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  • Wed, March 17, 2021 3:45 PM | Anonymous

    OCA MOURNS VICTIMS OF ATLANTA SPA SHOOTINGS

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    17 March 2021

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Senior Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 | eiley.fong@ocantional.org

    Washington, DC - OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates deeply mourns the victims of the shootings that occurred on Tuesday evening in Atlanta, GA.

    At the time of release, eight people were reported dead as a result of three shootings that occured within a few hours. Six of the eight victims were identified as Asian women. 

    This is one of the more violent tragedies in a string of about 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans, 68% of them women, and Pacific Islanders since March 2020.

    “While the details of the shootings are unknown at this moment, it is clear that these individuals were targeted because they are among the most vulnerable in our country: immigrant Asian women,” said Linda Ng, National President of OCA. “Our community has been living in fear of verbal and physical attacks, and now we’re experiencing increasingly deadly tragedies of racism and violence. We call on Georgia officials to ensure the families of the victims are well supported, and for our followers to support local efforts that provide community protection and victim support. On behalf of OCA, we send our deepest condolences to the friends and families of tonight’s victims.” 

    “My mother, aunts, and I have been in a steady state of tension this entire pandemic,” said Thu Nguyen, Director of OCA and manicurist at a nail salon in Houston, TX. “This is beyond terrifying. We’re fearful of our lives in circumstances where we would otherwise feel safe — in our homes and at our jobs. Now, not only are we risking infection when going to work at the nail salon, we risk deadly targeted violence. It is not lost on me that the identified shooter is a white man; we must understand as a product of systematized and institutional racism.” 

    OCA calls for solidarity against hate and for action from elected officials to provide support to the AAPI community. 

    If you, your family members, someone you know, or community members have experienced xenophobia, discrimination, or harassment, please report the incident using our hate crime reporting tool at aapihatecrimes.org.

    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, February 11, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    OCA JOINS USPS IN HONORING DR. CHIEN-SHIUNG WU

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    11 February 2021

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Senior Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 | eiley.fong@ocantional.org

    Washington, DC - OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates is excited to see the release of the United States Post Service (USPS) Forever stamp honoring Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu. Dr. Wu was one of the most notable nuclear physicists of our time. Her career spans 40+ years, having worked on the Manhattan Project, research on beta decay, and theory development that disproved the foundational principle of conservation of parity.

    The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler, an Art Director for USPS, with artwork done by Kam Mak, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. A virtual stamp event will be hosted by the USPS on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

    "Chien-Shiung Wu was a Nuclear physicist at a time when women, especially Chinese immigrant women, were rarities in the field. In 1957, she performed an experiment that overturned what scientists had thought was a fundamental law of nature and was incontrovertible for 30 years,” says Kam Mak, the artist for Dr. Wu’s stamp. “The portrait was painted in egg tempera. I paid tribute to Madame Wu by surrounding her in the painting with genuine lapis lazuli pigment; this blue pigment was most prized by artists in the Renaissance and was used only on the most important figure in their paintings. The commemorative stamp is set to be issued on February 11, 2021."

    “In a time where Chinese scientists are distrusted under dangerous speculations, it’s uplifting to see the groundbreaking work of Dr. Wu commemorated on a Forever stamp from USPS.” remarks Linda Ng, National President of OCA. “Dr. Wu was a woman physicist who broke barriers in her own way. We are glad to see USPS honor her achievements in this way, as Asian American history is often overlooked and underrepresented.”

    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, February 08, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    OCA APPALLED AT ANTI-ASIAN DISCRIMINATION CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, CALLS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACTION

    8 February 2021

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 | eiley.fong@ocantional.org

    Washington, DC - OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates is absolutely appalled at the persistent rise in Anti-Asian discrimination and hate crimes that have transpired over the past few weeks. On the heels of President Biden’s Memorandum condemning racism, xenophobia, and intolerance towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), numerous attacks on Asian Americans continued unabated.

    Two weeks ago, 84-year-old Vicha Ratanpakdee was murdered in San Francisco after being pushed to the ground. Less than one week later, a 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground in Oakland, CA Chinatown. It was alleged that the perpetrator was also linked to two other violent incidents. Just last week, a 64-year-old grandmother was assaulted in San Jose. And the following day (Thursday), a 61-year-old man was slashed across the face on a subway in New York City where it was reported that no one came to his aid following the attack. These are just the few cases that have been reported solely by local media sources. Fear and distrust in law enforcement, due to their lack of response, cause victims of hate incidents to stay quiet, resulting in major underreporting of anti-Asian hate.

    “In addition to recognizing the hurt that the government may have perpetuated, quick action must be taken to address the ways our communities continue to be the victims of discrimination and hate crimes, particularly related to COVID-19” remarks Linda Ng, National President of OCA. “These executive orders only provide a loose framework which scrape the surface of resolving these deeply-rooted issues of xenophobia, hateful language, and direct attacks. We are waiting for the immediate establishment of these efforts in the Attorney General’s office. The time for action is now, and OCA, along with our partners, are ready to organize and engage.”

