WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 20, 2014) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) is proud to announce the honorees for the 2014 OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Awards and OCA Pioneer Award to be presented at this year’s National Convention in Los Angeles, California, August 7-10, 2014.
This year, OCA will be awarding the OCA Outstanding Achievement Award to Congresswoman Judy Chu and Actor James Hong. The OCA Pioneer Award will be given to Actress Ming-Na Wen and Artist Tyrus Wong. All will be presented their awards at the OCA National Convention Gala Awards on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.
“We are proud to honor a diverse and accomplished group of APA leaders and difference makers who have made a strong impact toward this country,” says OCA President Sharon M. Wong. “Their contributions, dedication, and service have paved the way for APAs to pursue their own passions to make a difference in the community.”
OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award
• Congresswoman Judy Chu – Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House to Representatives in July 2009. She represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of southern California.
Rep. Chu currently serves on the House Judiciary Committee, where she is a member of the Subcommittees on Intellectual Property and the Internet as well as Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.
She also serves on the House Small Business Committee, which has oversight of the small Business Administration.
Rep. Chu is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access. She is also a member of the Subcommittees on Contracting and Workforce as well as Investigations, Oversight and Regulations.
In 2011, Chu was elected Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, which advocates for the needs and concerns of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community across the nation.
Chu founded and co-chairs the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus, which advocates for the copyright protections of those in the creative industries, such as music, film and visual arts. She also serves in leadership of the House Democratic Caucus as a Member of the Steering and Policy Committee.
Chu was first elected to the Board of Education for Garvey School District in 1985. From there, she was elected to the Monterey Park City Council, where she served as Mayor three times. She then was elected to the State Assembly and then California’s elected tax board, known as the State Board of Equalization. In 2009, she became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress in history.
• James Hong – From Minneapolis, Minnesota, James’ early career was in civil engineering and one of his first jobs was working for the city of Los Angeles. After first appearing on Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life” in 1954, he was instantly bitten by the Hollywood bug and decided to change his career. Since then, he has never looked back and after nearly 60 years in the entertainment industry, he continues to keep busy today.
Recently James played Jerry Chen, an avatar in Universal’s “R.I.P.D.” for Nick (played by Ryan Reynolds). He co-starred with Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon and supermodel Marissa Miller. In 2011 he received his first Annie Award for “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” a TV special reprising his role as Mr. Ping from both “Kung Fu Panda” movies. Earlier this year he earned the Daytime Emmy Nomination for Nickelodeon’s “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.”
James continues to entertain not just on in TV and film but also video games. In 2012, he can be heard in two of the top selling video games for that year which include Blizzard’s “Diablo 3” and Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” which combined has sold nearly 20 million copies. Additional video game credits include “Sleeping Dogs” and Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.”
Including his award winning voice-over work, he can be seen on the Disney XD Channel show “Pair of Kings” as his reoccurring role of the island’s Elder. James has made TV guest appearances on “The Big Bang Theory,” “Chuck,” “Bones,” and “Archer.” Between film, TV and video game projects, James has over 500 credits to his name and the list continues to grow.
OCA Pioneer Award
• Ming-Na Wen – Ming-Na Wen first won attention with her touching and critically acclaimed performance as ‘June’ in the feature film “The Joy Luck Club,” but she is most noted for her portrayal of ‘Dr. Jing-Mei Chen’ on the hit show “ER.” She also starred in “SGU Stargate Universe.”
Wen received the first contract role for an Asian-American actor in a daytime drama when she won the part of ‘Lien Hughes’ on “As the World Turns.” Her other television credits include “Eureka,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Boston Legal,” “The George Lopez Show,” “Private Practice” and “Two and a Half Men.”
The diverse actress proved she was able to play more than the gentle wallflower in “The Joy Luck Club” when she tackled the roles of ‘Chun-Li,’ the butt-kicking female lead in “Streetfighter,” and as the sex-hungry wife ‘Mimi’ in director Mike Figgis’ film, “One Night Stand.”
Wen is proud to be the title voice of “Mulan,” Disney’s animated feature (for which she won an Annie Award), as well as the lead voice of ‘Aki Ross’ in the stunning CGI animated film, “Final Fantasy.” The talented actress has also has lent her voice for the shows “Phineas and Ferb” and “Ni Hao, Kai Lan,” as well as documentaries and children’s books. She recently completed production on the Blumhouse feature film “6 Miranda Drive,” opposite Kevin Bacon.
Wen has been included in People magazine’s list of the 50 most beautiful people, was named one of the 100 most influential Asian Americans of the past decade by a.Magazine, and was inducted into the Committee of 100. She cherishes her family time with her husband and their two children. She also enjoys painting, photography, scrap booking and decorating.
• Tyrus Wong – Painter, muralist, lithographer, film production illustrator and kite maker, Tyrus Wong was born in Guangzhou, China in 1910. At age nine he left China for the United States. Upon his arrival he spent nearly a month at the Angel Island Immigration Station before joining his father in Sacramento.
As a young teen he moved to Los Angeles’ Chinatown. While attending Benjamin Franklin Junior High his artistic talents were recognized and he was recommended for a summer scholarship at Otis Art Institute. After completing the summer scholarship he knew at this young age that art was the only thing he wanted to do. Wisely his father supported his artistic endeavors and scraped together the $95 tuition needed for his first term at Otis.
Wong was awarded subsequent scholarships and graduated from Otis with top honors. In 1937 Wong married Ruth Kimm and their first daughter was born a year later. Needing to provide for his family he took a job at Disney Studios working as an in-betweener. Not liking this tedious work and hearing that Disney had plans to produce “Bambi”, he put together a portfolio consisting of tiny sketches of deer in the forest. His talents as a landscape painter were immediately recognized and he was promoted to establish the look and style for Disney’s classic “Bambi”. His lush backgrounds inspired by Chinese traditional ink-and-brush work conveyed the simplicity that Walt Disney had been searching for. Wong illustrated the feeling of the forest rather than indicating every leaf and detail.
Wong later moved on to Warner Bros. where he worked for over thirty years as pre-production artist on many live-action films including, “Rebel Without a Cause”, “Harper”, and “The Wild Bunch”. He also successfully applied his talents to designing his signature line of Christmas cards which meld his Oriental style painting with his Western experience. He also illustrated books and numerous magazines including L.A. Times Home and Readers Digest. Wong still managed to find time for painting and his work is still exhibited at museums and fine art galleries nationwide. Upon his retirement he rediscovered a childhood joy…flying kites. Wong designs and makes by hand all of his kites, some more than a hundred feet long.
Though he celebrated his 103rd birthday last October he can still be found once a month at Santa Monica Beach filling the sky with birds, butterflies, goldfish and pandas and on a good wind day perhaps a 100 foot long centipede.
The OCA National Convention is a three-day event of programs, workshops, events, and activities designed to foster the next generation of APA community, government, business, and corporate leaders. This year’s annual convention will take place in Los Angeles, California from Aug. 7 – 10 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
For more information, please contact the OCA Development Department at 202-223-5500 ext. 121 or [email protected]