45th Anniversary of OCAW National Event HI's visit
(by Edwina Lee) Five members of the Hawaii Chapter of OCAW went to the 45th anniversary celebration of OCAW National. They were Tina Au, past President; Sharon Chun, past President; Edwina Lee, current President; Wendie Liu; and Sandy Young, past President. On behalf of the Hawaii Chapter, we would like to thank our gracious hosts, Steve and Christina Chang, for housing us, feeding us, taking care of our needs, driving us, etc., just as if they were our parents. We could not have asked for more kind, considerate, and generous hosts. We really enjoyed the 45th OCAW National anniversary event and all the sisters that we met in Virginia, Maryland, New Orleans, and Silicon Valley. We hope we can do this in another five years and have a reunion of all the chapters again.
From member Wendie Liu: “I really do appreciate the warm hospitality of our host sisters on the east coast, so far from Hawaii. Mahalo.”
From former President Sandy Young: “Aloha. I completely concur with Wendie’s expressions of gratitude, first, to have been invited to this awesome event, and secondly, to have met such amazing Sisters at this 45th anniversary celebration of OCAW. Thanks to the Board of the OCAW Hawaii Chapter for its tremendous support, and to the National OCAW Board for the outstanding hospitality showered on all of us delegates. It was a real delight to meet all of the OCAW National leaders in person after meeting only virtually before. This event was democratically planned, precisely implemented, and thoroughly and successfully accomplished. Kudos to all who participated, and Super Kudos to the many leaders for carrying out such a splendid event. Xie xie nimen. My appreciation to all for making it possible for me to join this fantastic and special celebration.”
From former President Tina Au: “Aloha to you all: Thank you very much for the warm hospitality and great friendships. I welcome you all to Hawaii, and look forward to seeing you in the near future.”
Former President and National Webmaster Sharon Chun designed her own thank-you cards and sent them to appreciative recipients.
Third General Membership Meeting
(from Queenie Mow Chee, Secretary)
The OCAW Hawaii Chapter held its third General Membership Meeting on Sunday, August 21, 2022. Our featured speakers were the Principal and President of Mun Lun School, the oldest and largest Chinese language school in America. The concept of being a productive, contributing citizen and a valued American of Chinese ancestry is promoted through the Five Confucian Virtues which are the hallmarks of Mun Lun: Filial Piety, Diligence, Honesty, Patriotism, and Fellowship.
Mun Lun School looks at the student as a whole person, and seeks to develop awareness of self and depth of character, enriched by a knowledge of heritage and traditions. This builds self-confidence. Learn to speak proper English, but don’t forget the Chinese! Many of the students are first- or second-generation immigrants from China, and from families who are adjusting to the American way of life. Often they have parents who work extra hard to provide a better life for their families in this new country. And simultaneously do not want their children to forget their first heritage. Recognize that many of these activities come with a cost, and it is through generous donations from sponsors that these ideas may come to reality.
OCAW National and Hawaii History
from 2022 Queenie Mow Chee speech
OCAW began as an Auxiliary to the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) and became an independent entity in March 1977. At that time, four Chinese American women, Canta Pian, Anchen Lin, Julia Chang Bloch, and Pauline Woo Tsui started an independent direction with emphasis placed on the betterment of Chinese American women and promotion of their causes.
Canta Pian was the Director of Economic Support for Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.
Anchen Lin, was a clinical social worker, married to the late Professor Jimmy H.C. Lin. The University of Maryland was a recipient of several endowments in memory of her late husband, a beloved professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a prolific inventor.
Julia Chang Bloch was born in Shandong, China, but grew up in San Francisco from the age of nine. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Public Policy. She then went on to Harvard University for her Master’s degree in Government and East Asian Regional Studies. She was conferred an honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Northeastern University. Julia was the first Asian American woman to be appointed as an Ambassador (Nepal) for the United States. Her works and achievements are numerous and amazing. She is married to an extremely supportive husband, Mr. Stuart M. Bloch, an attorney of note in Washington, D.C.
Pauline Woo Tsui was born in Nanking, China. She attended school in Shanghai at the prestigious McTyeire School and graduated from Saint John’s University. With the Japanese invasion, Pauline and her mother were able to exit China as they were American citizens. Pauline would go on to attend Columbia University in New York, and she earned her Master’s degree in Music Education. She and her husband T.L. Tsui, a Taiwan Chinese diplomat, have two children. Pauline served as a translator for the U.S. Army Map Service for many years. She was our Executive Director and Acting Executive Director of OCAW until 2007.
A common thread that linked these ladies together was the fact that they all experienced what it was like to be a woman, and a minority, working in the United States. Having experienced the challenges and succeeding in spite of them, they wanted to reach other Chinese American women to help them achieve parity.
During the 1970s, there were growing opportunities for women to gain equality and fairness in the job market. OCAW was able to receive sizable federal grant money to help with teaching and sharing important steps to minority women.
In 1978, OCAW’s first national conference was held in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The keynote speaker was Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink. She was the principal author of Title IX Educational Amendments in 1972. Representatives from the following OCAW chapters attended: Baltimore; Central Virginia; Chicago; Colorado; Dayton, Ohio; Delaware; Detroit; New England; New York; Pittsburgh; Southern Alameda County, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Washington, D.C.; and Wisconsin.
(At that time, OCAW had 26 charter members. Dr. Margaret Lee, who later became the first OCAW Hawaii Chapter President, was one of them.)
On November 2, 1981, OCAW was granted IRS 501(c)(3) status.
Hawaii Chapter Established
It was December 1988, when Julia Chang Bloch was invited to be a guest speaker at a state conference by Governor John Waihee of the State of Hawaii. It then became timely and appropriate to establish a Hawaii Chapter, and so the plan was set in motion.
Anita Wong, who was the Associated Chinese University Women’s incoming president, was contacted by Julia and asked to assemble a group of influential Chinese American women to consider starting a chapter in Hawaii. Thirty-two ladies answered the call to this first meeting at the King Tsin Restaurant on King Street.
In 1989, the OCAW Hawaii Chapter was established and Dr. Margaret Lee became its first
president. Experienced and able, she had previously served as the Los Angeles OCAW Chapter President.
32 Years of Activities
It will be 32 years this year (2021), since 32 ladies first met to discuss the formation of the Hawaii Chapter.
Over the years, some of the important programs we held in Honolulu included assisting immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship by practicing the verbal interviews; supporting a series of seminars at the State Capitol for high school students to learn the process of legislation; donating to various local Chinese community projects; and recently, supporting Chinese American women in film production and writing.
We continue to have concern for those underprivileged and those seeking U.S. Citizenship, and thus support the works of The Legal Clinic, Palolo Chinese Home, and the Lanakila Meals on Wheels Program.
“Stop Anti Asian Hate” Rally at the Hawaii State Capitol
Roberta Wong Leung and her daughter Robbieana attended the Saturday, March 27, 2021 “Stop Anti Asian Hate” Rally at the Hawaii State Capitol from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event was planned in light of the Atlanta, Georgia mass shooting against Asians and the increasing number of hate crimes aimed at Asians.
There were speakers from the State Legislature and various organizations, as well as a march around the financial district to Chinatown and back to the Capitol. There was wide representation from various minority and racial groups. Several hundred supporters carried all kinds of creative signs.
One of the goals was to support legislation that punishes hate crimes against minorities and women at the local and national levels. The Hawaii Legislature has passed such legislation.
It was a very successful rally, well-organized and peaceful. Similar rallies were held across the U.S. We cannot be silent and have to stand up and speak out.