Hawaii Chapter

Link to local site: www.ocawhawaii.org   

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  • Speaker 5/19/24 Nicole Malia Coglietta.

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, Anchen Lin, Julia Chang Bloch, and Pauline Woo Tsui

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 “First Responder” Anita Wong with Faith Breen

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.

Rena Young Ochse, Donna Byler, Jeanie Jew, Blossom Tyau, Pauline Tsui, Sondra Seba, and Dr. Margaret Lee

“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.

The United States come from every Nation & race.