Momentarily taking off my AAA-Fund hat and putting on my OCA hat, I would like to invite you to the 2010 OCA National Convention, taking place in Houston from Thursday, June 17 to Sunday, June 20.
What is OCA?
Established in 1973, OCA is engaged in networking with its over 80 chapters and college affiliates across the nation to develop leadership and community involvement. As the first national Asian Pacific Americans (APA) organization to establish headquarters in Washington, D.C., OCA has been successful in building national support and working in coalition with other national groups around issues affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. OCA has been in the forefront of advancing social justice, civil rights and fair treatment of APAs since its founding in 1973.
What will happen at OCA National Convention?
Of particular note: Starry Night Market, Film Festival, and Gala. I haven’t even mentioned the NASA tour, ice skating, fashion show, or the fascinating discussions scheduled to take place in the tracks designed for students, youth leaders, community advocates, professionals, and entrepreneurs!
The free Starry Night Market will feature 11 different performing acts, brief speeches from local elected officials, games, and a variety of cuisines from local restaurants. While the performances are free, games and food will require tickets which can be purchased on site. Paid convention attendees will receive tickets and can purchase more as their appetites desire. This event will occur at the Chinese Community Center on Town Park starting at 6:30 PM on Friday, June 18. Everyone is welcome!
The free Film Festival will showcase five feature-length films:
9500 Liberty (1:45PM June 19 followed by immigration discussion with director Eric Byler):
Virginia adopts a law requiring police officers to question anyone who they suspect is an undocumented immigrant with “probable cause”. The ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet.
A Village Called Versailles (2PM June 18 and at Starry Night Market):
Hurricane Katrina devastates the local Vietnamese American Community. The film beautifully shows how the community’s battle with the city government transcended barriers, and united people of different generations and races.
Transcending – The Wat Misaka Story (8PM June 17):
A movie documenting the journey of Wat Misaka, the first person of color ever drafted in the NBA, into the New York Knicks in 1947. Overcoming the national political climate during World War II, serving in the US Army, Wat stands testament to the unflappable Japanese American spirit.
Wo Ai Ni Mommy (1:45PM June 19):
From 2000-2008, China was the leading country for U.S. international adoptions. There are now approximately 70,000 Chinese children being raised in the United States. Wo Ai Ni Mommy explores what happens when an older Chinese girl is adopted into an American family. This film reveals the complicated gains and losses that are an inherent aspect of international, transracial adoption.
Searching for Asian America (1PM June 20):
Through intimate profiles of individuals and communities from across the country, this 90-minute program serves up a genuine taste of what it’s like to be Asian American in today’s ever-changing United States.
Who are this year’s Gala honorees?
The Gala will honor astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, Dr. Leroy Chiao, professional basketball trailblazer, Wat Misaka, and Executive Director of BPSOS and community leader, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang
How do I attend?
The last day for online registration is Monday, May 31. If you miss the deadline, don’t worry; you can register on site. When registering, please enter “aaaf” into the notes section. The Starry Night Market and Film Festival are free, but please register so we have an accurate head count!
Tuesday, June 1 is the last day to make hotel reservations in the convention’s hotel block at the convention hotel, Westin Galleria Houston, which is connected to the Houston Galleria, the fourth-largest shopping center in North America. For full reservation information, please see the convention Hotel and Travel page.
See you in Houston!
- Justin Gillenwater