans who believe in this country,” says Linda Ng, National President of OCA. “Disrupting the democratic process, ignoring the will of the American people, and inciting violence that destroys the balance of power are not representative of the principles of freedom and peace this country prides itself on.”

    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).


  • Mon, December 28, 2020 12:00 AM | Anonymous



    28 December 2020

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, DC - OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates again urges the Biden-Harris transition team to include AAPIs in Cabinet nominations for the next administration. Former Presidents Bush, Obama, and President Trump have all included AAPI individuals in Cabinet positions. While OCA is excited to see Neera Tanden’s appointment to serve as the director of the Office of Budget and Management, Dr. Vivek Murthy’s appointment to serve as the Surgeon General, and Katherine Tai as the U.S. Trade Representative, we hope to see more AAPIs represented in top-tier leadership positions to reflect President-elect Biden’s vision of an administration that values and reflects the diversity of America.

    OCA previously issued a letter to the transition team addressing the importance of a diverse and representative Cabinet. It is essential to have a well-equipped, inclusive, and prepared team to tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, racial inequality, and a crippling economy, as the country moves into 2021 and beyond.

    “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders must be involved in all levels of government. There is talent and untapped potential that exists within AAPIs who work in higher office. We hope to see this reflected in Cabinet nominations for diverse and inclusive leadership that the Biden Team envisions,” states Sharon M. Wong, National President of OCA. “The previous presidents, and current president, have included AAPIs in their high-profile Cabinet leadership. We urge the team to consider this as they finalize nominations.”

    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).


  • Tue, July 21, 2020 9:37 PM | Anonymous

    OCA Mourns and Remembers Judge Michael Kwan


    21 July 2020

    Contact: Thu Nguyen | Associate Director of Development
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, DC – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates greatly mourns the sudden loss of Judge Michael (Mike) Kwan. Judge Kwan was the founder of the OCA-Utah Chapter, a past OCA National President, and a mentor and leader to countless community members. He is survived by his wife, daughter, son, and sister, Utah Representative Karen Kwan. OCA sends our deepest condolences to Judge Kwan’s family and friends. 

    Judge Kwan was a co-founder of the OCA-Utah Chapter in 1999 and a volunteer advisor to many other OCA chapters, as well as the OCA National Executive Council. He turned OCA National Conventions into family trips and, as an OCA Building Committee Advisor, even brought his daughter to the official opening of the OCA National Center Office, calling it “a historic moment.” Judge Kwan was a visionary for OCA, advocating for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, but also selflessly committing himself to supporting and uplifting the voices of other communities of color.

    Most recently, as the president of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, Judge Kwan spearheaded the recognition and celebration of Chinese American railroad workers for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. 

    “Mike Kwan was an extraordinarily steady and strong voice of reason and equality both for OCA and the communities around him,” said Sharon M. Wong, OCA National President. “His lifelong dedication to justice can be seen through his career as well as his community work advocating for the equal representation of AAPIs and minorities in history and culture. Mike was a reliable leader and many sought his wisdom. As we grieve the loss of our dear friend, we must honor his legacy through the work that we do.”

    “Michael Kwan was a man of utmost integrity,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, past OCA National President 2016. “He was a leader replete with courage and compassion, and possessing a fine elegant mind. I will deeply miss him as a mentor and friend.”

    “Michael Kwan was always a thoughtful leader with great ideas,” said Ken Lee, OCA National CEO and past OCA National President 2009-2013. “Dedicated to keeping OCA accountable in being inclusive, he was constantly reaching out to communities in the Pacific Islands and even visited them during his term as OCA president. He was an advisor to me and, most importantly, a great friend. We will dearly miss him.”

    “Judge Mike Kwan was truly a leader among leaders,” said Ginny Gong, past OCA National President 1993, 1994, 2005-2008. “His temperament, his words, his humor, and his commitment to justice distinguished him from all others. He was a staunch advocate for OCA’s mission and the Asian Pacific American community’s causes. He will surely be missed.”

    “It is so hard to comprehend the passing of such a close friend and so suddenly,” said Michael Lin, past OCA National President 1995-1998. “Through OCA, we had worked closely for at least 10 years. Michael was such a gentleman and always had the most thoughtful advice for us. We will miss him a great deal and our deepest sympathy to his family.”

    “Judge Mike Kwan was a noble soul. He dedicated himself to public service, both as a judge and as a community advocate,” said Claudine Cheng, past OCA National President 1991-1992. “Among his many legacies was the historic celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad in Utah last year where, for the first time in history, the contribution of Chinese American railroad workers was properly acknowledged. Judge Kwan was instrumental in coordinating that monumental event. For that and many other of his community contributions, and for his friendship, we will forever be grateful.”

