OCA Greater Los Angeles (GLA), a civil rights advocacy organization serving the pan-Asian community, has appointed Kurt Takaaki Ikeda as its interim executive director to a negotiated term of office.
He will assume his responsibilities at the beginning of February. “The board welcomes Kurt, who has solid credentials as a community organizer,” says Janet Ly, president of OCA GLA. “We are confident that Kurt will continue the work of his predecessor, who has strengthened our civic engagement efforts through voter registration and education and our civil rights advocacy work in the APA community.”
Ikeda succeeds Jennifer Chau, OCA-GLA’s first executive director, who stepped down this month to pursue opportunities out of state. Hawaii-born and raised in the South Bay, Ikeda studied applied linguistics at UCLA and earned a master’s in urban education-policy and administration from Loyola Marymount University. He worked as an English teacher at Camino Nuevo High School in Los Angeles. Ikeda began community organizing with the Japanese American Citizens League and is currently the board secretary of JACL’s Pacific Southwest District and co-president of its Greater Los Angeles Chapter.
As an advocate for students, he served the Los Angeles Unified School District as a Leadership in Educational Equity Fellow and gained political advocacy training at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Leadership Academy and the 2016 JACL-OCA Leadership Summit.
“While serving as one of the civic engagement field specialists for OCA-Greater Los Angeles Civic Engagement team, Kurt has demonstrated the qualities of organizational leadership,” says Chau. “His mentorship of 22 college and high school fellows and management of voter registration drives across Southern California school campuses is both inspiring and strategic.”
Serving on the 2018 OCA-GLA Board of Directors are:
President – Janet Ly
Vice President – Steven Chow
Treasurer – Yun Kim
Secretary – Rick Eng
Director of Advocacy – Lawrence Joe
Director of Communications – Albert Lu
Director of Community Relations – Ed Lew
Director of Education & Culture – Tom Eng
Director of Membership – Melissa Chen
Director of Public Affairs – Henry Lo
Board at Large – Bonnie Chen, Michelle Sugihara, Shirley Thao, George Yin