Chapter Activities and Highlights for 2013
On January 19, we hosted a session of OCA National’s Y-Advocate Program in collaboration with the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center (CCACC). The day-long training program taught over 40 local APA high school students about early planning, leadership skills, and social justice awareness. We were pleased to again offer this wonderful education opportunity on October 19 with OCA National facilitators who led students in discussions about important milestones and leaders in APA history, and the importance of APA advocacy.
In February and September, we also served dinners at Shepherd's Table in Silver Spring, MD, a nonprofit organization for the homeless. On February 13, OCA-DC volunteers celebrated the Lunar New Year with over 100 homeless guests, at a dinner that featured a complete Chinese meal prepared by Seven Seas Restaurant, and traditional decorations. OCA-DC volunteers returned to Shepherd’s Table on September 27 to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with 130 guests.
From February through April, our board members were among the 40 mentors and mentees in OCA National’s Mentoring Asian American Professionals (MAAP) program. The program focused on topics such as networking, communication, decision making, and leadership.
On May 30, we were proud to partner with the Montgomery County Public School Asian American Education Association to contribute toward a $2,000 scholarship presented to the very talented Montgomery County high school student, Alex Shih-Hua Huang, an aspiring math teacher. OCA-DC wishes him the best in his future endeavors!
From July 18-21, we collaborated with OCA-NOVA to co-host the 2013 OCA National Convention, which celebrated OCA’s many accomplishments over the last four decades with the theme, “40 Years of Advocacy and Empowerment.” The Chapter reached out to federal employees, youth, and college students with dedicated tracks about advocacy, networking, personal/professional development, and more. We also hosted presentations by local authors. And of course, we celebrated a “Night at the Newseum” and honored the contributions of leaders in our community at the annual Gala. Brian Yang was among many of the celebrities and leaders who attended Convention to help OCA celebrate 40 years of empowerment and inspiration.
On August 24, OCA-DC members and friends joined the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and tens of thousands of other Americans in the “National Action to Realize the Dream” March on the National Mall. The event commemorated 50 years of triumphs for civil and human rights in the United States since the original march on the Mall to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak.
On October 5, we donated to and ran/walked in support of the 2013 Race for Every Child, which raises awareness and funds for critical, life-saving research at the Children’s National Medical Center. Our very energetic OCA-DC board members formed a team and ran/walked the full 5K distance in support of this worthy cause!
On October 13, we had a successful blood drive targeting APA donors in partnership with the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center (CCACC) and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA).
On November 17, we celebrated our 40th Annual Honor Awards Gala at New Fortune Restaurant in Gaithersburg, MD. With a theme of "Journeys of Inspiration," In choosing this year's theme, we hoped that everyone would draw inspiration from the personal journey of our Keynote Speaker, the Honorable Raymond T. Chen. We honored Judge Chen with our 2013 Trailblazer Award for breaking new ground for Asian Pacific Americans, among other distinguished achievements, and we also recognized the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) with our 2013 Community Service Award for their extraordinary and dedicated service in the APA community. See photos in our gallery, and read more!
On November 25, we--along with OCA National--engaged FCC representatives in a formal dialog about avenues of support for the Asian Pacific American community’s outrage over the “kill everyone in China” comment and the co-option of children in the Jimmy Kimmel Live “Kids Table” skit. Read more!
Last but not least, throughout the year, we learned from APA authors, community members, and activists at the Talk Story events. These monthly events in DC’s Chinatown are rooted in the understanding that the life of the community lies in the power of our stories remembered and shared.