There’s a voice for Asian civil rights in Sacramento, and they just turned 20 years old. Leaders and groups throughout the region recognized two decades of accomplishments for OCA Sacramento during the annual Dragon Boat Festival, May 14.
The gala, held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, brought together more than 25 organizations and sponsors, including APAPA, the Indus Valley Chamber of Commerce, My Sister’s House, UPS, the Sacramento Bee, APSEA, CAPITAL, and Asian Resources, Inc.
Former OCA Sacramento presidents reflected on their histories, and the group recognized essay contest winners with cash prizes.
In line with the Chinese roots of OCA, bright red colors adorned the room, from the eye-catching dresses of many lovely ladies to the ties and accessories of the gentlemen. The opening event had many guests on their feet-- and applauding-- as OCA supporters entered the room carrying large wooden paddles. Traditionally, Chinese dragon boats are rowed by paddles, so the gesture symbolized them “rowing the boat” and contributing to OCA Sacramento.
Many APAPA members worked with OCA Sacramento and “paddled” as part of the OCA team, including Tom Bhe, the OCA Sacramento president from 1997-1998. Tom currently serves on the APAPA Greater Sacramento Chapter board, and he continues to reach out to other community groups.
In fact, it is common to see APAPA and other groups mingling among each other at social gatherings because volunteers tend to belong to many different organizations.
Mutual support and cohesion is a source of strength for community groups, said Michael Head, former OCA Sacramento, in a conversation with Lance Fang, APAPA GSC board member.
We hope to bring people together during our signature event in October, the Voters Forum, where we facilitate greater civic participation among the API community and beyond. Like a boat, Sacramento needs everyone to paddle along, and APAPA is happy to be a part of it.