2024 Kick-Off Lunch

Lunch at Chef Yan. On Monday, January 15, thirteen members and several husbands enjoyed a wonderful meal of the house specialties, including soup dumplings, steamed fish, Sichuan dry pot, Lions Head meatballs, and some beautiful vegetarian dishes. Chef Yan is the newly renovated China Star. The chef worked at the Mama Chang restaurant before branching out on his own.

2024 Proposed Schedule

  • OCAW-VA Chapter Chinese New Year Potluck Lunch on Saturday, February 17
  • Field trip to see MGM National Harbor’s Chinese New Year Decorations on Monday, February 26
  • Field trip to see 350 orchids at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery – date TBD but before April 28
  • Field trip to see the Anyang Ancient City of Kings exhibit at the National Museum of Asian Art – date TBD but before April 28

Please contact Virginia chapter if these projects sound fun and you would enjoy company and conversation.  Click on this link virginia@ocawwomen.org to email.

2023 Washington DC Chinese Culture Festival

(from Maria Yang, National President)
The OCAW Virginia Chapter and I were invited by Karina Hou, President of the OCAW Maryland Chapter, to attend the Washington DC Chinese Culture Festival. It was held in downtown DC on Saturday, September 2, 2023.
Karina Hou, MD President was the coordinator of the program and worked hard to make it run smoothly under the high heat of the day. The atmosphere was festive, and the event was well-attended.

(from Noreen Hom, former Secretary)
On Saturday, September 2, 2023, a last-minute decision to attend the Chinese Culture Festival in DC turned out to be a wise one, because it was a fun event. The weather was perfect, and we were surrounded by national monuments and museums.
There were tables of beautiful cultural merchandise, including clothing as well as panda bear stuffed animals and headbands. Local merchants displayed their wares, and there were activity booths for children to make Chinese lanterns and play games.
I saw Maria Yang, OCAW’s National President, while I was in line to order fried fish and pork at one of the numerous food trucks and stands.  She mentioned that Christina Poy, the Administrative Director of the Maryland Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, and also an OCAW Maryland Chapter member and advisor, had given a speech earlier.
While we walked through the streets filled with colorful tables and booths, we saw Karina Hou, OCAW Maryland Chapter President and coordinator of the program, and Christina Chang, OCAW’s Immediate Past National President.
There were two stages of music and cultural dance performances with gorgeous costumes from different Asian countries. There was even a Peking opera.
The event highlighted diversity which included dancers from Africa and South America.

(You are on VA’s page.)

Donations to help Tragedy in U.S. Maui

(from Barbara York, President, and Cathy Roberts, Treasurer)
As a result of the wildfires that devastated parts of Maui, Hawaii, in August 2023, OCAW members have risen to the challenge and have raised funds for the island’s rebuilding efforts.
Cathy Roberts, National Vice President for Programs and Virginia Chapter Treasurer, hosted a fundraising tea at her lovely home in Oakton, VA, on Saturday, September 9, 2023. It was very successful, and Cathy announced that it raised $2,150 for the Maui Strong Fund coordinated by the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Cathy sent the contributions to the OCAW Hawaii Chapter to forward to the relief fund, and OCAW Hawaii.
Chapter President Edwina Lee thanked chapter members for their kindness and support.
Barbara wishes to thank those who contributed
so generously to the fund, and to give special thanks to Cathy whose focus and faith in the project were instrumental in raising the donations.

Mid-Autumn Potluck Party

(from Barbara York)
The Virginia Chapter Mid-Autumn Potluck Party was a great success. It was held on Sunday, October 1, 2023, and 22 members, family members, and friends gathered in the lovely penthouse party room on the 23rd floor of Amy Lee’s condo building in Alexandria, VA.
All enjoyed its spectacular view of the Potomac River and an unobscured view of the rising full moon.

(from Amy Lee)
After not seeing the August moon on the 15th or 16th of the lunar calendar, two dozen OCAW members were richly rewarded with a bright orange globe on the 17th when we got together to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. Perhaps it was because we had a tableful of delicious food, that the moon came out. With full tummies, we were all awestruck by its magnificence. We even had a mahjong lesson/game going on. Great fun was enjoyed by all.

Evening at the Embassy of China

Several members of the Virginia Chapter attended a cultural event at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, July 27, 2023. It was organized by Things to Do DC, an organization which arranges educational and cultural events to enrich one’s experiences. The occasion was meant to highlight the many wonderful aspects of the country.
Planning called for an interesting evening. Young diplomats were scheduled to greet attendees and be on hand to answer questions about Chinese culture and visiting China. Embassy representatives would be available to discuss the significance of historic paintings, artwork, and artifacts on display in the beautiful building designed by the world-renowned Chinese American architect I.M. Pei. Planned was an authentic Chinese dinner prepared by the Embassy chef, as well as a Chinese tea ceremony.

