OCA Seeking Candidates for 2015 - 2016 Civil Rights Fellowship

Former Civil Rights Fellow Kendall Kosai, who currently serves as OCA's Associate Director of Development

The OCA Civil Rights Fellowship is a national advocacy fellowship based at the OCA National Center in Washington DC, which seeks to organize and mobilize the chapter networks across the country to support the building of individual and community capacity for greater civic engagement among Asian Pacific Americans.

The key components of this program include but not limited to:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Public Policy
  • JACL/OCA Leadership Summit

The Fellow will work directly and collaborate with the OCA Chapters through a series of projects. The ultimate objective of this program is to create a movement of APAs that embrace the vision of robust civic engagement that fosters a strong democratic society for generations to come.

The methodologies used to promote civic engagement include:

  • Volunteer mobilization activities
  • Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts
  • Community leadership summits and town hall meetings

Candidate Requisites

  • Strong cross-sectional analysis around civil rights issues related to civic engagement activities (including naturalization process and voter mobilization), race relations, immigration, economic development, access to institutional and non-institutional resources and hate crimes within the framework of these issues impacting Asian Pacific American (APA) communities.
  • History of demonstrated experience in leading community based advocacy efforts within culturally diverse communities
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently to provide hands-on project management through all phases of project development process: Research, planning (development of time-lines, work plans, and budget), implementation, tracking, and evaluation.
  • Experience with presentation, facilitation and training to small as well as large groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to write in an accurate, concise, and audience appropriate manner on complex public policy issues.
  • When appropriate, be prepared to interact with the public including the media-able to direct inquiries to the appropriate organizational spokespersons.
  • Supervise staff and interns as assigned according to existing organizational policies and procedures as well as human resource best-practices.
  • Serve as the primary staff liaison and support to the advisory groups for each of the projects/programs assigned.

Additional Qualifications

  • At minimum, undergraduate degree in political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, law, public administration, or a related field.
  • Proven history of developing and maintaining positive organizational relationships with community based organizations, government agencies, and corporations through the use of communication media.
  • Experience in event planning and programming which requires management of logistics-especially for projects such as training, town halls, press conferences, panel discussions, etc.
  • Strong public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Strong organization and time management skills.
  • Ability to exercise creativity with consistency and utmost integrity.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Capacity to maintain professional demeanor while working under significant pressure.
  • Capacity to work in a fast paced and flexible environment.
  • High level of personal energy.
  • Interest and commitment to Asian Pacific American advocacy issues.
  • Willingness to work nights/weekends and to travel periodically as required

Location and Duration

To be based in Washington, DC at the OCA National Center for 12 Months, starting in July 2015. The fellow must be able to relocate for this opportunity after acceptance-no relocation costs are included in the fellowship.


$35,000 to $40,000 per year depending on experience, plus health benefits (the Fellow may elect to enroll in dental benefits at their expense) and two weeks of vacation.


Interested individuals should apply online below or by submitting the following:

  1. Copy of the official transcript from a degree issuing institution.
  2. Application
  3. CV or Resume
  4. Four (2) Professional References and (2) Personal References
  5. Two (2) essays (Please see the essay prompts included in this packet).


1. How does your ethnic background inform your interest in advocating for the Asian Pacific American community? What are some strategies for engaging with communities that you are not familiar with?
2. What two strategies can you offer for encouraging more Asian Pacific Americans to be civically engaged? How can we change attitudes, cultures, and sense of importance for civic engagement?

The completed packet must be:

  • Submitted electronically online to Tong Thao at tthao@oacnational.org.
  • The completed packet must be received at the OCA National Office by 6 PM EST June 26, 2015.
  • All applications submitted by the due date will be issued an e-mail confirmation verifying receipt.
Please apply here!

For additional questions, comments, or concerns, please contact kmoua@ocanational.org or call 202.223.5500. ext. 115