OCA, formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans, announced today that four of its chapters are receiving the Allstate Hate Crime Initiative Grants for 2008: OCA-Greater Los Angeles, OCA-Greater Seattle, OCA- New York and OCA-Greater Houston.
“Unfortunately, hate crimes are still a serious concern for many in the APA community,” said Ginny Gong, OCA National President, “Our chapters help spread awareness about hate crimes and their effects on the individual and community. OCA would like to thank the Allstate Foundation, which, since 2001, has generously supported this vital initiative.”
Hate crimes, also known as bias crimes, are criminal acts committed against people or property that are motivated by the offender’s bias against a race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin. Hate incidents are non-criminal acts, but carry the same motivations as a hate crime and should be treated as seriously as a criminal act
“OCA is committed to educating the community and enabling them to respond effectively to hate crimes and bias incidents,” said Michael Lin, OCA Executive Director, “We strive to educate local law enforcement officials and community leaders on these issues and advocate for policies that protect against hate crimes and bias incidents.
OCA-Greater Los Angeles will hold a full day youth-focused event in early November. The program will provide insight on the impact of hate crimes and education on how to identify and track hate crimes.
OCA-Greater Seattle will hold a seminar in October to raise awareness of recent hate crimes in the area, bringing together local communities, law enforcement, and school personnel to cultivate a hate-crime-free community.
OCA-Greater Houston is hosting a series of workshops the second week of October, targeting young adults and high school students. Their goal is to educate students to prevent hate crimes and build a pool of community advocates for the future
OCA- New York is continuing their success working with local groups Chinatown Youth Initiatives and South Asian Youth Action to hold an artistic competition that will culminate in a conference on August 7th, 2008. The chapter has also invited local African and Latino organizations to participate this year.
OCA is a national social justice organization with more than 80 chapters and college affiliates throughout the country.