Reboot post Covid

Several members of the chapter got together for lunch at the Mama Chang restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, August 12, 2023. Two items that have already resulted in action are:
1) Aid for the victims of the Maui fire. The collection has just started.
2) Planning for the Mid-Autumn Festival Potluck Party. It is set for 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 1, 2023.
3) A renewed effort to recruit young members.
4) An offer to Ted Gong at the 1882 Foundation to see if they needed help with the Chinese American Women in History Conference scheduled for October 5-7, 2023 at various venues in Washington, D.C.
Here is a link to the conference: https://1882foundation.org/cawh2023/
5) An agreement to reach out and have speakers at our Chapter meetings.
6) An agreement to explore other programs focused on community assistance and to work with other Chinese American organizations on their programs.

Mother’s Day and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

(from Maria Yang, Acting President)

The commemoration of Mother’s Day and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, held jointly by the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the World Chinese Business and Professional Women’s Association and the Washington DC Taiwan Benevolent Association, was a resounding success, with a turnout of over 220 people. The members and friends of OCAW-VA were among those invited to attend. The occasion was held on Sunday, May 7, 2023, in the auditorium of the TECRO Culture Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and featured a lively showcase of Asian Pacific cultural performances and gastronomic delights, including Taiwanese snacks, Japanese sushi, and Singaporean noodles for lunch.
The highlight of the celebration was the recognition of mothers in families with three or four living generations and the honoring of their exceptional contributions to their families and society. This was accomplished through a series of Mother’s Day videos, floral presentations, and the gifting of silk scarves to elder mothers, all of which served to underscore the traditional virtue of gratitude to mothers.
The event was graced by the presence of Christina Poy, the Administrative Director of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and a lifetime member of OCAW-MD. Among other OCAW members present was Dianna Gorin, a lifetime member of OCAW-VA, who traveled from North Carolina to partake in the festivities.
In addition to celebrating mothers, the event championed the cause of equal rights and the integration of American and Asian cultures. This was achieved through the showcasing of the invaluable contributions of the Chinese-American and Taiwanese-American communities to the world, furthering the goal of AANHPI Heritage Month events.
All in all, the commemoration of Mother’s Day and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month was a joyous and meaningful event, which underscored the importance of family, culture, and community, and honored the most beloved and strongest pillars of every family, our mothers.

International Women’s Day Lunch Celebrating with OCAW Leaders.

(from Maria Yang, Acting President)
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and it is celebrated every year on March 8. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.
On March 7, 2023, 21 members and spouses of the Virginia Chapter came together to have a Dim Sum lunch at Vinh Kee Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, to celebrate and witness our accomplishments in the family and in the community.
Some members brought small memorable items to share their inspiration and achievements in life during the lunch.

The following are some of  OCAW-VA members’ achievements and contributions to the community and country.
Chi-Hua Yang, former Virginia Chapter President
Dr. Chi-Hua Yang presented two lifetime achievement awards, representing accomplishments from her more than 30 years in research and development in semiconductor industries. The first one was received on August 26, 1995, for her role as part of the international Triad team, which was composed of engineers and scientists from three companies: IBM (U.S.), Toshiba (Japan), and Siemens (Germany). The Triad team’s research and development program created the first successful 256Mb DRAMs, which was a technology breakthrough. Chi-Hua’s technical contribution and teamwork were recognized. The collaboration among many scientists from different technical backgrounds, countries, and cultures were crucial for the success of this accomplishment.
In addition, Chi-Hua has extensive experience in a wide variety of technical work to make advanced electronics devices. While at BAE Systems, she received an award for her dedication and hard work supporting “Enhanced Ultraviolet Sensor Electron Bombarded Readout Integrated Circuit (EUV EBROIC)” on December 19, 2012. She has been working as a technology pioneer in areas such as the U.S. Deep Space Program, Satellite Program, Defense Weapons Systems, and infrared night vision scopes.
She feels that it is important that she, as an Asian woman, has been able to contribute in this highly technological and scientific field.

Christina Chang has been the OCAW National President for over 12 years. After a long career working for the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, she retired in 2017. Her hard work, dedication, and contributions to the country were recognized in four letters from Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama.

Alice Yee Way worked for over three decades for the Department of Defense, during which time she received many outstanding achievement awards. She was grateful for their recognition and acknowledgment of her professional responsibilities.
However, reflecting on her lifelong achievements, she would consider that her most significant and certainly her most satisfying achievements would be raising three great children. When they were young, she instilled virtues in them such as loving, caring, fairness, and compassion to others. They are now on their own and continue to demonstrate these traits. Alice sincerely believes that she has accomplished a major life goal in seeing that all her children have become the best individuals they can be. Her best “awards” for this accomplishment are the acknowledgments from people stating “you raised great children.”

