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  • 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.

  • Wed, May 08, 2019 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    Contact: Cecil Fong
    OCA-Greater Houston Chapter
    Phone: (832) 758-2442

    May 8, 2019


    (Houston, Texas) May 8, 2019 - The OCA-Greater Houston Chapter calls upon MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) to address community concerns that the investigations estimated to have affected at least 10 ethnic Chinese researchers lacked transparency and due process, thereby also lowering morale of colleagues.

    “The process was not transparent,” said Cecil Fong, OCA-Greater Houston Chapter President. “Everyone was kept in the dark.”

    Without any background understanding of the investigations, rumors circulated in the community, causing a sense of uncertainty and anxiety, said chapter member Helen Shih. Shih, a former faculty member at MD Anderson, still has colleagues in the cancer center.

    “If the scientists had been informed and consulted in the process, they would feel that the environment is much more inclusive and supportive rather than one that leaves them exposed and vulnerable,” Shih added.

    Fong also pointed out that “there was no avenue for grievances or appeal. … “You didn’t know the investigation process.” In the vacuum, Fong said that he felt that “the scientists were presumed guilty.”

    According to Science magazine, the scientists who are under investigations have been unable to go to work for months, leaving projects under jeopardy of being transferred or funding being recalled. Fong said that the researchers did not know when they would be able to return, or whether they had to look for another job.

    “It’s not the way to treat your highly valued scientists, said Fong. “They are all established scientists even prior to coming to MD Anderson. They brought MD Anderson research funding. They are very good performers.”

    The chapter recognizes that there are FBI concerns about foreign influence in sensitive technologies which prompted the National Institute of Health to send a letter to its 10,000 grantees. At the same time, MD Anderson has discretion over the means to enforce agency rules and to protect the reputation of a group of scientists whose backgrounds naturally bring them into contact with their country of origin when the institution encourages overseas collaborations. According to Science, no one at MD Anderson has been charged with a federal crime.

    Shih believes that MD Anderson can “re-establish a healthy and transparent environment while advancing scientific collaboration” as long as the process is improved upon.

    # # #

    Established in 1979, the OCA-Greater Houston Chapter (OCA-GH),, is the lead organization in Houston that serves the Asian American community. The chapter carries out programs/initiatives that advance four main goals: 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. Its parent organization, OCA-Asian American Advocates (formerly the “Organization of Chinese Americans”),, is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and networks 100+ chapters and college affiliates.

  • Thu, December 13, 2018 6:11 PM | Anonymous


    OCA Calls for Administration to Preserve MOU with Vietnam

    13 December 2018
    Contact: Thu Nguyen | Senior Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, DC – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates condemns the Trump Administration’s reinterpretation of a 2008 agreement signed by the Bush Administration that bars the deportation of Vietnamese people who arrived in the United States before July 12, 1995.

    The Trump Administration had first reinterpreted this agreement in 2017 and began deporting Vietnamese immigrants, then pulled back from this effort in August of 2018. Despite being recognized by all, the Administration is back on track with its intent to deport Vietnamese refugees as they enter talks with the Embassy of Vietnam. If the memorandum is modified, thousands of Vietnamese Americans will be immediately subject to deportation. Some of which are children of those who fought with American and South Vietnamese forces during the war, seen as the opposition to the current regime in Hanoi.

    “It is deplorable and inhumane to force refugees of war to return toa country they originally fled from, creating a displaced, stateless population,” said Vicki Shu, OCA Vice President of Public Affairs. “The United States has a moral imperative to honor these asylum seekers who sought freedom and a chance to build a productive, new and better life here. This is an egregious policy that mirrors the disturbing trend of anti-immigrant proposals. OCA calls on the Administration to reconsider their interpretation of the agreement with humanity and stop the deportation of war refugees that include Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and other Southeast Asian communities.”

    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific American Islanders (AAPI’s.)

