[Congressional Record: October 3, 2000 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
THE ASSOCIATION OF CHINESE AMERICANS CELEBRATES 28TH ANNIVERSARY
Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the Association of Chinese Americans, Detroit Chapter of the National Organization of Chinese Americans, which will celebrate its 28th Anniversary with an Awards Ceremony on October 7, 2000. The theme of the evening is Unity, Collaboration and Strength, three things the ACA has provided Michigan's Chinese American community since its inception in 1972.
The mission of the ACA is “to serve the Chinese American community in the Greater Detroit area, and to promote the overall presence of Chinese Americans.” In order to do this effectively, members laid out six goals for their organization: provide community services to people of Chinese heritage; promote the Chinese presence locally and nationally through the political system; make sure the voice of the Chinese American is heard locally and nationally; promote academic excellence in Chinese American youth; promote Chinese heritage through the arts; and collaborate with other Chinese/Asian organizations.
In its effort to achieve above and beyond these goals, the ACA has become an active force within the Metropolitan Detroit community. It operates service and outreach centers in Detroit, Warren and Plymouth which provide assistance to Chinese Americans in immigration matters, language classes, citizenship preparation, and registering to vote. It sponsors a free health clinic
and activities in Detroit Chinatown for the language and economically disadvantaged. In addition, the ACA sponsors many programs for the entire community, including the Feed the Homeless program, flood and emergency disaster relief, and a bone marrow drive.
The ACA provides young Chinese Americans with the opportunity to meet people of their own heritage, but also teaches them the benefits of a well-balanced routine. Each year the organization sponsors camping trips, dancing parties, and basketball games. At the same time, the organization has sponsored annual High School Achievement Awards since 1984. These awards recognize seniors who have achieved academic excellence as well as involvement and leadership in extracurricular activities. Scholarships funded by the ACA and private donors are also provided annually to Chinese Americans seeking higher education.
Promoting Chinese heritage has always been a fundamental goal of the ACA, as members strive not to let their proud ancestry be overlooked or forgotten. Events include celebrating Asian American Heritage Month, promoting the Chinese New Year Commemorative stamps, and sponsoring or cosponsoring a plethora of cultural events. Recently, the ACA held a reception for Chinese American author Helen Zia, and on September 9, 2000, the organization hosted the Michigan premiere of the documentary film, “We Served With Pride,” which chronicles the effort of Chinese American soldiers during World War II.
I applaud the ACA on the wonderful work it has done in the Metropolitan Detroit region. Since its founding in 1972, the organization has encouraged Michigan's Chinese Americans to celebrate both their Chinese heritage and the lives they have found in the United States. It has fought vehemently for the rights of Chinese Americans yet remains an inclusive group, offering assistance not only to Chinese Americans, but to all Americans. On behalf of the entire United States Senate, I congratulate the Association of Chinese Americans on 28 glorious years, and wish the organization continued success in the future.