The Importance of Legacy to an Ever-changing AANHPI Community

Hello Friends,

JACL-PSW finished their Dr. Roy Nishikawa Oratorical last week! It was great to hear speeches from JACL youth and their ideas on how JACL can maintain their JA heritage while staying relevant to the larger AANHPI community. While it is important for JACL youth to think about these things since they are our future I also think it is important for staff to also think about it…

Japanese Americans now make up a small minority in the larger  AANHPI population. Even the acronym has grown from API to AANHPI (Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander) to reflect the representation of such a diverse group. I believe that PSW has stayed relevant with youth programming that honors Japanese American history while addressing what is happening in our world today. But underneath the tangible aspects and the visible results, is there a message that should always be in the back of our minds while we’re juggling the logistics of multiple programs and events?

Coming from an Ethnic Studies background, I cannot help but reflect on what all these things have in common (youth, relevant programming, advocacy, and so forth…). They all build upon what we have learned in the past. Most importantly, these programs encourage learning, stepping out of your comfort zone and fostering a space for growth. 

In short, keep learning. Keep stepping out of your comfort zone and reach out to different communities. The way stay relevant is to be relevant. And to me, being relevant is to keep learning.


Nick News Asks: What does it mean to be APA?

Imageby Marissa Kitazawa
“My roots, strongly planted in this country but reaching back to Japan, influence everything about me, from the foods I eat to my musical interests, religious beliefs, values and to the choices I make… I celebrate being Asian American in small and large ways because I believe I have a legacy to push myself to be a better person, and to contribute to a more just society.” Riki Eigima
A couple of months ago, the JACL regional offices were asked by Nickelodeon-TV producers to find middle school students for a show that would highlight Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  Specifically, we were requested to find Japanese American youth whose grandparents or great-grandparents were incarcerated during WW II.   JACL PSW submitted a number of names from Camp Musubi to the show’s producers and the “kids” were then interviewed and selected. We are excited to see the answers they have come up with!  The Segment is set to run on Sunday, May 27 at 9PM!

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Is planning an annual awards dinner like planning a wedding?

by Andrew Yick

My aunt called me late last Sunday night to confirm that I’ll be going to my cousin’s wedding next week in New York.  Since my cousin and his fiancee are still in medical school, my aunt volunteered to be the primary planner of the wedding.  Having planned the past two JACL PSW’s annual awards dinners, I know how time consuming and nerve wracking event planning is.  I was curious to know how my aunt was faring, so I asked her how preparations were coming along.  She paused for a second, and then kind of laughed nervously.  That laugh said it all.  She was feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious.  At the end of the day, it does all comes together, I said.

I can sympathize with my aunt.  I’m in the middle of the planning of JACL PSW’s 16th Annual Awards Dinner.  It’s 4 months away, but it’ll be here before we know it!  “Living Legends of JACL” will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at the Center at Cathedral Plaza in downtown LA’s civic center:  555 W. Temple St.  Please be sure to mark your calendars!

Youth CAN: Community Engagement Films to be Screened at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

Congrats to JACL PSW Youth CAN Community Engagement Track for their films being selected to screen at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival this weekend!

Come Join us on May 12, 2012 at 12:30pm at CGV Cinemas 3 (621 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005) to see two videos done by our participants. This series of shorts is part of the 2012 Asian Pacific Film Festival sponsored annually by Visual Communications. Continue reading

Don’t Wait to be Heard: JACL/OCA Leadership Summit Reflection

Image The legislative world of D.C. seems a world away when you’re living in socal. Often times it feels out of reach to even believe that you have an impact in D.C. politics- it literally is thousands of miles away. But after this experience, I’ve come to realize that I was the one that was thousands of miles away from D.C. politics.

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2012 Statistical Portrait of Asian Americans from UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center



17.3 million
The estimated number of U.S. residents of Asian descent, according to the 2010 Census. This group comprised 5.6 percent of the total population. This count includes those who said they were both Asian alone (14.7 million) and Asian in combination with one or more additional races (2.6 million).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Brief – Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin

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Welcome our new Camp Musubi Administrative Staff

JACL PSW and Camp Musubi is excited to announce that Amy Watanabe has joined our family! She will be working closely with Camp Director, Tony Osumi, to run this year’s Camp Musubi.  Camp Musubi is our one week middle school summer program that uses fun activities to teach young people about Japanese American heritage. The goal of the camp is spark interest in Japanese American culture and community through hands-on experiences and interactions with community leaders.

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Camp Musubi Registration Out! APPLY TODAY


Come celebrate Camp Musubi’s 10th Anniversary! We have just released our application for Summer 2012.  The Dates are all set for July 16-20th, 2012. The program runs from 9am to 4pm.

This camp is CRAZY FUN for Middle Schoolers! So what are you waiting for? Apply Today!

ATTN: College Aged Counselors! Looking for a one week summer position that makes $500? Keep a look out for those counselor applications! We’ll be sending those out soon!

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JACL is Looking for Participants to Attend the 2012 Collegiate Leadership Conference !

The 2012 JACL Collegiate Washington, D.C. Leadership Conference is an intensive three-day leadership development program that introduces Asian Pacific American student leaders to the national policy-making arena. Participants will be briefed on legislative issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community and examine the role Asian Pacific American civil rights organizations play in affecting public policy in the nation’s capital. They will also have the chance to meet and work with student leaders representing colleges and universities from throughout the country and learn ways to effectively address issues and create positive social change on their own campuses and beyond.


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