  • Wed, March 14, 2018 6:02 PM | Anonymous

    Asian American Leaders Blast Federal Court Ruling
    Upholding Anti-Immigrant/Anti-Sanctuary City Law in Texas SB4

    Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision upholding Texas’s anti-immigrant/ anti-sanctuary city law (SB4).  The law is one of the harshest anti-immigrant state laws passed since Trump took office. Several Texas cities filed a lawsuit, in City of El Cenizo v. Texas, to block the implementation.  

    OCA-Greater Houston Chapter and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, along with LGBT Asian groups in Texas submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief to illustrate the impact the law would have on Asian Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and immigrants.  The brief was developed with the pro bono assistance of Reed Smith LLP.  Brief is here:

    In yesterday’s decision, the court unanimously affirmed nearly all of the provisions of the law. 

    Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director, said, “We are outraged by the decision!  Texas SB 4 will subject Asian Americans, LGBT people, and Latinos to illegal profiling about their immigration status by local law enforcement.” 

    Debbie Chen of OCA Greater Houston Chapter, noted that “Asian Americans are the fastest growing immigrant group in Texas. The Asian population is growing at twice the rate of the Hispanic population.  Large metro areas like Dallas and Houston are experiencing particularly rapid growth of Asian Americans, and each has a significant number of undocumented Asian American immigrants.”  

    The profiling and harassment of the Asian population is not a new phenomenon in the United States.  The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first law ever enacted to permanently exclude a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States based on race.  During World War II, American of Japanese ancestry were interned in concentration camps.  Texas SB 4 echoes this shameful era of U.S. bans on Chinese immigrants and internment of Japanese-American citizens.  

    Koomah of The Collective of Houston Asian Americans (CHAA), said, “Asian Americans are the largest group of immigrants (both documented and undocumented) coming to the US. Undocumented LGBTQi immigrants are also disproportionately Asian. Furthermore, SB 4 would subject Latinx, Asian Americans, Muslims, and LGBTQi people who are already ethnic, racial, religious, gender and/or sexual minorities, to even further discrimination and harassment through discriminatory stops and unlimited questioning by police, regardless of their actual immigration status.” 

    Moreover, many LGBT immigrants come from Asian countries that criminalize homosexuality. SB4 increases the likelihood that they could be forced to return to countries and face persecution. 

    OCA-Greater Houston and NQAPIA published an op-ed further illustrating the impact of SB4 on Asian Americans in Texas at  

    The decision is expected to be appealed and the organizations are looking to be involved in that suit.  Magpantay further said, “We will fight this all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.” 

    More information about Texas SB 4 is available here:


    # # #


    Established in 1979, the OCA-Greater Houston Chapter (OCA-GH) is one of the OCA’s (formerly the “Organization of Chinese Americans”) 100+ chapters and college affiliates, with a long track record of programs/initiatives that work to advance 4 main goals: 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. 

    The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT API groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenges anti-LGBT bias and racism.

  • Tue, October 31, 2017 6:32 PM | Anonymous

    October 31, 2017

    Dear Mr. Rob Manfred:

    We are extremely disappointed in Yuli Gurriel’s show of bad sportsmanship when he made a racist gesture and uttered a racial slur against LA Dodgers’ Yu Darvish. Not only was this offensive to Mr. Darvish, but also to the many Asian baseball fans watching across the nation and worldwide. The MLB should have suspended Mr. Gurriel immediately for Game Five during the World Series. As such, the MLB should place a heavier fine on Mr. Gurriel and the Astros, as well as future immediate suspension for any racial slur or gesture against a player.

    Although Mr. Gurriel publicly apologized after the game, it took 18 hours before there was an announcement that he would be suspended for five games without pay in the 2018 season. This sentence seems cosmetic and further insults the Asian and Asian American community.

