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OCA-NY Newsletter - November 2017


          On September 28, 2017, OCA-NY celebrated its 41st Anniversary Community Service and Leadership Awards Gala at Joy Luck Palace in Chinatown, New York. The theme was "Celebrating Strength, Unity and Diversity." We were proud to honor five outstanding individuals and an organization that exemplified advocacy, strength and service to the Asian American Pacific Islander community in New York City and beyond. They were: Hon. Dorothy Chin-Brandt, Dr. Helen Zia, Steven Choi, Lily Din Woo, June Jee (immediate past President of OCA-NY), and First American International Bank. Our reception was hosted by Pei-Sze Cheng and Arthur Chi-en. OCA-NY Board member Winnie Hu served as Gala Chair.
        It was a fun night celebrated with our friends and community sponsors, including Consolidated Edison, First American International Bank, UA3, UPS, Shearman & Sterling, LLP, and United Healthcare. Raffle prizes were donated by Covry, MoCA, Yeh Chips, 3M, Athletic Swim Club, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, and many more. At the bar, we had cookies donated by Insomnia Cookies and sake donated by Hiro Sake. 
Profile of OCA-NY Scholarship Winner: Celine Yan
   By: Sophia Luu, OCA-NY Board Member 
             This year, OCA-NY launched its inaugural College Scholarship Program in July 2017, which was co-funded by UA3. The scholarship program sought to recognize high-achieving students who not only excelled academically, but also possessed a strength of character and leadership potential to uplift their families and communities through education and civic engagement. In total, OCA-NY awarded scholarships of $1,000 each to seven exemplary individuals; one of them was Celine Yan.   
            Celine Yan graduated from Stuyvesant High School this past June of 2017. Ms. Yan is currently a freshmen at Northeastern University, majoring in computer science and design. While at Stuyvesant High School, Ms. Yan was the editor-in-chief of the Stuyvesant Indicator, president of her badminton club, the ‘Stuy Birdies’, a director of the student musical performance ‘Sing’, editor of “Humans of Stuy”, and a member of both  ‘BuiltbyGirls’ and ‘ChickTech’ - clubs that focus on female empowerment and encourage more women to join the fields of computer science and STEM programs. 
             Ms. Yan strongly believes in bridging the gap in the pursuit of having more women contributing to and working in the computer science field.  Her dream is to use her computer coding skills to create an online platform with the name ‘Mogul’ where women can support each other professionally. Ms. Yan described Mogul in her own words, saying: “I envision Mogul to be a space allocated for women to develop professional and networking skills, and a place where students can connect with influential women in the world. Being a part of Mogul would empower the female population on campus and give students the opportunity to broaden their interests and pursue future opportunities in their field of study. As a female in CS, I think Mogul would be a really great place for other CS girls to become empowered in the field too.”
             In addition, Ms. Yan has dedicated over 600 community service hours on the executive board of the Stuyvesant Red Cross Committee and is proud of her work engaging with the community through the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. 
              Ms. Yan is very grateful for the scholarship that she has received from OCA-NY. She says, “With the OCA-NY Scholarship, I will be able to fund my higher education by alleviating my heavy financial burden, and continue pursuing the next four years of my life exploring and narrowing down my passions. With the investment from OCA-NY and from the community, the crucial support of the four-year scholarship will push me to climb new heights in both technology and empowerment, and give me an even more meaningful motive to continue engaging with and serving the greater community.” 
Review of Office Hour at the Public Theater
By: Hon. Christopher P. Lee, OCA-NY Member 
 AAPI play highly recommended by an OCA-NY member for OCA-NY members.
OFFICE HOUR, which can be seen at the Public Theater through December 3, 2017 (, was written by Julia Cho and came with a warning - both on the website and via emails to ticket buyers.  It lives up to the warning plus a bit more.  (Do heed the warning!)  It is by no means trite, but neither does it present outlandishly novel ideas.   What we are presented with is 90 minutes of psychoanalysis albeit of a rather unusual student, “patient.”  We are especially challenged in light of similar events to make sense of the scenario, a writing class with the weird and frightening loner.  But the scenario is not new even if rare; I refer the reader to Roanoke College Professor Daisy Ball’s excellent work on this topic for enlightening insights and history. (She lectured at AAARI in 3/17,
The acting is good.  I would have preferred a more ominous bad guy; on the other hand, male Asian American actors are hard to find, so Ki Hong Lee is fine as the loner writer without a low foreboding voice or scary face.  Sue Jean Kim plays Gina, the teacher, and is more than up to portraying a wide range of intense emotions.  The play is ridden with highs and lows and some minor twists.  At times the dialogue can become slow and formulaic, though infrequently.  As you leave you wonder what you can do, if anything, to calm the choppy waters and right this frightfully wrongly steered ship.  These might be troubling thoughts that hit home because of who is captaining the ship we are all sailing in now.  By all means, see this show and applaud the AAPI actors and playwright.  Better yet, see it to see in real life, AAPI female AND MALE leads at the same time and same place!  Or see it simply to enjoy good theater.   But do not see it if you want some mindless somnific fluff.   See it to be jolted.   No one can leave without somehow feeling their preconceptions of bullying, the underdog, right and wrong, normal versus abnormal were “shot” to pieces.
Solidarity at the 2017 OCA Convention at Sacramento, CA
By: Chi Loek, OCA-NY President
            There is nothing more important and valuable than personally meeting and sharing our experience together with other advocates on issues we care so much about.  
Despite the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from the White House, AAPI across the nation, in conjunction with the OCA Convention at Sacramento, California in August, gathered at the North steps of the California State Capitol, 10th and L streets to raise our voices and rallied in solidarity for the marginalized communities in order to raise awareness of the continued rise in hate crimes against AAPI's and encourage action and support in communities to fight for fair and equal treatment. Inspirational speakers included Basim Elkarra, CAIR, Richard Hernandez, The Rainbow Chamber, Susan McKee (Chief of Staff), Patrick Kennedy (Sacramento Supervisor), Andy Noguchi, JACL – Florin (Civil and Human Rights Chair) and Sharon M. Wong (OCA National President), just to name a few.
         Over 12 OCA-NY members attended the convention and were inspired by the all the presenters and speakers at the workshops, plenary session, Awards Luncheon, Railroad Museum/Old Sac and gala banquet.
 For more details on the 2017 Convention, visit OCA-National’s website:
OCA-NY B3 Talk with Susan Jin Davis - The Art of Negotiation