    "Equality, equal justice, American History, Asian Americans AND Pacific Islanders, and OCA are all synonymous with The Honorable Michael Kwan.” said Daphne Kwok, past OCA National Executive Director. “OCA is so grateful to have had Judge Kwan as an OCA member, as President of the OCA Utah Chapter, and as an OCA National President. He gave 888% of his energy and commitment to bringing all AAPIs 'to the table.’ I'll remember him from last year's historic 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad commemoration which he led making sure that Chinese Americans were not left out 150 years later. The OCA family has lost one of our OCA giants."

    OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).   


    View this statement online here.

    Copyright © 2020 OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates
    1322 18th St NW
    Washington, DC 20036

  • Tue, July 21, 2020 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    OCA Opposes Memorandum Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from Redistricting and Census Counts


    21 July 2020

    Contact: Matthew Nguyen-Ngo | Civil Rights Fellow
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, DC - OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates condemns in the strongest possible terms a new memorandum from the Trump Administration that would exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census and subsequent voting districts. This memorandum would exclude and disenfranchise approximately 10.7 million immigrants, who are overwhelmingly people of color, and of whom 1.7 million are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). 

    Originally created to apportion representatives between the states, the Census is a count of the “whole number of persons in each state,” as described in the 14th Amendent of the Constitution. The Constitution does not include any kind of exception based on citizenship or immigration status, and therefore the Census is constitutionally required to include undocumented residents, temporary workers, and even tourists. To exclude any person in the U.S. from the Census count is patently unconstitutional.

    Beyond providing us with strong disaggregated demographic data, the Census profoundly influences our democracy and policy outcomes at all levels of government for the next decade. It is used to decide:

    • Apportionment of representation in the House of Representatives.

    • Distribution of federal funding for “schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.”

    • Business decisions in the private sector that affect the placement of “factories, offices and stores.”

    We expect the likely-unconstitutional memorandum to spark further legal battles in an already confusing election and census year. Like the failed citizenship question, this move is mainly intended to chill census and election participation by undocumented immigrants and their voter-eligible communities.

    By excluding millions of undocumented immigrants who support families, contribute to their communities, pay taxes, and perform essential labor, the President’s memorandum will deprive localities of the resources and congressional representation they need to help marginalized communities thrive. This is a clear attempt from a historically anti-immigrant administration to further entrench the political and economic disenfranchisement of undocumented immigrants, who are predominantly working class people of color.

    “It’s just plain unconstitutional to exclude anyone from the Census,” says Executive Director Rita Pin Ahrens. “These renewed efforts by the Administration to deter Census completion will be met with strong resistance. We know that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are already the least likely to complete their census questionnaires, and OCA will double down our efforts to get the word out for a fair and complete count of all community members across the country.”

    OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).


    View this statement online here.

    Copyright © 2020 OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates
    1322 18th St NW
    Washington, DC 20036

  • Thu, May 28, 2020 11:00 PM | Anonymous

    OCA-Greater Houston Calls for Justice for George Floyd


    May 27, 2020

    Houston, TX – OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Greater Houston Chapter (OCA-GH) is extremely saddened and troubled by the treatment rendered onto Mr. George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, and the lack of intervention by other police officers during Mr. Floyd’s arrest and subsequent death.  OCA-Greater Houston stands in solidarity with the African American community, understanding that equity and equality for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) is tied to all Americans.  We here at OCA-Greater Houston express our deepest sympathy for Mr. Floyd, and demand immediate investigations by federal and state agencies into Mr. Floyd’s tragic death. 

    On Monday night in Minneapolis, Mr. George Floyd, who was originally from Houston’s Third Ward, was pronounced dead.  Video footage from bystanders showed that Mr. Floyd, who was handcuffed and was not resisting, was lying on the ground with his neck being knelt upon by a Minneapolis police officer for an extended period of time.  Mr. Floyd could be heard pleading multiple times that he could not breathe, as he slowly became unresponsive.  At least one other police officer failed to render aid, but instead held back other bystanders, who repeatedly asked the officers to give Mr. Floyd breathing room, to no avail.  Paramedics who showed up at the scene found Mr. Floyd pulseless.  Tragically, Mr. Floyd lost his life that day. 