    The gesture of slanted eyes has historically been used to demonize and ostracize Asians, and it is the responsibility of an individual player, a team, and the MLB to make sure that this is understood – just as it is understood that it is, under any circumstances, appropriate to use the “n” word. Though we understand that Mr. Gurriel may not have thought the word he uttered, “chinito,” was a racial slur due to cultural differences, he knew that his hand gesture was wrong.

    The MLB punishes players for sins against baseball and sins against the greater society, and racism should not be exempt. The MLB must show that it will not tolerate discrimination, racism and slurs by both members of the MLB and baseball fans alike.

    Many members of the Asian American community agree that the MLB has not done enough in reprimanding Mr. Gurriel and the Astros. We believe that can begin with stronger discipline such as an additional fine to the Astros next season and thorough diversity training. Please feel free to contact Thu Nguyen at (202) 223-5500 ext. 119 or at


    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates


  • Wed, August 30, 2017 4:46 PM | Anonymous

    Texas SB4’s Impact on Asian Americans – Why We Should Care

    On Friday, September 1, Texas Senate Bill 4 is scheduled to go into effect. Last May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed one of the most rigorous anti-immigrant laws passed since Trump took office. It would allow racial profiling and subject ethnic and racial minorities to unlimited questioning about their immigration status — all by local law enforcement officials with little or no training in immigration law.

    As part of its prohibition against so-called “sanctuary cities,” the bill would also levy heavy penalties against local officials who don’t comply with federal immigration authorities, including up to a $25,500 daily fine, misdemeanor charges, and loss of elected or appointed office.

    The pushback against the bill was clear and rapid: Just one day after the bill was signed into law, city and county officials in Texas, along with the League of United Latin American Citizens, filed a lawsuit against both the Governor and State Attorney General Ken Paxton.

    Since then, the four largest cities in Texas – Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin – have joined the lawsuit, along with other cities and organizations throughout Texas. Other related lawsuits are also pending. Several national civil rights groups, labor unions, and legal experts have condemned the law, arguing that it would violate the U.S. Constitution by impeding free speech and equal protection.

    But as is often the case when it comes to mainstream portrayals of immigration issues in the U.S., Asian Americans seem to be missing — or at least standing by the sidelines.

    What’s At Stake

    Asians Americans are the fastest-growing racial minority group in the country. We also form the largest segment of documented and undocumented immigrants coming to the U.S. One million Asian Americans are undocumented. In Texas, 44% of the state’s population is Latinx, Asian American, or Arab American.

    It is also important to note that there is an estimated 263,000 LGBTQ API immigrants, of which nearly 40,000 are undocumented. Studies have found the LGBT undocumented immigrant population to be disproportionately Asian.

    Texas SB 4 would equally subject both Latinx and Asian Americans, and LGBT people who are ethnic and racial minorities, to illegal profiling regarding immigration status.

    Texas Senate Bill 4 would subject both Asian Americans and Latinxs to discriminatory stops and interrogation about their immigration status, even for people who have not been charged with any crime. If this law is allowed to go into effect, it stands without question that our community members will be caught in the crossfire.

    We’ve Seen this Before

    The parallels between today’s immigration struggles and the history of Asians people in America run deep. Asian Americans have endured unjust profiling by law enforcement because of our race, over the years and today.

    The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, later made permanent in 1902, was the first law ever enacted to permanently exclude a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States based on race and also excluded Chinese immigrants from applying for US citizenship and essentially legalized racial discrimination. The Japanese American internment during World War II stemmed more from racism and prejudice than from any calculated analysis of security threats. The traumatic experiences and memories of internment continue to shape the fabric of Japanese and Asian American consciousness today. Texas was home to three of those internment camps.

    Our South Asian community members have faced intensified scrutiny and profiling since 9/11 and, more recently, since the election of Trump. These encounters, interrogations, and attacks are often driven by Islamophobia and motivated by blanket perceptions of all South Asian people as Muslim. This kind of everyday profiling happens at airports, on public streets, in gated communities, and on the subway.