“When two organizations that both believe in building future leaders through high impact programming come together, we can achieve great things and inspire a new generation of AAPI C-suite executives. Our simultaneous B3: Build, Breakthrough, Believe Leadership Summits on November 8, 2017 in Los Angeles and New York strengthened the message of defying AAPI stereotypes, successfully navigating difficult spaces, and the value of mentorship which touched the over 130 attendees from coast to coast. OCA is proud to continue its partnership with NBCUniversal and its APA leadership, the OCA – New  York and OCA – Greater Los Angeles chapters to help drive AAPIs toward success in the workplace.”
-Kendall Kosai, OCA National Deputy Director 

OCA-NY thanks its sponsors and community partners: Comcast NBCUNIVERSAL, APA Asian Pacific Americans@NBCUniversal, NBCUniversal Diversity & Inclusion, and Southwest Airlines.

              Leading up to Election Day on November 7, 2017, OCA-NY engaged in Get Out the Vote efforts to mobilize the Asian American vote. In total, OCA board members, volunteers and canvassers knocked on close to 1,000 doors and made more than 1,700 phone calls. 
OCA-NY attended the OCA-FCC Annual Summer Family Picnic hosted by OCA-NJ on 9/10 at Van Saun County Park.
 Liz OuYang, OCA-NY member (in red cap), participating in NYIC organized rally in protest of Muslim Ban III in Washington, D.C. with her students from Columbia University and New York University on October 18, 2017.
OCA-NY attends OCA-LI's 36th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner Dance on Oct. 20.
On behalf of OCA-NY, Chi Loek, President of OCA-NY, provided written testimony in support of Res. No. 792, establishing January 30th annually as Fred T. Korematsu Day to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations, New York City Council Chambers on Oct. 25, 2017. You can read the written testimony here: 
Save the Dates!
  • OCA-NY's Annual General Membership Meeting on Dec. 16, 2017 at 11am at Confucius Plaza Community Room, 33 Bowery, Ground Floor. Please RSVP by 5pm on Dec. 8 by e-mailing with the number of attendees in your party. We are honored to have Jill Sung, President & CEO, Abacus Federal Saving Bank, and Vera Sung, Director, Abacus Federal Saving Bank join us as guest speakers.
  • Court visit on Dec. 11, 2017 at 10:30am with Presiding Justice Randall T. Eng, Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Second Department. RSVP here:


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Copyright © 2017 OCA-NY, All rights reserved.

Email: | Mail: OCA-NY, P.O. Box 3233, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008

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