    If you, your family members, someone you know, or community members have experienced xenophobia, discrimination, or harassment [in light of COVID-19], please report the incident using our hate crime reporting tool at aapihatecrimes.org.

    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 28, 2021 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    27 January 2021

    Contact: Thu Nguyen | Director
    202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org

    Washington, DC - OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates is sad to hear of the passing of Corky Lee. Corky was a longtime member of the OCA-New York Chapter and supporter of OCA nationally. He was awarded the 2008 OCA National Pioneer Award. His dedication and generosity resulted in his nickname as the “undisputed unofficial Asian American Photographer Laureate.” In over thirty years of documenting AAPIs, Corky has captured key events such as the protests following Vincent Chin’s death, the fight for reparations for Japanese Americans, recognition of Chinese American WWII veterans, and is most renowned for documenting the history of Manhattan’s Chinatown.

    A self-taught photojournalist, Corky’s passion was sparked when he first saw a photo of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, in which Chinese railroad workers were kicked out of the photo so that there were only white workers. This inaccurate snapshot was preserved in textbooks, resulting in the erasure of Chinese American efforts that were crucial to the railroad’s completion. Corky has since returned to Utah annually to take photos of descendants of the Chinese railroad workers to set the history straight. Corky then dedicated his life to ensuring that AAPIs are represented in media and textbooks. His legacy has paved the way for many aspiring AAPI photojournalists and historians.

    “Photos have been crucial in preserving history. Immigrants, including AAPIs, have greatly contributed to the rich fabric of American society,” said Linda Ng, OCA National President. “In our fight for AAPI representation at all tables, we must make sure that also includes AAPI representation in history. Corky Lee was an incredible pioneer of these efforts, and we will continue his legacy at OCA.”

    Claudine Cheng, Past OCA National President 1991-1992, adds:
    “What comes to mind about Corky was how, in his own quiet and artistic ways, he played a pivotal role in recording and keeping chapters of our community’s history alive for generations to come. He was like a guardian angel for all the moments in time that we would want to cherish; his presence will indeed be missed.”

    Michael C. Lin, Past OCA National President 1995-98, adds:
    “Corky was such a great champion of civil rights. He used his photographic skill to make sure that justice was recorded. One such example was his photograph taken years ago with hundreds of OCA Convention attendees at Promontory Point, Utah, to reflect the contribution of Chinese Railroad Workers. We will miss him!”

    Ginny Gong, Past OCA National President 2004-2008, adds:
    “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, and fellow New Yorker and civil rights activist, Corky Lee. Over the decades, this visionary photographer was always ‘there’ chronicling history- taking photos that illuminated the Asian American community and highlighted its issues. Corky will always be remembered by his repertoire profiling Asian Americans at work and play. We, as a community, and OCA, as an organization, will forever miss ‘our man’ behind the camera.”

    Ken Lee, Past OCA National President 2009-2012, adds:
    “Corky Lee was an incredible friend to us all. He embodied every aspect of community building. Corky was always generous with his time, efforts, and contributions with OCA and other organizations. He will continue to serve as a role model for generations to come.”

    Leslie Moe-Kaiser, Past OCA National President 2016, adds:
    “Corky Lee was one-of-a-kind. He was compassionate, fiercely supportive of the community, and artistically articulate in his advocacy. He followed the rule of thumb: show up. As an art historian, I want to acknowledge Corky’s aesthetics. While his photos certainly captured the moments, his composition, lines, movement, and tensions between light and dark, solid and space, were what caught my eye. He spoke with artistry, and we miss him sorely.”

    Sharon Wong, Past OCA National President 2013-2015, 2017-2020:
    “Mark Twain said, ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’ Corky knew his why -- to yield a camera to slay injustices against APAs. And he lived his purpose every day for the greater good of the AAPI community. There wasn't an event where I didn't see Corky with his camera and for as long as I've been involved in the AAPI community, that's a long time! Corky, we will miss you -- and I can imagine you in the heavens with your cameras, doing what you do best.”

    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).

    ###


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

    OCA CONGRATULATIONS DOJ APPOINTMENTS FOR BIDEN ADMINISTRATION

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    8 January 2021

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 | eiley.fong@ocanational.org

    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

    OCA APPALLED AT PRESIDENT TRUMP, SUPPORTERS ATTEMPT TO UPEND DEMOCRACY

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    7 January 2021

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 | eiley.fong@ocanational.org

    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

    OCA PRESSES BIDEN TEAM TO SELECT AAPI INDIVIDUALS FOR CABINET POSITIONS

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    28 December 2020

    Contact: Eiley Fong | Communications Associate
    202.223.5500 | eiley.fong@ocanational.org

    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


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    21 July 2020

    Contact: Thu Nguyen | Associate Director of Development
    202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org

    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


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    21 July 2020

    Contact: Matthew Nguyen-Ngo | Civil Rights Fellow
    202.223.5500 | matthew.nguyen.ngo@ocanational.org
     

    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


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    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.

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