Dinner is Shaping Up

Two and a half months, and counting down.  The 16th Annual Awards Dinner for the Pacific Southwest District is shaping up.  “The Living Legends of JACL” will honor the following honorees who, through their example and spirit, reflect JACL’s legacy and commitment to greater diversity, inclusion, and social justice in our society:

Community Honorees

Union Bank
Harry Honda
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The Controvery Continues

Immigration…who can live here and who can’t is one of the most controversial issues that every country faces.  It can highlights our collective fears of other groups and ideas about how our public resources should be allocated, among many other beliefs and perceived notions that influence our stance on this issue.  The Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday of Arizona’s SB 1070 highlighted this again yesterday.  In summary, the Court ruled on the illegality of SB 1070, but allows law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of those whom they stop for traffic or other offenses.  Proponents and opponents of this measure are equally staking victory on the Court’s ruling, but both recognize that the issue is far from over.

Bridging Communities Culmination 2012

Bridging Communities
The 2012 Bridging Communities PSW Graduates.
 The JACL Pacific Southwest District, in partnership with Council on American-Islamic Relations, Kizuna – Uniting Nikkei for the Future, and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress celebrated the 4th Annual Culmination of Bridging Communities in Los Angeles.

The goal of the Bridging Communities Program is to create awareness, dialogue and ultimately activism from Japanese American and Muslim American high school youth through a series of interactive sessions including topics such as: identity, culture, religion, civil rights, community history, immigration, advocacy, and community service. The program concluded this year with a trip to the Manzanar National Historic Site where the students participated and assisted with the archeological dig.

The Power of Story


I stumbled upon this AARP article on Heart Mountain and its incarcerees. It’s a touching slideshow of the brief history and people of Heart Mountain. They also had interviews of some of the people that were incarcerated there. As I read through each of the interviews, it reminded me of the power of story.

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Why Join JACL?

Ventura County Chapter Preident, Anne Chilcott, tells her story of why she joined JACL

Never heard the acronym J.A.C.L. when I was a kid but heard a lot about the differences between Japanese from Hawaii and Japanese on the “main land” (I assumed they meant L.A.).

I was not picked on as a kid for the way I looked. I was not aware of racial discrimination in the 1960’s.

Nope, never met anybody put in those American concentration camps (we’re from Hawaii, remember?)

The decision to join came in a peculiar circuitous route.

Dust at Manzanar Relocation Site was so horrendous that I could not look up.
Manzanar Relocation Site

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A New Grassroots Approach in Asian American Studies

By Andrew Yick

Despite the fact that, relatively speaking, the Asian American student population represents the largest minority group on college campuses, very few colleges have a fully funded and separate Asian American Studies department.  Per an article in the most recent The Pacific Citizen (“The Next Wave of Asian America on College Campuses”), only 32 autonomous Asian American Studies exist across the country.  Not surprisingly, most of these program are in California and New York.  And about 20 other schools have their program reside within another department.

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LA Board of Supervisors to vote on the repeal of 1942 Support for Japanese American Incarceration

By Marissa Kitazawa

January 1942, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to pass a resolution urging the President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the US Congress to proceed with the incarceration of Japanese Americans as soon as possible. Shortly a couple weeks later on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which incarcerated over 150,000+ Japanese Americans and placed them into American Concentration Camps. This was the direct result of the war time hysteria and xenophobia. 70 years later, the LA County Board of Supervisors is attempting to right that wrong.

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