    “We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. George Floyd’s family and loved ones,” said H.C. Chang, OCA-Greater Houston Chapter President. “We support our brown and black brothers and sisters, and we stand with you in solidarity. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination, we are especially aware of the sufferings and injustice across all walks of life. In advocating for our own AAPI community, we must also take active roles in defending our allies and standing up against hate and oppression and the anti-Blackness within our own communities.” OCA-GH calls on the Department of Justice and the FBI to conduct an investigation into the needless death of Mr. Floyd, and encourages advocates to leave a message with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension – who is also handling an investigation, at 651-793-7000.

  • Thu, May 28, 2020 10:00 PM | Anonymous



    27 May 2020

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, DC - OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates is deeply disturbed and saddened by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday, May 25. Mr. Floyd was an unarmed Black man apprehended by four police officers for alleged low-level forgery, placed in handcuffs, and pinned down by the neck until he could no longer breathe. OCA stands in solidarity with Black communities and calls upon AAPI communities across the country to join the call for justice for Mr. Floyd.

    During the encounter, bystanders filmed the exchange. In the video, Mr. Floyd can be heard repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” and “Please, I can’t breathe.” Concerned bystanders gathered and implored the officers to let Mr. Floyd breathe, but Officer Derek Chauvin continued to kneel into his neck, even after Floyd stopped struggling and fell unconscious. Mr. Floyd died soon after the encounter. The following day, all four officers were fired from the Minneapolis police department.

    “They need be charged with murder because what they did was murder” said Rodney Floyd, George Floyd’s brother in an interview. Plain and simple: George Floyd should be alive today. There is no justification for the officers’ use of lethal force. 

    “We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd. Deaths like Mr. Floyd’s, which remind us of the police killings of Eric Garner and other Black individuals, point to the systemic racism behind individual and structural hate crimes,” said Rita Pin Ahrens, OCA National Executive Director. “The fact that Hmong American Officer Tou Thao stood to defend his colleague, and antagonized the bystanders who called for compassion, is not lost upon us. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders must stand up for Black communities by calling out institutional racism and the anti-Blackness within our own communities.”

    Advocates: sign ally organization Color of Change's petition calling for justice for George Floyd and leave a voicemail at the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension encouraging them which is handling the investigation at 651-793-7000.

    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).


  • Mon, March 23, 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    March 23, 2020

    Houston, TX – OCA-Greater Houston (OCA-GH) and Houston Coalition Against Hate (HCAH) release the following statement today regarding anti-Asian and anti-Chinese sentiments and actions due to COVID-19

    Asian Americans have increasingly become the target of hate and bias in the form of public threats and harassment since the emergence of COVID-19 otherwise known as Coronavirus. Most recently, an entire family was violently attacked while shopping at a Sam’s Club in Midland, TX. In addition, an Asian student was physically assaulted by his high-school peers in California’s San Fernando Valley, further demonstrating the alarming escalation of anti-Asian bullying. 

    OCA-GH and HCAH are calling on the City of Houston and its surrounding areas to say NO to all hate and bias crimes and incidents, especially those currently being directed at the Asian community as a result of COVID-19. We call upon all school districts, boards and superintendents, school administrators and staff, Parent Teacher Associations, organizations and institutions of higher learning, law enforcement and local businesses to take proactive measures to not only educate themselves on COVID- 19, but also implement and reinforce preventative measures against race/ethnic bias and discrimination. 

    Hate in any form is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. The City of Houston has a moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety of its Asian American community from violence and harassment. 

    Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, mentioned and unmentioned, who have suffered at the expense of today’s xenophobic rhetoric surrounding Asians and Asian Americans. We urge the City of Houston to provide just, equitable, and compassionate leadership, and we trust in the city and its residents to make this a safe place for all who live here. 

    To report any incidents of harassment and bullying based on Coronavirus fears please go to

    For tools and resources on anti-bullying and hate crimes information please go to

    For information on how to best #SupportChinatown in these times please go to

    For more information on Houston Coalition Against Hate please go to


    Thank you,

    Debbie Chen, Programs Director
    OCA-Greater Houston 

    Marjorie Joseph, Executive Director
    Houston Coalition Against Hate

  • Sat, June 29, 2019 4:45 PM | Anonymous



    Contact: Rita Pin Ahrens | Executive Director

    202.223.5500 ext 121 |


    29 June 2019

    OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates and Mi Familia Vota place the safety and respect of students as our first priority.  Yesterday, June 28, 2019, Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins was invited to respond to questions regarding issues important to the students at our high school Youth Advocacy Summit.  To our great concern and disappointment, Boykins diverged from the program purpose and instead made statements and engaged in conduct that was wholly unacceptable.  