    The targeting of Chinese American scientists forms another dimension of racial profiling in America: Wen Ho Lee, Xiaoxing Xi, Sherry Chen, Guoqing Cao, and Shuyu Li, among others, were all accused of espionage, only to have their charges dropped with little or no explanation. Even so, the consequences of having been accused of spying reverberated in these individuals’ lives long after the government had moved on.

    As Asian Americans, we must take a stand against Texas Senate Bill 4, because our collective histories demonstrate that no one should be singled out and discriminated against merely for looking Latinx, gay, Asian, queer, Muslim, or trans.

    We Can Win

    OCA-GH stands strongly against SB4 and organized an AAPI advocacy Day during this recent State Legislature for members to speak with their representatives on this issue and our members urged to the Houston City Council to join the lawsuit against the state. OCA-GH supported the joint community press conference on the negative impact of SB4 on the Texas economy and families and continues to hold community education forums on the impact of SB4.

    NQAPIA organized its Texas member groups and several more from throughout the South to write letters immediately after Texas’ governor signed Senate Bill 4 into law. Our coalition of LGBTQ API organizations hand-wrote 50 letters to the Harris County sheriff, the Houston mayor and police chief, and the city’s council members. We urged these officials to sue the state so as to block the law from taking effect, and we thanked them for taking a stand against the bill.

    The following month, the Houston City Council voted to join one of the pending lawsuits against the bill.

    Our voices as matter. We can make a difference. The first step is to educate yourself. (You can read up on the details of Texas Senate Bill 4 here, and there’s a know-your-rights breakdown here.) Then — whether it be in the form of a handwritten letter, a phone call, a protest, or a rally — show up and hold space in solidarity with our immigrant family.

    The writers: Deborah Y. Chen is the Civic Engagement Programs Director of OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Greater Houston Chapter, and Glenn D. Magpantay is the Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA).

    Reposted from Huffington Post

  • Sat, August 26, 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    26 August 2017
    Contact: Thu Nguyen | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 |

    Washington, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates condemns President Trump’s directive to ban transgender military service members. 

    Last night, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to ban transgender military personnel from serving. The decision to remove already serving transgender individuals from the military is left to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.  The policy also restricts access to important medical treatment for transgender individuals currently in the armed forces.

    “It is unconscionable for President Trump to further reinforce state sanctioned discrimination against the transgender community. Despite the historic and ongoing hatred and violence many transgender individuals face, they still love and cherish our freedom and our democracy enough to put their lives on the line for us,” said Vicki Shu, OCA National Vice President of Public Affairs.

    “There are 1.4 million trans adults in the United States. Fifty-six percent of Asian American Pacific Islander trans individuals have attempted suicide largely due to the harassment and hate they face. For the President to completely take away their option to choose to protect their country only serves to dehumanize an already marginalized population. We remain committed to working with our partners to combat this and any other attacks on the LGBTQ community,” concluded Shu.

    Earlier this month at the OCA National Convention, the OCA National Board passed a resolution further resolving to support the LGBTQ+ community.

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

    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates | 202-223-5500 |

  • Fri, August 25, 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    25 August 2017
    CONTACT:  Thu Nguyen | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 |

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates responds to the Axios’ report that President Trump is “seriously considering ending DACA”:

    “There are over 800,000 DACA recipients, over 16,000 of whom are AAPI. Repealing DACA would bring irreparable harm to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said Vicki Shu, OCA Vice President of Public Affairs. “In the past, President Trump has expressed sympathy for DACA recipients and those eligible for DACA. We urge the President to continue to protect the DACA program. OCA remains committed to advocating for a pathway to citizenship. Until that happens, OCA will keep pushing the President to keep the program alive, and we will advocate for passage of the bi-partisan supported DREAM Act in Congress.”

    Click HERE to read OCA’s previous release regarding the fifth anniversary of DACA.

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

    OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates | 202-223-5500 |

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