Barbara Yorke retired at the end of 2017 after 36 years with NCTA – The Internet and Television Association. NCTA represents the spectrum of the broadband and cable industry from service providers like Comcast and Cox, through television programmers like HBO, Discovery, CNN, and Disney. As Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs, Barbara’s primary responsibility was the production and management of NCTA’s annual convention which was the largest in the cable television industry. Through her career at NCTA, she also managed the executive conferences and seminars and the NCTA Board Meetings.
In the late 1990s, she also served as Executive Director of the National Academy for Cable Programming which produced the CableACE Awards prior to cable programming being allowed to compete in the Emmy Awards. For her work, she was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame which includes men and women whose names are legendary in the world of cable television and programming.

Amy Lee was honored to receive, on behalf of all the other dedicated volunteers, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s Community Service Award to Chinatown Service Center Volunteers for teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) and citizen preparation. This program was directed by Walter Woo and his wife, Shirley.
The ESL Award Ceremony was held on May 30, 2014, at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. Afterward, Amy continued her volunteering up until the onset of the pandemic, so was happy to serve the community for nearly 20 years.
It was a most enriching experience for the volunteers and the countless number of students over the decades.

Memoir Writing Presentation

(Veronica Li, former Acting President)

These writing experiences have taught me the necessary ingredients for cooking up a good memoir. The first one is the theme. In a memoir, the theme is the aspect of your life that you want to focus on. In Journey
Across the Four Seas, the theme is my mother’s search for a home, and in Viking Voyager, the theme is Sverrir’s Viking career. You can think of your life as a pie, and a memoir is a slice of that pie. If you want to write about your whole life, then your project is called an autobiography. It’s like a scrapbook in which important pieces of a life are pasted.
Regardless of which category you take on, you should try to make the story as absorbing as a novel. In a novel, we read about a character struggling with a problem, eventually finding revelation and resolution. Descriptions of vivid scenes transport the reader to the character’s world and the reader experiences what he experiences. For a memoir to be captivating, it needs all these elements of a novel. The only difference is that the characters in a memoir are real, and so are the happenings.

“The Essential Elements of Memoir Writing”: https://youtu.be/eSXHX2hbK-8

The Orange Ribbon

Used to raise awareness for racial tolerance.

The orange ribbon in our Solidarity Against AAPI Hate logo is used to raise awareness for racial tolerance. The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Australia’s Harmony Day also use the ribbon for racial harmony. Maryland and Virginia Chapter members Camilla Ng and Veronica Li attended the National Day of Solidarity Against AAPI Hate rally held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 31,. 2021. Hundreds of people voiced against the widespread hate crimes against Asian Americans, and made demands for justice and inclusion. This was one of 20 such rallies across the country on Memorial Day. This movement is supported by about 50 diverse advocacy and community groups, including the Chinese American Heritage Foundation, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates), Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), 1882 Foundation, APIAVote, Council of Korean Americans, Arab American Institute, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and NAACP.

Jason Fong, Evelyn Moy, Lee Wong, Jennings Wong (holding flag), Alex Chan, Amy Lee and Alfred Lam (sang the National Anthem)
Speaker Christina Wong Poy, delivering a speech on behalf of Maryland First Lady, Yumi Hogan
Speaker Lee Wong, an elected official of West Chester, Ohio, and an Army veteran.

Yellow Whistle

Yellow whistles with wrist bands were given out at the rally. Sponsored by The Yellow WhistleTM, the “Yellow Whistle is a symbol of self-protection and solidarity in the fight against historical discrimination and anti-Asian violence. It is a simple gadget with a universal purpose – to signal alarm and call for help for all Americans. We shall not remain silent, because we belong.” To obtain your Yellow Whistle, go to the THE YELLOW WHISTLE website. The rally was closed with a powerful soulful protest song, No More by KHA, a Vietnamese-American pop soul singer and songwriter, born and raised in the DC area. The lyrics of this beautiful song capture the history of the contributions of Asian Americans and their struggle against discrimination and injustice. It may become the national anthem for the Asian Americans. Ctrl-Click on the link below for this song. NO MORE – Original by KHA – Bing video All in all, it was a colorful, entertaining, and inspiring rally. The message was loud and clear: We belong and we will be silent no more. About Solidarity Against AAPI Hate (SAAH) SAAH is the brainchild of the Chinese American Heritage Foundation, created in direct response to the Atlanta shootings and the rise of anti-Asian violence brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its goal is to amplify the AAPI voice, educate, inspire action, and affect change. Ctrl-Click on the link below for more information. Take Action – National Day of Solidarity Against Hate (solidarityagainstaapihate.org) (Photos taken by Camilla Ng) (Editor’s Note: It is Camilla’s personal hope that more Asian Americans will come out to support our communities under attack.)

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