The Year of the Rat By Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Sunday, 11 April 2021

The Year of the Rat By Ben Fong-Torres
By Ben Fong-Torres San Francisco The Year of the Rat Being an older Chinese American, I am no longer, as Roy Orbison sang, “Running Scared.” I am walking scared, constantly looking around and behind me.  Stop AAPI Hate, the advocacy group, knows of nearly 4,000 cases of violence against Asian Americans since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s time to stop the beatings and shootings, the blaming and finger-pointing.  For me, it’s also...

Dr. Bobby Fong, BD Wong and Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth to Receive Awards at National OCA Convention in New York on August 6

Posted by Lia Chang on Friday, 05 August 2011.

2011 OCA Pioneer Award Recipient BD Wong and the cast of Robert Lee and Leon Ko's Heading East at the Asia Society in New York n May 23, 2010.  Photo by Lia Chang

2011 OCA Pioneer Award Recipient BD Wong and the cast of Robert Lee and Leon Ko's Heading East at the Asia Society in New York n May 23, 2010. Photo by Lia Chang

Dr. Bobby Fong, BD Wong and Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth will be honored at the 2011 National OCA Convention in New York at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, during the Gala Awards on Saturday, August 6, 2011. President of Ursinus College, Dr. Bobby Fong and actor, BD Wong will receive OCA Pioneer Awards. Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth, will be receiving the OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award. OCA will also recognize the achievements of its own members with the Chapter of the Year Award and the Unsung Heroes Awards.

OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is holding their 2011 National Convention, Advocacy Through Compassion – A New York State of Mind, from August 4-7, 2011 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The annual OCA National Convention draws hundreds of APAs from around the country and features three days of workshops, exhibits, youth and college programs, film screenings and notable speakers. For more information and to register for this year’s National Convention, please visit our the website at

2011 Pioneer Awards Honorees
Dr. Bobby Fong is the President of Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. He attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He later earned a doctorate in English Literature from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1978. His academic career began at Berea College in Kentucky, where he taught from 1978 to1989. In 2001 he became President of Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, one of only 20 Asian-American college presidents in the United States. Active in many higher education associations, Dr. Fong is Vice Chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and serves on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the American Council for Education’s National Task Force on Institutional Accreditation, and on the board of the Lingnan University Foundation.

BD Wong is a multi-award winning actor whose work includes theater, television, and film. He is the only actor ever to have received all five major New York Theater awards for his Broadway debut in “M. Butterfly.” He played Dr. George Huang, a forensic psychiatrist and expert on the criminal mind, on the top-rated series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for eleven seasons. Wong also gained notice as a cast regular on HBO’s critically acclaimed series Oz, playing the resilient prison priest Father Ray for five seasons. Wong’s film credits include Jurassic Park, Father of the Bride (1 & 2), and Seven Years in Tibet. He can also be heard as the voice of Shang in the Disney animated films Mulan and Mulan II. Wong’s community work has also been recognized by Asian AIDS Project, GLAAD, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

2011 OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award Honoree
Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth, a Major in the Illinois Army National Guard, served in Iraq as an Assistant Operations Officer and also flew combat missions as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. During a mission north of Baghdad in 2004, her aircraft was ambushed and a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter she was co-piloting. She continued to attempt to pilot the aircraft until passing out from blood loss. As a result of the attack, Duckworth lost both of her legs and partial use of one arm. For her actions, she received several awards, including the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. Since her recovery at Walter Reed, Duckworth has dedicated her life to public service, advocating on behalf of disability rights and Veterans. In 2008, she was selected by Candidate Obama to deliver the presidential campaign’s key address on Veterans’ rights at the Democratic National Convention. In 2009, she was named as an American Veterans (AMVETS) Silver Helmet award recipient as well as The George Washington University’s Colin Powell Public Service Award Recipient.

Photo Preview of BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society, May 24-26, 2010
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug! on View Through August 2

Featured Media

In the News

judith leiber