    After an initial investigation, we took immediate action of notifying the appropriate authorities. Our organizations have pledged full and open cooperation with the authorities. In addition, we have notified and had discussions with parents and guardians of the students and will continue to communicate with them as circumstances dictate. 

    We do not and will not tolerate inappropriate behavior at our events regardless of whom the perpetrator might be. The safety and well-being of our young advocates are our paramount concern. 

    We fully support and are proud of these brave youth advocates who recognized the behavior was unacceptable and are speaking out about it. These young people are an outstanding example of leadership, mutual support, and advocacy in action.

  • Mon, June 17, 2019 7:52 PM | Anonymous


    Maria Duran


    HAAPIFEST spotlights over 68 Asian International, Asian American & Pacific Islander films


    HOUSTON, TX (June 17, 2019) – OCA-Greater Houston presents the 15th Annual Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival (HAAPIFEST) taking place June 20-28, 2019 in West Houston. This 9-day event coincides with the OCA National Convention featuring FREE screenings of over 65 Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) films. HAAPIFEST Opening Night happens on June 20 that Asia Society Texas Center with the screening of Jay Chern’s “Omotenashi,” followed by a special ticketed reception with the director. The festival closes with the Community Arts Night, a ticketed event showcasing visual & performing arts presentations and catered by Blood Bros. BBQ at the Chinese Community Center on June 28th. On this banner year, HAAPIFEST continues its multi-day celebration of AAPI art, film, and music in the city of Houston.

    Other HAAPIFEST highlights include:

    • June 18,22,25J: HAAPIFEST Student Filmmaker Workshopis a 3 day student workshop taught by local instructor/filmmaker Khoa Dinh (ticketed event) where students will create, shoot & screen their films during the festival. 
    • June 23:

    Nailed It Pop-Up, a special event sponsored by CND following the screening of Nailed It documentary about the origins of the Vietnamese nail salons. Vietnamese nail influencer Tan Nguyen (IG: @Tannails2Art) will be on-site offering complimentary manicure services from 3-5pm and the first 100 guests in attendance will receive a free goodie bag featuring CND Shellac. (FREE but must RSVP)

    TEA Talks: a special panel discussion built around the screening of “Travel Ban: Making America Laugh Again” directed by Samy Chouia. The panel discussion will focus on how art is used as a medium to raise awareness on different topics especially delicate and relevant topics like immigration and discrimination.  

    • June 26 –ULAM Dinner Receptionimmediately following the screening. Join film director Alexandra Cuerdo for an exploration of Filipino cuisine with a special reception at Gerry’s Grill featuring (ticketed event)
    • June 27 – OCA Filmmakers Panel & Welcome Receptionfeaturing special access to various filmmakers including S. Leo Chiang, Renee Tajima-Pena, Set Hernandez Rongkilyo, Lan Nguyen, Tim Tsai, and Curtis Chin.
    • OCA Classic Films– past feature films will be highlighted throughout the festival to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of HAAPIFEST

    OCA-Greater Houston is funded in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. HAAPIFEST Opening Night is in partnership with Asia Society Texas, Taiwan Academy and the Ministry of Culture and also sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Community Arts Night is supported by UPS and Coca Cola. HAAPIFEST is supported by Southwest Airlines. 

    OCA-Greater Houston & HAAPIFEST organizers are available for interviews regarding the film festival as will filmmakers as they come into town. A list of the filmmakers can be provided upon request. Tickets, film showtimes and all other HAAPIFEST information available at 


    Festival Dates

    • Opening Night - Thursday, June 20@ Asia Society Texas Center | 1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX 77004
    • HAAPIFEST - Friday, June 21 - June 27@ Houston Marriott Westchase | 2900 Briarpark Dr., Houston, TX 77042
    • Arts Night - Friday, June 28@ Chinese Community Center | 9800 Town Park Dr., Houston, TX 77036

    Opening Night details @
    For full festival details, please visit our website @


    HAAPIFEST started in 2004 by OCA-Greater Houston, was created to highlight and celebrate the diversity of culture, food, and stories of the AAPI community, to support AAPI artists and filmmakers, and to share the messages, issues, hopes, and dreams of the AAPI experience for the Greater Houston metropolitan area through edutainment.

    About OCA-Greater Houston 

    Founded in 1973, OCA is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of AAPIs in the United States. Established in 1979, the OCA-Greater Houston Chapter is one of OCA’s 100+ chapters and affiliates and works to provide strong local programs that empower the AAPI community through advocacy, cultural awareness, professional development, economic empowerment, youth leadership training, civic engagement, community service, and education.

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