In July, Oanh, Bo, and David attended OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates’s 2013 National Convention, ’40 Years of Advocacy and Empowerment,’ held this year in Washington, D.C. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from the 18th to the 21st. A big thank you to OCA National and OCA Greater Houston for providing scholarships to cover our registration, hotel and airfare. Without their generosity, attendance would have been logistically and financially impossible for the three of us.
At Convention, APASA members, along with a number of other college and high school students, attended workshops and panel discussions about issues affecting APAs including immigration, affirmative action, and portrayal in the popular media. APASA members also went through the APIA U: Leadership Training workshop, which educated us about the history of APAs and helped us develop the leadership and organizational skills to build an APA community on campus.
There were plenty of other events at Convention, including an evening reception at the Newseum, a black tie gala, and an awards ceremony. Notably, at the Chapter Awards Luncheon, OCA Greater Houston received the Chapter Excellence Award for Community Building!
Overall, the OCA National Convention was a great experience as we also got to meet many inspiring APA advocates such as Helen Zia and Phil Yu, who we hope to bring to Rice to promote further awareness of APA issues.
Again, we can’t thank OCA National and OCA Greater Houston enough for their support that made our attendance possible. We look forward to keeping in touch with our new friends and the connections we made in DC. We also hope APASA members will be able to attend next year’s national convention in Los Angeles!